Major virus infection shuts down factories of iPhone chip-maker TSMC
06 August, 2018, 15:27 | Author: Patty Hardy
The sole maker of the iPhone's main processor said a number of its fabrication tools had been infected, and while it had contained the problem and resumed some production, several of its factories would not restart until at least Sunday.
The company is still cleaning the malware off its equipment, but expects to be finished by tomorrow. TMSC is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world and is responsible for producing iPhone processors for Apple. But it sees no long-term difficulties.
KGI Securities said in a report on Monday that while some of TSMC's 12-inch wafer shipments will be delayed, the impact to the upcoming iPhone launch is limited because "the upstream supply chain usually prepares for these incidents and manufactures surplus chipsets during the initial ramp-up stage".
TSMC said in its update on August 5 to the development of the incident that it expects full recovery of production on August 6. We estimate the impact to third-quarter revenue to be about three percent, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point. Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised.
Shares in TSMC in Taipei were down 1% in late morning trading on Monday.
In the meantime, the exact implications of the incident for Apple are unknown.
The US company has employed in the past foundries owned by Samsung Electronics, its rival in global mobile devices. That helped the market look past a reduced revenue outlook. Chief Executive Officer C C Wei had said TSMC's sales will rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in U.S. dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10 percent.
The semiconductor company blames the outbreak on a mistake during installation of software for a new tool, which was then connected to its computer network.
"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines", the company is quoted as saying.
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