Apple silicon processor maker TSMC has ordered water supplies to help minimize disruption caused by the ongoing drought in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s central and southern regions have been in a drought for many months with reservoir levels now below 20% of capacity. Technology companies, including Apple manufacturer TSMC, are planning contingency plans after a year of little rainfall and no Typhoon expected regularly.
According to Reuters, the Taiwanese government has so far mainly focused on the damage to the country’s auto industry. However, the water shortage of all tech companies was exacerbated by the trade war between China and the US.
The trade dispute has reportedly led to an expansion of local factories and thus increased demand for the already declining water supply. TSMC told Reuters that it was not yet directly affected, but was planning ways to postpone cut production.
“We are preparing for our future demand,” a spokesman told Reuters. During these preparations, which the spokesman also referred to as the “pressure test”, truck loads of water are ordered. The delivery is sent to the various TSMC facilities in the region.
Other semiconductor companies in Taiwan have started to do the same. This includes Vanguard International, which previously supplied processors for Apple EarPods.
The water problems in Taiwan are due to the global shortage of critical rare earth materials used in processors, exacerbating the global chip supply. President Biden plans to sign an executive order designed to help both domestic US manufacturing and international supply chains.