Water and electricity have been gradually restored in Texas after a rare blizzard hit last month. However, the industry body of manufacturers in Austin, the capital of Texas, said it would take weeks for chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics to resume production in Texas after the blizzard halted production. Downstream customers could face a chain reaction in a few months' time.
It will take several weeks for the Texas chip plant to resume production.
Last month, the worst blizzard in the southwestern United States killed at least 21 people and cut power to millions of Texans, while chipmakers Samsung, NXP Semiconductor and Infineon had to close factories in Texas.
This situation undoubtedly makes the global "lack of core" situation even worse. As the global economy gradually recovers from the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the global demand for semiconductors, especially the demand of the automotive industry, and the demand for notebook computers and other products are also on the rise, and the chip industry has already been in short supply. at this time, the suspension of production at the Texas chip factory undoubtedly further worsened the problem of chip shortage.
Ratson (Edward Latson), chief executive of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, said that the electricity, water and natural gas needed for these chip factories to operate had been restored, but they still needed time to restart the equipment and clean up the plant. The process will be very slow and "very expensive".
According to South Korean media reports, the resumption of work at Samsung's Austin chip plant is not optimistic, and it is estimated that it will not be able to operate normally until mid-April at the earliest.
The chain reaction of chip shutdown has been transmitted downstream.
The knock-on impact of the current plant shutdown is expected to spread downstream to carmakers in five months, as it will take about five months to restore normal supply of chips, Mr Ratson said.
Puhakka (Risto Puhakka), president of semiconductor research firm VLSresearch, said the knock-on effect is already there.
"the impact is almost immediate because the inventory of chips is very low and customers need them as soon as possible," he said. What we are facing now is about a month's production loss. "
Elon Musk (Elon Musk), chief executive of Tesla, previously revealed that Tesla's factory in Fremont, Calif., was closed for two days last week, but he did not further explain why.
Samsung, which supplies chips to customers such as Tesla and Intel, opened its chip factory in Austin in 2017 and uses Samsung's 14nm, 28nm and 32nm chip technology to produce chips. The Austin plant is Samsung's largest chip production plant outside South Korea.
NXP and Infineon are also one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive chips. NXP, which has two plants in Austin, said in a statement on Tuesday: "We are working to resume operations as soon as possible through equipment, system and product assessments."