A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s fab near Pyeongtaek, South Korea, disrupted production and damaged tens of thousands of processed wafers. Media reports claim that the outage destroyed as much as 3.5% of the global NAND supply for March, which may have an effect on flash memory pricing in the coming weeks.

The outage happened on March 9 and lasted for about 30 minutes, according to a news story from Taiwain-based TechNews that cites further South Korean reports. The report claims that the outage damaged 50,000 to 60,000 of wafers with V-NAND flash memory, which represent 11% of Samsung’s monthly output. The report further estimates that the said amount equates to approximately 3.5% of global NAND output, but does not elaborate whether it means wafer output or bit output.

Samsung uses its fab near Pyeongtaek to produce 64-layer V-NAND chips used for various applications. The fab is among the largest flash production facilities in the world and therefore any disruption there has an effect on the global output of non-volatile memory. Meanwhile, since production lines have not been damaged and the fab is back online, the significance of such an effect is limited.

Power outages tend to happen on various semiconductor plants and at times they harm production wafers. Typically, companies can deal with the situation and unless manufacturing lines get damaged, major shortages of memory never happen if problems at fabs do not occur in peak seasons when manufacturers are building up stocks of new products. According to the report, Samsung has a stockpile of NAND chips, which is expected to enable to company to fulfill its short-term shipments commitments.

Samsung itself has already produced volumes of its latest Galaxy S9/S9+ smartphones it needed to support channel sales in the coming months, therefore it is not going to require massive amounts of NAND memory in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, other major consumers of NAND will start to build up inventory of memory only later this year when they start to prep for product launches in August or September.

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Source: TechNews



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  • rpg1966 - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    Jeebus, tinfoil hat alert, anyone? Reply
  • iter - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    And that, ladies and gents, is all rpg1966 has to offer. So thorough, substantiated and convincing. Did you think of that yourself? Reply
  • bji - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    Your arguments are lame and unconvincing. Basically you are saying that this event is something that Samsung would use to jack up prices, and even if they don't, they'll jack prices up anyway. You provide no evidence for your claim, you're just complaining like someone who expects companies to produce products for you at whatever price you feel like playing. I'm going to wager a guess that you're squarely in the "entitled millenial" demographic.

    Did you consider that Samsung paid money to partially produce flash chips that they now cannot sell? That now makes their average cost to produce the chips slightly higher. You act like raising prices to cover costs is some kind of sinister plot.
  • lmcd - Monday, March 19, 2018 - link

    No one needed convinced by RPG as he is only repeating common sentiment.

    The burden of proof is on you, the owner of the tinfoil hat.
  • iwod - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    Considering this is coming from Samsung, I wouldnt trust it wholeheartedly .

    And the news broke out BEFORE any Korean news site had it mentioned.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    This news broke out in Korea already a week ago. It's surprising it took this long for English media to pick it up. Reply
  • billybeer321 - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    While I doubt this is some conspiracy, we are talking about an industry that has paid me three separate checks for class action lawsuits specifically due to price fixing over the last 20 years. Losing that much inventory over a 30 minute power outage does seem pretty remarkable. Reply
  • bji - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    WTF does Libertarianism have to do with conspiracy theory? I don't think you actually know the meaning of the words you are using. Reply
  • Xebec22 - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - link

    Libertarianism supports free market economics. You've used the wrong term. Reply
  • deil - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    shit happens. Reply

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