NXP Semiconductors has had to shut down its wafer fab and assembly plants in Austin, Texas, after power was diverted to residents and hospitals. The same has happened to fabs run by Infineon and Samsung in the area.
A major winter storm in Texas has seen rolling power cuts as the electricity generation failed to cope. As a result, electricity and natural gas providers have temporarily suspended service to Austin semiconductor manufacturers, including NXP, requiring the company to idle manufacturing at its two Austin facilities. This will impact on the work in progess in the wafer fab which was acquired with Freescale in 2015 and makes automotive microcontrollers.
Affected customers are being notified directly by NXP of the potential for supply disruptions. Only once power is restored will the company be able to say what will happen with the disrupted production. This will not help after profits fell during the Covid-19 pandemic and automotive chip shutdown and resulting shortages.
“We are carefully monitoring the situation and will resume operations in our Austin facilities as soon as possible,” said David Reed, executive vice president, Operations at NXP. “We are working to maintain our Austin factories in a safe state to enable high quality and reliable supply once operations restart. Once necessary utility services are restored, our operations team will be able to evaluate the impact of the shut down, and when full production will resume. In the meantime, our focus is on the health and safety of our employees and the Austin community.”
NXP also noted that all of its other manufacturing facilities outside Texas remain in full operation. It has previously highlighted that disruption by storms was possible for these two plants. The Oak Hill fab also includes NXP's US headquarters.
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