iPhone 13 processor plant hit by gas contamination incident

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TSMC says that the factory that will supply chips for the iPhone 13 and new mini-LED MacBook Pro (2021) has been hit by a gas contamination issue.

Nikkei Asia reports:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s most important plant for supplying Apple processors has been hit by a contamination of gas used in the chipmaking process, the company said on Friday.

The factory -- dubbed Fab 18 -- is the company's most advanced chipmaking facility. All of the latest processors for upcoming iPhones and Mac computers are produced there, industry sources told Nikkei Asia.

The company told Nikkei that "some" production lines in the South Taiwan Science Park had received gases from certain suppliers that it believed were contaminated, but that these had been quickly replaced. The company also said that it was carrying out follow-up operations to make sure there would be no issues with production quality.

As the report notes the factory will be the main source of processors for the iPhone 13 and Mini-LED MacBook Pro models rumored for release later this year. Apple will reportedly include an A15 chip in the new iPhone, and a new M1X chip in the MacBook Pro. The latter will reportedly feature 10 cores including eight high-performance cores, support for up to 64GB of RAM, and 32 graphics cores. The A15 will be a big upgrade in performance over the iPhone 12, currently Apple's best iPhone.

Nikkei quotes other sources who say that the impact on manufacturing would be limited, but that apparently the incident was serious enough that employees who had finished for the day had to be called back to work to get the situation under control.

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