The earthquake shut down the factory responsible for 9% of the world’s memory production

In the first half of September, there was an earthquake in Taiwan that reached the 5.6 Richter scale, which is the boundary between a moderate and strong earthquake. Although narrowly, it did not shut down any important operation, either directly by hitting it, or indirectly by shutting down the energy sources needed for its operation.

Six weeks later, we have another earthquake, which reached 6.5 degrees and continued for several more days with shocks of about 4 degrees, followed by a shock of 6.2 degrees. Although the difference between 5.6 and 6.5 degrees seems not very significant on paper, in reality it is the last straw that exceeds the limit of negligible and appreciable damage.

Micron’s unencapsulated DRAMs

The incident shut down the Micron Fab 11 factory in Taoyuan. It is one of two key factories in Taiwan producing DRAMs. Last year, 125,000 wafers rolled off its lines per month (ie 1.5 million for the whole year), accounting for 9% of global DRAM production. According to analysts, the extent of the damage is not yet clear, but if production is not fully resumed in a matter of days, this event may affect the availability and prices of DRAM memory, ie from the user’s point of view DDR4 and DDR5 for desktops and laptops and GDDR6 and GDDR6X for graphics card. Micron is currently the only manufacturer of GDDR6X; however, it is not clear what the current distribution of the portfolio is between the company’s individual factories.

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