Apple Supplier TSMC takes draconian measures to ensure that their mass production of 5nm Processors remains on track
Last week Patently Apple posted a report titled "Positive Rumor Claims that TSMC will begin Mass Producing Apple's 5nm A14 Chip in April." In order to stay on schedule in light of COVID-19, TSMC is taking extraordinary precautionary measures internally to guard against the coronavirus, which has so far not affected its operations in Taiwan.
Digitimes is reporting today that TSMC has informed its suppliers that regulations to enter its factory sites in Taiwan have been tightened, given the spread of the virus worldwide. Suppliers with travel history to European countries have to self-isolate for 14 days before they are allowed to enter TSMC premises.
TSMC also disclosed suppliers and visitors entering TSMC are required to make entry reservations and fill in health declaration forms provided by the company.
TSMC added it continues to monitor the outbreak and will implement further countermeasures if necessary.
Judging from the coronavirus impact in the short term, some market watchers have expressed concerns about customers' cutbacks in orders that may affect negatively foundries' sales performance in the second quarter of 2020.
This is an important year for Apple as they enter the 5G market and introduce new 5nm processors for iPhones and iPads. We reported earlier this month that Apple's iPhone Assembler Foxconn had stated that normal production would likely resume by the end of March just as TSMC begins mass production of Apple's 5nm processors.
TSMC is going all out to protect it's plant from being contaminated in order to ensure that chip orders from both Apple and Huawei are not disrupted.
In another supply chain report today we learn that Huawei's chip arm HiSilicon is shifting some of its orders to Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) to ensure that their key chips aren't held back due to Apple's orders taking priority at TSMC.