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Fab Fire Causes DRAM Price Surge

9/6/2013 07:40 AM EDT
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rick merritt
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An investigation
rick merritt   9/6/2013 12:32:00 PM
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Two things here cry out for an investigation: I don't recall when I last heard about a fire on a fab. Safety conditions in China fans may be worth looking into Also now that the industry is building mega fabs that handle things like "ten percent of the world's DRAM supply" an industry/govt group should explore safeguards for this class of dependency

rick merritt
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Re: An investigation
rick merritt   9/6/2013 12:45:36 PM
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BTW, if someone wants to pay my airfare, I'd be happy to go to Wuxi and help do it! Better pay for a couple good fab experts, too, though.

Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: An investigation
Sheetal.Pandey   9/6/2013 2:30:05 PM
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What was the reason of fire that lasted 90 min.

Sanjib.A
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Re: An investigation
Sanjib.A   9/7/2013 12:27:50 PM
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Not sure if the semiconductor fabs would spend money for installing so called "Safety Systems" for protection against such hazards, but at the minimum it should have had a basic fire protection system...isn't? Anyways, why the price has to go up...do the other companies cannot make up for this gap in Hynix production? Or they just might want to grab this opportunity to hike the price for DRAM which was expecting a downturn several months back?

_hm
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Re: An investigation
_hm   9/7/2013 6:11:50 PM
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It looks fabs are more susceprtible to fire hazard. It has happened in India and few other places. It will interesting to know exact cause of fire at this fab. If we co-relate it to fire at other fabs, we can take preventive action in design of system. It is sad loss and hope it is resolved soon to begin production.

m00nshine
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Re: An investigation
m00nshine   9/7/2013 8:36:55 PM
Semiconductor manufacturing requires the use of some of the most toxic, flammable, corrosive, and simply dangerous gasses and chemicals known. Semiconductor fabs are so hazardous, they are classified all by themselves in International Building Code...and they are the only facility type to have this distinction. Google Silane, Disilane, DCS, ClF3, WF6, BCl3, etc. for some properties of the more dangerous ones. Manufacturing requires strict design and engineering controls including many sophisticated safety systems. Cutting corners with safety systems simply don't make sense because they are well known, widespread, inexpensive, and the risk of not having them is too great (life, property, output, etc). I have been in many many fabs in US and Asia, and in my experience safety systems are one universal constant among them. The weakness in any fab will always be people. Even with training, people make mistakes and do things with significant consequences. I would bet human error is root cause of this fire, and key prevention measure is training/controlling the people.

Sanjib.A
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Re: An investigation
Sanjib.A   9/7/2013 10:15:19 PM
@m00nshine: Thank you for sharing the knowledge. I have not visited a single fab yet and my comment was based on the assumptions that I did not think that the probability of occurrences of hazards in a semiconductor fab might be as severe as the same in the industries such as Oil refineries/off-shore platforms, where installing SIL2/3 rated safety systems is a regulatory requirement. You are correct, cost of lives (and properties) in case of an accident is much much more than cost of installing "costly" safety systems. I am interested to know which are the typical applications for the safety systems installed in fabs? for protection against toxic gas leakage & fire? Are there any standards to follow?

BOMBOVA
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By Chance betting on the downside
BOMBOVA   9/8/2013 12:29:46 AM
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i purchased ten trays of 8 Gbyte, n 16 Gbyte ECC memory for servers.  "inJune of this year" ,    well,  to my surprise,    the close of this week,  i am getting offerings from server builders, a 25 percent premium on my offerings.     Needless to say, what a quick reaction to a fire, this industry capitulates to.  

goafrit
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Re: An investigation
goafrit   9/8/2013 5:38:44 AM
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>> Safety conditions in China fans may be worth looking into

Should not be a problem. If they operate on market forces, they will go bankrupt. The problem is that they get free money and that is why we need to "look into" their operations. If you can afford $1B to build a fab, it makes sense you can at least mitigate fire risk

goafrit
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Re: An investigation
goafrit   9/8/2013 5:48:33 AM
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>>  Better pay for a couple good fab experts, too, though.

Not the best idea - better ask them to get funds as other market-force operating entities do.

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