TSMC and Micron face more pressure on chip industry as water crisis in Taiwan now at red alert
By Stuart Thomas on March 25th, 2021 at 12:47pm - original article from game-debate

There is currently a major water crisis going on in Taiwan as a significant drop in rainfall last year has resulted in a drought across the country. The Taiwanese government has now issued a red alert on Wednesday, the first in 6 years, and it could have the potential to seriously affect some of the biggest chip makers in the world at a time when global chip shortages have reached a “crisis point”.

The Taiwanese government has revealed plans to limit access to water for non-industrial users 2 days a week after they warned their water supplies are running dangerously low. The restrictions do not currently affect Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturers like TSMC and Micron, but they have potential to in the future if things don’t get better.

Semiconductor facilities like TSMC and Micron rely heavily on large supplies of water in their wafer production, and at a time where everyone is clamoring for computer chips across the globe already, this would put an even more unprecedented amount of strain on the industry.

The good news is that Taiwan apparently has enough water reserves in order to support technology companies like TSMC and Micron until late May, which should help them operate just as usual without any issues. This will also be the time when the drier months of the Winter season usually get better with seasonal rains, and should help to replenish water supplies that have been depleted during that time.

But if that for some reason doesn’t happen, we could be facing a potentially worse global chip shortage than we are now that will affect the likes of Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Apple etc., and which has already affected graphics card prices for a second time. 

Thankfully Intel is planning a $20 billion investment into a contract foundry that will make chips for other companies - a first for the Blue Team - in order to help combat the chip crisis.

What do you think? How could this affect the PC hardware industry? And how could it affect the electronics/technology industry in general? Let us know!