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Apple iPhone's Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC's plants crippled by computer virus

06 August, 2018, 15:27 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Apple chipmaker TSMC factories shut down by virus

A major virus infection forced the closure of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) factories just before the weekend; some remain closed or only partly-operational. "TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures", it said.

A company that makes semiconductors for Apple iPhones says it is recovering from a virus outbreak but expects the incident to delay shipments and raise costs.

"The Company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in USA dollars given on July 19, 2018", TSMC said.

Any shipment delays caused by this virus incident - which occurred just about two months after Morris Chang had retired - could undermine the customer trust that it had long built up, the sources speculated.

TSMC said the disruption is expected to knock 3% off its third-quarter revenue, which it had previously forecast would be in the range of $8.45 billion and $8.55 billion.

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Most of TSMC's customers have been notified of this event, and the Company is working closely with customers on their wafer delivery schedule. But it's confident it will get that back in the fourth quarter.

At this point in time, the details of the virus are scarce but the shutdowns prevailed as TSMC ramped up its chip production for the 2018 iPhone models.

Rumors that TSMC had suffered a hacker attack were incorrect, it said. The three iPhones are likely to be powered by Apple's A12 processor, production for which the company began in May this year. The iPhone maker last week surpassed a market value of US$1 trillion, largely on the strength of sales for its pioneering smartphone. Currently, we don't know what impact, if any, this virus will have on the production of the new iPhone or on TSMC in general.

Updated on August 5 with additional information from TSMC.

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