Virus briefly halts production at iPhone chip-maker TSMC

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According to Bloomberg, a computer virus disrupted production at several factories owned by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on the evening of Friday, August 3. The company said it expects the issue to cause revenue and shipping to fall in the third quarter, but was confident the company would recover its losses in the fourth.

A full recovery is expected by Monday, August 6, however the fallout from the virus will result in shipment delays and additional costs, the company said.

The incident underscores the global nature of the technology supply chain, in which companies like Apple and Qualcomm Inc. depend on hundreds of suppliers around the world. Bloomberg reports that TSMC was forced to shut down as the virus attack took down production at multiple factories.

"Data integrity and confidential information were not compromised".

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"Long-term, TSMC's trustworthy image is somewhat tainted but it is hard to quantify the effect now", Li said. 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. The iPhone maker last week surpassed a market value of $1 trillion, largely on the strength of sales for its pioneering smartphone.

TSMC has grown to become the largest independent semiconductor foundry in the world, with profits past year of $11.6 billion. While TSMC has not indicated which customers could be affected, such a virus could potentially slow Apple's output of new devices, cutting into the number of units sold. It blamed the infection of its computer systems on "misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool". Apple Inc. did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

It is not clear at this time which factories were hit but there is a real possibility that the new iPhone due in late September could be affected by the closedown as these factories manufacture the main processor for the iPhone.