Absolutely nothing can be allowed to go wrong at a semiconductor manufacturing plant. The manufacturing process for these chips requires exceptional care and even the slightest of hiccups can cause millions in damages.
That’s what’s feared to have happened at Samsung’s massive chip complex in Hwaseong, South Korea. Production had to be temporarily halted at the complex because of a minute-long electricity blackout.
Electricity blackout caused losses likely in the millions
The supply of electricity was cut to the plant because of a problem with a regional power transmission cable. The blackout was caused by the explosion of a power transmission cable at a nearby substation.
Consequently, Samsung had to stop DRAM and NAND flash production lines. Even though power was restored to the plant fairly quickly, Samsung says that a full recovery in manufacturing operations is likely going to take up to three days. It also expects that the damage from the temporary stoppage isn’t going to be too serious.
That being said, Samsung is going to suffer some loss as a result of this blackout. Reuters quotes a source with direct knowledge of the matter who claims that this incident likely caused millions of dollars worth of losses. Samsung’s Pyeongtaek chip plant faced a similar issue in 2018 and that incident resulted in estimated losses of over $43 million.
Samsung may not have wanted to ring in the new year this way, but it’ll just have to chalk this up as the cost of doing business.