Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Apple TSMC claims quake destruction may strike manufacturing, effect that is complete uncertain confirmed

Apple chipmaker TSMC said that the earthquake that hit southern Taiwan earlier this month caused damage that will impact production, but has not yet given a clear indication of the scale of the problem. The company is one of two chip fabricators for the iPhone 6s, and is expected to be the sole manufacturer of the A10 chip for the iPhone 7.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed 116 people and injured many more, with significant damage also caused to manufacturing facilities …

TSMC initially said that it expected 95% of production capacity to be restored within 2-3 days, and that the long-term impact would be a loss of around 1% of 2016 production. However, Digitimes now reports the company says that damage to one of the chip-fabrication facilities is “worse than originally assessed.”

The company has, however, indicated that it is “confident” of hitting its revenue targets for the first quarter of the year, suggesting that it still expects the impact to be relatively minor.

It had been speculated that Apple’s reported decision to switch from a TSMC/Samsung mix for the A9 chip to TSMC only for the A10 may have been influenced by benchmark tests showing that iPhone 6s models equipped with the TSMC chip ran cooler and offered better battery life than Samsung variants. Apple played down the differences, saying that benchtests are not typical of real-world usage, and that the difference amounted to 2-3%.

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