The worst drought in years is looming in Taiwan, the country of semiconductors. This has a direct effect on the production of processors as well, where water is an essential factor. Taiwan says it has enough water to keep factories operating normally. To May.
For decades Taiwan did not see such a severe drought at this time of year. Generally, the Asian country experiences a series of tropical rains, although they have not occurred in recent months. As a consequence, they are now waiting for the monsoon rains to remedy the situation . While they arrive, it is time to reduce your water consumption. And that is something that includes semiconductor manufacturers as well.
According to the Minister of Economic Affairs of Taiwan, Wang Mei-hua, the drought has not affected TSMC (the world’s largest chip manufacturer) or other manufacturers in the country at the moment . A semiconductor factory can consume several million liters of water per day.
TSMC and other manufacturers such as United Microelectronics Corp indicated to Bloomberg that they are preparing for the worst . There are currently enough water reserves to continue operating normally until May, waiting for the rains to arrive by then. Otherwise, production will have to be reduced due to reduced water consumption. TSMC says they are preparing to supply the factories with water trucks.
This threat to chipmakers comes at the worst possible time: when they are not keeping up with all the demand there is . With the arrival of the pandemic at the beginning of last year at a global level, manufacturers reduced their production and consequently the availability of chips. Now that little by little all industries are back to normal, they are not able to supply all those who ask for processors.
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One of the industries most affected by this is the automobile industry , which has seen some brands practically have to close factories due to a lack of chips. Processor manufacturers do not give as much priority to car chips because they are a smaller quantity and are sold at a lower price than chips for mobile phones or computers for example. Likewise, there are also delays in the production of mobiles and computers .