Apple chipmaker TSMC recovers after virus cripples manufacturing line

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According to Bloomberg, a computer virus disrupted production at several factories owned by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on the evening of Friday, August 3.

TSMC said the disruption is expected to knock 3% off its third-quarter revenue, which it had previously forecast would be in the range of $8.45 billion and $8.55 billion.

The degree of infection varied by fab. TSMC said it found a solution and has now contained the virus, and has also restored 80 percent of the company's affected tools.

"The Company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in U.S. dollars given on July 19, 2018", TSMC said. It is the first time a virus had ever brought down a TSMC facility, recalling the WannaCry cyberattacks of 2017 that forced corporations around the world to suspend operations as they rooted out the ransomware. TSMC says no confidential information was compromised in the virus attack and most customers have been notified.

It added that it has "taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures". At this point in time, the details of the virus are scarce but the shutdowns prevailed as TSMC ramped up its chip production for the 2018 iPhone models.

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Aside from this issue, both Apple and TSMC are having a good year, with Apple boasting a market value in excess of $1 trillion. An Apple spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The chip manufacturer didn't specify what it was producing when this problem occurred, but given the timing it was nearly certainly the Apple A12.

"If the most advanced 7nm process products suffer a major impact, then concern could arise over a potential launch delay for next-gen iPhones", SMBC Nikko analysts wrote on Monday.

(TSMC), the sole manufacturer of the iPhone's main processor, was shut down following a virus attack.

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