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Apple chip supplier TSMC says earthquake damage will have bigger impact than expected

The damage to Apple chip supplier TSMC from a Feb. 6 earthquake was reportedly more severe than estimated, and will indeed result in fewer wafers shipping to clients during the March quarter.




The setback will be more than 1 percent, though the company didn't quantify by how much, DigiTimes said on Monday. While machines in TSMC's Fab 6 and Fab 14B buildings have already been restored, the damage to Fab 14 was worse than thought.

In the immediate aftermath of the quake, TSMC claimed that shipments would fall less than 1 percent. The company suggested, in fact, that it would be able to make up for any losses.

In human terms, the disaster killed at least five people in Taiwan, and injured 144 more. Some 220 people had to be rescued from damaged buildings.

TSMC splits the responsibility of making A9 processors for Apple devices (like the iPhone 6s) with Samsung, taking a secondary role. It is however rumored to be assuming full control of "A10" production for devices like the next-generation "iPhone 7," shipping later this year. If so the company will likely need maximum output to keep up with demand — Apple regularly ships tens of millions of iPhones in a single quarter.