iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia.

a15 chip
The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip.

Industry sources speaking to Nikkei Asia said that all of the processors for Apple's upcoming ‌iPhone‌ and Mac devices are produced at this facility. This presumably translates to the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon, containing the "A15" and "M1X" or "M2" chips.

Gas used in the production of these chips was found to be contaminated on Thursday night. TSMC told Nikkei Asia: "Some TSMC production lines in the South Taiwan Science Park received certain gases from suppliers that are believed to be contaminated. These were quickly replaced with other gas supplies." Employees who had gone home were called back to the factory to bring the situation under control.

The company said that it is carrying out follow-up operations to ensure that product quality is not affected, and the incident is not believed to have caused a "significant impact on operations." Sources speaking to Nikkei Asia said that the gas contamination had affected the chip manufacturing process, but only in a limited way.

The contamination comes at a particularly bad time for Apple, as the company and its suppliers are currently said to be finalizing components for the final assembly process of new ‌iPhone‌ and Mac models by the end of August.

The ‌iPhone 13‌ lineup is expected to launch in Apple's normal September timeframe. Redesigned MacBook Pro models featuring Apple silicon chips are also still expected to arrive this year, either alongside the iPhone 13 in September or at a separate event around October.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 14 & 16" , iPhone 13
Tags: Nikkei, TSMC
Related Forums: MacBook Pro, iPhone

Top Rated Comments

apparatchik Avatar
34 months ago
I can picture Intel’s new CEO petting a white cat while laughing loudly on a dark and solitary office…
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5105973 Avatar
34 months ago
I had no idea gas was involved in making chips. In my household it’s the other way around!
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
34 months ago
But it's aaaaalright, in fact it's a gas
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jakebrosy Avatar
34 months ago
This may not sound like a big deal but, having worked in a fab, I know how bad this can be.

While I didn't sell to Fab 18, it's 300mm and 5nm, and depending on how early in the process the contaminated gas was introduced, and was it a flush gas or was it deposited, this could have a significant impact on production. This could mean the loss of millions of dollars of production and require the cleaning of dozens of machines, conveyors, handlers...bad, really really bad.

Beside a broken wafer or handling finger this is about an engineer's biggest fear in a fab. I would not want to be the gas supplier right now.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsorcery Avatar
34 months ago
Maybe apple should skip the phones this year and concentrate on the mac transition.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WWPD Avatar
34 months ago
Whose bright idea was it to have chili night at the TSMC factory?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...