TSMC Fab 14 B Contamination May Hit Nvidia and AMD

/ 4 years ago

TSMC Announces Wafer-on-Wafer 3D Stacking Technology

TSMC Loses 10,000 Wafers to Contamination

As the biggest third-party fab, TSMC supplies the chips for a large portion of the silicon market. Due to their market dominance, any hiccups at TSMC has serious repercussions for the entire market. Unfortunately, one such hiccup has just happened at one of the firm’s many fabs. A chemical contamination incident at Fab 14 B has meant that over 10,000 wafers have been wiped out and production halted.

Fab 14 B is one of the fabs that produce 16 nm and 12 nm chips. The contamination has been somewhat bad so far, with the 10,000 defective chips. However, TSMC has also shut down production to investigate. Depending on how long that takes, production can take a nose dive. As mature nodes, TSMC probably has 16nm and 12nm heavily subscribed and tuned exactly to demand. This means TSMC customers may see their supply dwindle.

Both Nvidia and AMD Likely Impacted

Nvidia and AMD will both likely hit to different degrees. Nvidia relies solely on TSMC to produce their Turing and Pascal GPUs. This should hurt supply and drive prices up. For AMD, the console chips they supply to Microsoft and Sony may be in short supply. However, the giants will likely be able to weather any shortages. The rest of AMD’s chips are safe on 14nm or 7nm.Other customers like Huawei may also be hit depending on how much they use these nodes.

For the delay length is unknown. Hopefully, TSMC will be able to make a quick and easy fix. The 10,000 wafers lost do represent about 3 days worth of production so it is somewhat significant. That is nearly 1% of the annual output. If things are dire, hopefully, other fabs will be able to take up the slack. With the transition to 7nm though, this may help ease some of the burden as the nodes are somewhat old.

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