Power is key to the electronics supply chain

March 25, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Power is key to the electronics supply chain
Multiple recent events have shown how critical power is to the electronics supply chain

The recent fire at the OVH data centre in Strasbourg has demonstrated quite how critical power is to operation of the world’s supply chains. One building at OVH was destroyed in the fire, initially assessed as caused by an uninterruptible power supply after its maintenance. But the high voltage power lines shut down as a result, cutting off three other buildings and the digital services of over 6,000 customers with four times the impact of the initial fire.

At the same time, NXP's wafer fabs in Austin, Texas has only just come back online after power was diverted to residential homes during winter storms. The Samsung’s fab in the city is still down and Infineon’s is up and running but will take another month to reach full production. While the fabs had the opportunity to pause production, the storm and subsequent loss of utilities damaged NXP’s two wafer manufacturing facilities in Austin and caused a full shutdown for over a month. NXP is currently evaluating the wafer-level work in process (WIP) to ensure appropriate product quality, but around a month of wafer production has been lost to date from NXP’s two Austin-based wafer manufacturing facilities says the company, costing around $100m.

“The weather conditions and utility disruptions the state of Texas experienced last month were truly unprecedented. We are pleased that our Austin facilities have now resumed initial operations and we are making solid progress on our recovery plan designed to return the wafer fabs to pre-storm production levels. We understand the supply disruptions may impact our customers and we are working to ramp to full production while maintaining quality for these complex manufacturing processes,” said Kurt Sievers, NXP’s President and CEO.

“We are pleased that the fab in Austin is up and running after the required shutdown,” said Jochen Hanebeck, COO of Infineon. “Based on our latest assessments, the impact will

Picture: 
OVH SB4, the data centre building in Strasbourg, on fire

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