Micron Technology, a DRAM chip provider in Taiwan, has scrapped half of the wafers produced at the plant due to a major problem at one of the manufacturing sites. According to DigiTimes, the number of 12-inch scrapped wafers hits at around 60,000.
According to DigiTimes, a problem associated with the Nitrogen gas have resulted in temporarily shutting down the production line. According to TrendForce, a malfunctioning happened with the nitrogen gas dispensing system which resulted in contamination of equipment and wafers in one of the Micron’s plants near central Taiwan. In the past, the same facility is known for supplying LPDDR4 RAM for the iPhone devices.
”The temporary shutdown of Fab-2 could have an impact on shipments of the upcoming new iPhone devices as well,” added the research firm.
In the statement to Reuters, Micron said that “Regarding recent rumors about Micron’s fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel.” There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business.”
DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reported in June that an increase of five percent in the average selling price of these chips in expected due to the expected increase in demand and tight supply. This rise in DRAM prices could be seasonal due to the upcoming new iPhone models later this year.
It remains unclear whether the incident will impact the initial launch volume of the 2017 iPhone models, especially the OLED based iPhone 8 or not. Apple, however, in known to diversify its supply chain in an effort to minimize such risks.
Apple has also experienced a shortage of 3D NAND flash chips that they ordered for the 2017 iPhone models due to failure to produce the adequate units by the SK Hynix and Toshiba’s 3D NAND technologies.This has led Apple to turn to Samsung, it’s arch-rival, to supply these components.