Micron Technology Reveals DRAM Supply Affected by Taiwan Earthquake

Memory chipmaker Micron Technology has announced that the earthquake that struck Taiwan on April 3 has impacted a quarter of its dynamic random access memory (DRAM) supply, with a decrease of up to a mid-single digit percentage.
MicronMicron Technology, a prominent player in the semiconductor industry, disclosed that the earthquake had disrupted its operations in Taiwan, a crucial hub in the global chip supply chain. The company, which operates in four locations across the island, expressed concerns over potential disruptions caused by the seismic event.

In fiscal Q4 2023, Micron reported revenue of $4.01 billion versus $3.75 billion for the prior quarter and $6.64 billion for the same period last year. In 2023, Micron has generated sales revenue of $15.54 billion versus $30.76 billion for the prior year. Micron does not reveal the revenue from its DRAM business.

Although Micron clarified that it had not yet fully resumed DRAM production following the earthquake, it assured stakeholders that there would be no long-term impact on its DRAM supply capability. DRAM, essential for data centers, personal computers, smartphones, and various computing devices, underscores Micron’s pivotal role in the technology ecosystem.

Investors have responded positively to Micron’s prospects, especially amidst soaring demand for its chips driven by the burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) industry. In February, Micron announced the commencement of mass production of its high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips, designed for Nvidia’s H200 graphics processing units utilized in AI applications, Reuters news report said.

Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra highlighted in March that Micron’s HBM chips, integral to AI application development, were already sold out for 2024, with a significant portion of the 2025 supply already allocated. However, the company did not provide specific details regarding the potential impact of the earthquake on its HBM chip supplies.

In a recent report, TrendForce underscored the earthquake’s impact on the DRAM sector, particularly affecting Nanya’s Fab 3A in New Taipei and Micron’s Linkou plant.

While Nanya’s affected facility primarily focuses on 20/30nm processes, with ongoing development of its latest 1Bnm process, Micron’s Linkou and Taichung plants, now integrated into a unified system, serve as critical sites for DRAM production. These plants, leveraging the latest 1beta nm process technology, are expected to swiftly recover, with uninterrupted production, including HBM chips, continuing in Taiwan.

Additionally, other semiconductor facilities resumed operations progressively after inspections, with PSMC and Winbond reporting no damages.

Micron Technology’s disclosure of the earthquake’s impact on its DRAM supply underscores the vulnerability of the semiconductor industry to natural disasters and the resilience required to maintain uninterrupted production in critical global hubs like Taiwan.

Baburajan Kizhakedath