HSINCHU, Taiwan -- Taiwan's silicon foundries and DRAM plants emerged unscathed from a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the island today.
The temblor, which shook Taiwan for a few minutes around noon, didn't affect production at the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park, which supplies foundry services and semiconductor products to worldwide fabless design houses and OEMs such as Dell Computer Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp.
"The quake measured only about magnitude 3 in Hsinchu," said a spokesperson at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.Ltd. a few hours following the event. "There was no blackout or damage to our WIP [wafers in process]."
United Microelectronics Corp., TSMC's largest rival, reported the same situation. The vibration felt from the quake was "well below the designed tolerance levels of UMC's production facilities, therefore UMC wafer fabs experienced no loss of power or significant damage to equipment," the company said in a released statement. "Operations are expected to continue at normal manufacturing capabilities."
ProMos Technologies, a DRAM venture between Infineon Technologies A.G. and Taiwan's Mosel Vitelic Inc., didn't experience problems, either. "There was no impact on our production at all," said Albert Lin, director of the business operation division at ProMos.
No casualties or damage were reported elsewhere on the island, according to the Central Weather Bureau, which reported that the quake was centered 32 kilometers at sea off the island's eastern coast.
In 1999, a 7.6-magnitude quake in central Taiwan disrupted electronics manufacturing for days and claimed thousands of lives.