Samsung suffers more than 300 bln-won loss due to monthlong Texas chip shutdown

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday that a monthlong shutdown at its U.S. semiconductor plant cost it more than 300 billion won (US$270 million) in losses, although the facility is now fully normalized.

“There was a wafer production disruption due to the stopping and recovering of the fab,” said Han Seung-hoon, a senior vice president at Samsung’s foundry business, in a conference call. “About 71,000 wafers were affected, and this corresponds to around 300 to 400 billion won in damage.”

A major snow storm and a cold wave in Texas on Feb. 6 caused power and water outages, and forced the world’s largest memory chipmaker to shut down its chip plant. It was the first time in Samsung’s history that a chip plant halted production for a month.

Samsung’s Austin plant, also known as Line S2, manufactures products like radio frequency integrated circuits (RFIC), display driver integrated (DDI) circuits, solid state drive controllers, image sensors and other microprocessors using nodes from 14 nanometers to 65 nanometers.

“The power and water outage were preannounced, so we did have time to prepare,” Han said. “I think we were able to bring the operation back to normalization earlier than we expected.”

Han said the Texas plant was able to achieve a some 90 percent level of operating rate as of March 31 and currently the facility is in full operation.

To prevent such an incident from happening again, Han said Samsung is in talks with state officials and local utility companies to find solutions.

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