A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s fab near Pyeongtaek, South Korea, disrupted production and damaged tens of thousands of processed wafers. Media reports claim that the outage destroyed as much as 3.5% of the global NAND supply for March, which may have an effect on flash memory pricing in the coming weeks.

The outage happened on March 9 and lasted for about 30 minutes, according to a news story from Taiwain-based TechNews that cites further South Korean reports. The report claims that the outage damaged 50,000 to 60,000 of wafers with V-NAND flash memory, which represent 11% of Samsung’s monthly output. The report further estimates that the said amount equates to approximately 3.5% of global NAND output, but does not elaborate whether it means wafer output or bit output.

Samsung uses its fab near Pyeongtaek to produce 64-layer V-NAND chips used for various applications. The fab is among the largest flash production facilities in the world and therefore any disruption there has an effect on the global output of non-volatile memory. Meanwhile, since production lines have not been damaged and the fab is back online, the significance of such an effect is limited.

Power outages tend to happen on various semiconductor plants and at times they harm production wafers. Typically, companies can deal with the situation and unless manufacturing lines get damaged, major shortages of memory never happen if problems at fabs do not occur in peak seasons when manufacturers are building up stocks of new products. According to the report, Samsung has a stockpile of NAND chips, which is expected to enable to company to fulfill its short-term shipments commitments.

Samsung itself has already produced volumes of its latest Galaxy S9/S9+ smartphones it needed to support channel sales in the coming months, therefore it is not going to require massive amounts of NAND memory in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, other major consumers of NAND will start to build up inventory of memory only later this year when they start to prep for product launches in August or September.

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Source: TechNews

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  • baka_toroi - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    It's a possibility but not probable enough to rule out all other possibilities.
  • eddman - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    "The US gov and/or intel sent ninjas to sabotage the fab in order to keep South Korea and/or samsung behind." - this is what one of the posters here would say. You know who you are.
  • Hurr Durr - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    US is a neocohen war machine hell bent on starting nuclear war, so sending ninjas to screw with Samsung is nothing special at all.
  • bji - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    All it takes to start a nuclear war is one button press, you retard, so obviously, if "the US" (as if there really even is such a thing as "the US" as a single coherent entity in this discussion) wanted to start nuclear war, it would have been started already.
  • tipoo - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    Oh dear.

    This doesn't bode well with the other price issues.
  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    We can't be looking at a huge price bump that loiters for a long time. It seems like there's enough inventory available so that consumers won't see a significant jump in the already inflated prices of solid state storage.
  • Hereiam2005 - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    I am living in South Korea, reading South Korean papers, and there's no mention of this at all.
    A quick scan of several Korean newspapers, also no mention.
    Another Fake News trying to short stock?
  • bji - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    Someone else said it was reported two weeks ago, so maybe it's cycled its way out of the news sources there by now. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it could be the reason.
  • Hereiam2005 - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - link

    There is a nearly identical news, but it was in 2016 and in China instead.
    Wafer damage, power outage, etc.
    Someone recycled the news and everyone felt for it.
  • Sahrin - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    This is such a pack of lies. At Uni I worked in a power-dependent lab, and we spent hundreds of thousands building a power system that was essentially immune to medium term outages. The idea that somehow Samsung built a multi-billion dollar fab with a system that was capable of losing *hundreds of millions of dollars* of risk wafers is...laughable.

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