Date
17 November 2018
TSMC says it is confident that shipments delayed in the current quarter will be recovered in the final three months of the year. Photo: Reuters
TSMC says it is confident that shipments delayed in the current quarter will be recovered in the final three months of the year. Photo: Reuters

TSMC fab tools hit by computer virus; 3Q revenue seen dented

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) said on Saturday that several of its chip fabrication tools had been infected by a computer virus, causing temporary disruption in production.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker said a number of tools were infected on Friday, but assured that the problem has been contained, Reuters reports.

“TSMC has contained the problem and found a solution, and recovery of the tools is in progress,” the company, which is a major supplier for Apple, was quoted as saying in a statement.

Rumors that TSMC had suffered a hacker attack were incorrect, TSMC said.

The company said there was uneven impact across several of its fabs.

“The degree of infection varies by fab. Certain fabs returned to normal in a short period of time, and we expect the other fabs will return to normal in one day.”

On Sunday, TSMC provided an update on the issue, saying it expects full recovery of its computer systems and facilities on Aug. 6.

“TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs. We estimate the impact to third quarter revenue to be about three percent, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point,” it said.

“The company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in US dollars given on July 19, 2018.”

TSMC said it has notified its customers and that it is working with them on the wafer delivery schedule. Details will be provided to each customer individually over the next few days, it said.

The virus outbreak occurred during the software installation for a new tool, which caused a virus to spread once the tool was connected to the company’s computer network, TSMC said.

“Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised. TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures,” it said.

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RC

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