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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  • PeachNCream - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    Some people (thankfully not a majority by any stretch) must view the world through the lens of conspiracy and underhanded plots. If such critters didn't exist the market for survivalist bunkers and associated zombie apocalypse supplies would be significantly smaller. They are economic drivers and push share prices upward when they help grease the wheels if industry and commerce. Kindly stop trying to bring them around to accept reality while I am still looking to pull in dividends and ride a golden chariot to retirement upon their clueless backs.
  • Hul8 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    Well we *are* living at the age of stupid.
  • Hul8 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    ... defined as the one immediately following the information age; Once everyone can access and disseminate any information they want, they have the thought in their head that their beliefs are just as valid as other people's knowledge, and that "just throwing it out there" isn't that far from proving it.
  • HollyDOL - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    I would be quite surprised if there wasn't some kind of insurance in place. While I don't think Samsung would orchestrate this, I am quite confident they'll profit on this.
  • Speedfriend - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    I think you will find that insurance contracts are set up so that they can't profit on this. Or do you think the insurance industry is run by idiots?
  • HollyDOL - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    insurance industry is run by statistics
  • emn13 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    No, it's run by reason. And reasonable people have a decent idea of when statistics works, and when not. Huge risks that are rare enough to have poor data to feed statistics, and where the victim may game the system easily since they have more knowledge of the underlying risks than the insurer... I seriously doubt insurers are going to rely very heavily on what normal people might call statistics in those cases - if they even insure them at all this would have been a very human-guided risk analysis (obviously using whatever poor statistics they have, sure).
  • HollyDOL - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    I am not saying they will profit more on the insurance pay, but insurance pay plus already expected NAND price rise... they won't come short.
  • FullmetalTitan - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    From experience I can tell you an insurance claim against a local utility is only going to recoup about 40-50% of the total losses unless an investigation can show gross negligence in maintaining their equipment, then maybe more like 60%
  • hanselltc - Friday, January 3, 2020 - link

    An outage a year keeps the price drop away I guess

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