Micron says operations at Taiwan plant recovering after output hiccup

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc denied a report on Wednesday of a major malfunction at one of its plants in Taiwan, but said there had been a minor incident and that it had no impact on the business.

Tech research firm TrendForce said in a report that a nitrogen gas dispensing system malfunction had led to the contamination of wafers and equipment in one of Micron’s facilities near central Taiwan and that some output had to be scrapped.

DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, estimated that at least 5.5 percent of the global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip production capacity for July was affected.

“Regarding recent rumours about Micron’s fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel,” Micron said in a statement. “There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business.”

Micron did not elaborate in its statement.

TrendForce analysts base their reports on channel checks in the supply chain, a media officer with TrendForce told Reuters.

The price of memory chips, considered commodity tech goods, are sensitive to supply and demand changes and soaring demand for processing firepower on smartphones and servers has fueled an industry super-cycle amid limited supply growth.

Micron’s Taiwan operations used to be a joint venture with a Taiwanese partner before it bought the remaining stake of what was called Inotera last year.

Reporting by J.R. Wu; editing by Susan Thomas