Samsung had to stop production of DRAM and V-NAND memory at its fab near Hwaseong, South Korea, due to power outage earlier this week. Damage caused by disruption of production is something that is yet to be determined, but the company told local news agencies that it would take days to restore operations of the fab.

The power outage lasted for about a minute and was caused by an explosion of a power transmission cable at a local substation. According to media reports citing sources with knowledge of the matter, it will take Samsung two or three days to restore operations of the production facility, but the sources declined to reveal whether or not manufacturing equipment was broken.

It is unclear how many wafers containing DRAM and V-NAND memory were processed at the time of the outage and how many of them were damaged, but we do know that the fab complex produces both types of memory at the same time.

Power outages tend to happen on various semiconductor plants. Back in March 2018 a blackout took place at Samsung’s memory fab near Pyeongtaek, South Korea, whereas in June 2018 an outage happened at Yokkaichi Operations complex operated by Toshiba/Kioxia and Western Digital. In both cases the outages damaged production and caused massive financial losses.

Samsung is currently gearing up to release its new high-end smartphones in the first half of the 2020. Typically, the company (just like its rivals) is stockpiling DRAM and V-NAND memory ahead of major launches, so the consequences of the outage remain to be seen.

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Sources: Reuters, Yonhap

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  • dgingeri - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    UPS and generators would be advisable for a site like that. Most places I've worked have had that much. It's a wonder why Samsung, of all companies, would not have that.
  • menting - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    there are UPS systems in place for all these companies, but the UPS only provides protection from power spikes and power outages in the seconds range.
  • Sahrin - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    I think the DoJ's antitrust regulators would find that there is in fact a working UPS system.

    Or rather, they would if we had a government that cared about investigating businesses for corruption.
  • svan1971 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    Perhaps the US governments corruption needs to be dealt with before worrying about businesses in Korea.
  • Skeptical123 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    Ahh yess everything in the country has to be perfect before they comment on anyone else. Thats wise.............
  • Byte - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    We have servers here that can last a few days as they have a huge gas tank, as big as a normal gast stations. They provide lot of CDN services so outage is not an option. Tesla also made a 100mW system for Aus, they will probably look into an LG one soon!
  • Skeptical123 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    lol ya, this is the industry norm. Idk what so hard about this for people to get.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    Bear in mind that it's industrial fabrication, which requires a lot of power. So the necessary 50 MW+ UPS is not really viable.
  • Cullinaire - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    I would love to see a calculation/visualization of any commercially available power backup equipment capable of powering an entire modern fab for more than a few minutes.
  • Mccaula718 - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    UPS is only expected for minutes while waiting for generators to start up. That visualization would be interesting though

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