MEMS and Sensors

Roundup: Taiwan earthquake — A week later

10 April 2024
Micron’s test and assembly facility in Taichung, Taiwan reported minimal disruptions and no significant damage after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the region. Source: Micron

The massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan last week appears to have wrought no major damage on the semiconductor supply chain or long-lasting issues with facilities located in the region.

Most wafer foundries in the areas experienced what is called a “level 4 intensity shake” but with most facilities featuring seismic mitigation capable of reducing seismic impacts by 1 to 2 levels, the facilities were able to resume operations quickly after inspection shutdowns, according to market research firm TrendForce.

While some instances of wafer breakage happened due to the emergency shutdown procedures, capacity utilization rates quickly recovered after operations resumed. This resulted in only minor impacts on capacity, TrendForce said.


Obviously, the largest pure-play foundry in the world, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), is the largest concern to the supply chain following the earthquake.

Of its numerous fabs in Taiwan, TSMC had 6 inch and 8 inch facilities — Fab 2, Fab 3, Fab 5, Fab 8, Fab 12 and the newest Fab 20 — in the level 4 intensity zone. The good news is only Fab 12 suffered some water damage due to broken pipes. This affected mostly the not-yet-mass-produced 2 nanometer process, TrendForce said.

It is expected that this will have a minimal impact on operations with the potential need to buy new equipment. All the other TSMC fabs resumed operations after inspections with no significant damage reported. Operations progressively returned to normal shortly after the initial evacuation and later inspection.

Other facilities that were not in the immediate path of the intensity did not evacuate personnel and managed to resume more than 90% of operations in under eight hours post-quake.


United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) operates one 6 inch and six 8 inch plants in Hsinchu and in Tainan, Taiwan, all located in the level 4 intensity zone. Both plants resumed operations after minimal shutdowns and evacuations.

PSMC and Windbond

Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC) reported no damage to its facilities, a 12 inch DRAM and 8 inch and 12 inch foundry plants in the Hsinchu and Miaoli area. These are focused on niche products with 25 nm/21 nm processes.

All the fabs resumed operations for a short time period after shutdowns and evacuations.


Micron has a major assembly and test facility in Taichung, Taiwan.

So far Boise, Idaho-based Micron reported minor damage to its facilities in Taiwan. All its employees were safely accounted for and no disruption to operations has been announced.

TrendForce said the facility, which is deploying 1 beta nm process technology, has recovered.


Korean DRAM maker Nanya’s Fab 3A in New Taipei said that all its employees are safe and manufacturing factory operation was interrupted with a controllable portion of equipment and wafers damaged.

However, after inspection, the facility and equipment have recovered, and operations have returned to normal.

Vanguard and Windbond both report no damage to its fabs in the hardest-hit region.

To contact the author of this article, email

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the GlobalSpec
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter