Taiwan’s Drought Is Creating Concerns for Chip Production at TSMC and Micron

The FPS Review may receive a commission if you purchase something after clicking a link in this article.

Image: TSMC

Taiwan continues to deal with the effects of its worst drought in 56 years amid great demands for semiconductor production. A combination of weather patterns such as decreased rainfall and not a single typhoon making landfall in 2021 has led to the current dilemma. On March 24, things reached a new extreme, as the government issued a red alert due to numerous reservoirs around the island running dangerously low. This is the first time in six years that such a warning has been issued; water supplies for two science parks in Taichung have been reduced by 15 percent. Both TSMC and Micron have manufacturing plants there.

Image: Bloomberg

Economics minister Wang Mei-Hua said that the supply reduction would not affect either company for now. TSMC has been bringing water to its manufacturing plants via tankers and plans to increase deliveries to avoid production interruptions. Its headquarters are located further north in Hsinchu, so it is not subject to the new restrictions. Micron has not commented on the effects of the new measures, which are set to go into effect on April 6.

This is happening at a time when the tech industry has increased its demands for wafer production, leading to fabrication plants running at near max capacity. Despite increased production, sectors ranging from automotive production to GPU manufacturing have been experiencing delays. The forthcoming monsoons in May will hopefully alleviate the situation, as TSMC is set to face new challenges from Intel and Samsung, which are creating new foundries.

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

Recent News