TSMC’s most important fabrication factory, which manufactures chips destined for Apple’s next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit with gas contamination, reports Nikkei Asia.
The “Fab 18” factory is TSMC’s most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple’s lone chipmaking partner, making every processor in every Apple device that uses Apple-designed silicon chips.
Nikkei Asia reports that all of the processors for Apple’s upcoming iPhone and Macs are produced at the facility. This would include Apple’s iPhone 13, powered by the A15, and new MacBook Pro models that are powered by Apple silicon, the “M1X” or “M2” chips.
Gas used in the production of these chips was found to be contaminated on Thursday night. TSMC told Nikkei Asia: “Some TSMC production lines in the South Taiwan Science Park received certain gases from suppliers that are believed to be contaminated. These were quickly replaced with other gas supplies.” Employees who had gone home were called back to the factory to bring the situation under control.
The company says it is carrying out follow-up operations to ensure that product quality is not affected, and the incident is not believed to have caused a “significant impact on operations.” The gas contamination reportedly has affected the chip manufacturing process, but only in a limited way.
The contamination could not come at a worse time for Apple, as the company is finalizing components for the final assembly process of new iPhone and Mac models by the end of August. The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to debut in September, while redesigned Mac models powered by Apple silicon are also expected to debut sometime this year.