Malaysia lockdown could worsen global IC shortage

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

A nationwide lockdown in Malaysia has made disruptions to the output from local chip plants, which fulfill mainly orders for entry-level and mid-range logic ICs, and power diodes and other power components for use in PCs and other mass-market applications, according to industry sources.

The coronavirus-induced lockdown in Malaysia could exacerbate the global semiconductor shortage, the sources said. It also remains to be seen whether the event will create further delays in the global automotive supply chain, the sources indicated.

Malaysia has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 infections, prompting the government to extend the nationwide lockdown indefinitely. Local chip plants in Malaysia have experienced temporary shutdowns, and are then allowed to have as low as 30% of total employees keep operations running, the sources noted.

Nevertheless, with the pandemic still out of control in Malaysia, constrained output at local chip plants may result in supply chain disruptions on a global scale, the sources said.

Malaysia is where over 50 international chip vendors operate their regional fabs, including IDMs Infineon, NXP, Renesas, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments (TI), and power semiconductor specialists including Nexperia, Intel, AMD and X-Fab. Taiwan-based OSAT ASE Technology also runs a plant in Malaysia.