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TSMC chip production affected by ‘substandard’ chemical

TSMC suffered a major setback this week after it emerged that substandard chemicals were used in the production of 10,000 wafers. Chips being produced on the 12nm/16nm line were affected, which could have a knock-on effect for TSMC customers, like Nvidia.

TSMC confirmed the news in a statement given to Nikkei, saying that the fab has  “discovered that a shipment of certain chemical used in the manufacturing process deviated from specifications and caused wafers to have lower yields”. Right now, TSMC is still investigating the situation and is communicating with affected customers.

Image credit: TSMC

Currently, TSMC's major 12nm/16nm customers include the likes of MediaTek, HiSilicon and Nvidia just to name a few. In a statement on DigiTimes, TSMC has said that most of the affected chip wafers can be replaced before the end of Q1, with the remainder being made up in Q2.

The material/chemical that caused the issue has been removed and is no longer in use. A replacement delivery schedule is now in place to try and minimise impact.

KitGuru Says: Issues like this pop up from time to time. Last year, TSMC suffered a production setback following a computer virus. Measures have been put in place to get things back on track, now we just have to wait and see how things go. 

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