TSMC restored 70% production in 10 hours after the earthquake that hit Taiwan

Taiwanese giant and one of the world's largest chipmakers, TSMC, announced that it had returned almost all of its production facilities to working order just ten hours after the earthquake

by Sededin Dedovic
TSMC restored 70% production in 10 hours after the earthquake that hit Taiwan
© Annabelle Chih / Getty Images

After the powerful earthquake that shook Taiwan, TSMC, a leading semiconductor manufacturer, showed remarkable resilience and responsible management policies. They managed to restore 70 percent of their production capacity within just ten hours, which is nothing short of a miracle.

This rapid recovery was particularly noticeable at its flagship facilities such as Fab 18, where production returned to 80 percent capacity. Analysts attribute this remarkable feat to a mix of factors, including the unwavering commitment of TSMC's workforce, the robustness of its tight-knit chip supply chain and the implementation of a construction design engineered to withstand seismic disturbances.

Earthquakes are very common in Taiwan, and the specific construction material they use ensured minimal damage to the vital machines of this company. The quake's impact reverberated through TSMC's manufacturing sites located in various regions of Taiwan, with Hsinchu bearing the brunt of the seismic force, which registered a magnitude of five.

In response to the quakes, TSMC quickly adopted safety protocols, quickly evacuating personnel from "clean rooms" and initiating remote monitoring procedures to mitigate potential aftershocks or disruptions. In the context of semiconductor manufacturing, "clean rooms" represent pristine environments carefully controlled for cleanliness and climate, facilitating the delicate process of manufacturing semiconductors that house highly sensitive electronic components.

After the earthquake, precise inspection and calibration procedures were put in place for each potentially affected machine, ensuring continued production under optimal conditions. In particular, lithography machines, an integral part of the semiconductor manufacturing process, required careful attention and calibration, prolonging the restoration process.

Amid these challenges, TSMC remains resolute in its commitment to maintaining strong revenue growth through 2024. Projections point to a promising trajectory, with revenue expected to increase in the low to mid-low percent range compared to the prior year.

Namely, while production equipment recovers quickly, the intricate nature of advanced chip manufacturing technologies requires additional calibration time for certain components, as noted by industry insiders quoted by UDN.

TSMC's continued stability and adaptability to unpredictable circumstances could position the company in a key role in the global semiconductor industry. With rising demand fueled by growing advances in artificial intelligence and related technologies, TSMC has seen its share price rise a commendable 32 percent year-to-date.