The state of Texas suffered an exceptional cold snap last week. With a hard-hit power grid, the local electricity supplier has asked manufacturers to shut down, especially at chip factories at NXP, Samsung and Infineon. This situation further overwhelms world production, in the midst of a semiconductor shortage.
The unprecedented cold snap in Texas caused major power outages. Primacy being given to essential services and citizens, the Texas electricity supplier AustinEnergy notably asked NXP, Samsung and Infineon to close their factories. If the emergency operations are completed, the return to normal and knowledge of the impact on the industrial side will be gradual, with obvious repercussions on world production already marred by the shortage of semiconductors.
Thus the consulting firm TrendForce points to the S2 line of the factory of the founder Samsung, offering a monthly capacity representing approximately 5% of the world total. Even planned, the blackout is expected to strain 1 to 2% of the global 12-inch wafer foundry potential. The return to normal, estimated at one week, depends on the gradual warming of Texas and the restoration of power to the plant in Austin. The Taiwanese firm adds that the 14nm and 11nm processes are predominant in this one, while the other processes are calibrated from 64nm to 28nm. In total, the plant produces for Qualcomm, Samsung System LSI, Tesla and Renesas. The increased delivery times should be an unfavorable echo of the current semiconductor crisis, particularly penalizing the automobile industry.
At NXP, a press release indicates “(…) Keep our Austin factories in a safe condition to allow reliable, high-quality supply once operations resume.” Like the others, the German Infineon had been warned of the power cut:“(…) We were able to secure the factory and protect our employees and our inventory. We immediately set up a task force, which is continuously monitoring the situation and taking mitigating measures. “