It might come as shock to some especially the Apple fanboys, that Apple’s supplier TSMC just got attacked by a virus and the factory had no choice but to halt its operations.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Taiwan Based Semiconductor Manufacturer Company had to shut down its several factories, once their systems got affected by a computer virus last night. It should be noted that TSMC is not just one of the largest but essentially the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, and perhaps its most notable customer is none other than the Silicon-Valley giant: Apple. Though its chips are also used by companies like AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm.
As per a statement from the company itself, the virus managed to infect its various “fabrication tools”. Though the degree of attack varies considerably from one factory to another. Because of the severity of the attack, some factories might not be able to resume operations until tomorrow. On the other hand, some were lucky enough to have dealt with the issue already and now seem to be operational again.
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According to the company’s CFO, Lora Ho this is not the first time that TSMC had to deal with viruses. There are attacks albeit on a small scale now and then. What makes this virus different is its severity that the company had to totally halt some of its factories. Though it isn’t yet known if those factories were currently producing chips for Apple or some other company and whether if they had been compromised. Good Luck buying the next Apple device.
Not only this, nor did the CFO tell the amount of revenue possibly lost by the company due to this attack. This is one of those times when production lines are typically working at their maximum potential to make it possible to create chips for the new generation of products by tech-companies.
Most importantly, Apple’s new iPhone would use the A12 chip as announced by the company in May. Thus, there is no way to tell exactly how much this delay could hamper Apple’s own iPhone production, though one thing which can be said is that it would certainly affect to an extent.
The A12 is expected to use a 7 nm process and thus is supposed to be faster, smaller and more power efficient.