TSMC hit for $550 million by sub-standard photoresist

February 18, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
TSMC hit for $550 million by sub-standard photoresist
Leading chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) has assessed the damage due to its recent use of a batch of problematic photoresist on 16/12nm wafers and said it will reduce 1Q19 revenue by about US$550 million or 7.5 percent of its previous predicted revenue for the quarter.

TSMC said in a statement that a batch of photoresist contained a foreign polymer that created an undesirable effect on 16/12nm wafers processed in Fab 14B. The company added that it has decided to scrap a higher number of wafers than previously estimated (see TSMC production hit by sub-standard chemical ).

The incident is expected to reduce revenue by about $550 million although the wafers scrapped will be made up in 2Q19 and contribute a similar sum to revenue in that quarter. At the same time TSMC said it plans to pull into 1Q19 manufacturing revenue of about $230 million from 2Q19 and as a result total revenue in 1Q19 is expected to be in the range $7.0 billion to $7.1 billion compared with the previous estimate of $7.3 billion to $7.4 billion.

TSMC said it has communicated with customers and worked out replacement delivery schedules and has strengthened inspection of incoming material and in-line wafers.

Customers that could have been affected include Nvidia, MediaTek and Huawei HiSilicon, according to reports.

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