A one-hour power outage at a Micron memory chip factory could cause DRAM prices to increase in 2021.
A Digitimes report from Dec. 3 said that one of Micron’s memory factories in Taiwan went dark for about an hour. The facility accounts for roughly nine per cent of the global DRAM supply, that’s about 125,000 wafers per month. According to Tom’s Hardware, the facility primarily produces DDR4 and LPDDR4 memory using 10nm technology.
Although seemingly innocuous, semiconductor engineering is a delicate business. DRAM on a production line can’t simply resume when it’s stopped unexpectedly. Depending on the stage of manufacturing, the power outage could have damaged the products and caused them to be dumped.
This hiccup could have lasting implications, including reduced output heading into 2021. LPDDR4 is often used in low-powered devices like laptops. And since the pandemic has driven up mobile PC sales due to people working from home, the demand for them is high. If there’s a sudden drop in supply, then the industry may see an increase in DRAM prices in 2021.
Micron did not describe the extent of the damage, only that power has been restored and the facility is operating normally again. Production should resume within a few days of the incident.