Each morning lots of pros in Wuhan, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, don protecting masks and hazmat-model fits earlier than they enter their office. They don’t seem to be hospital staff treating sufferers contaminated with the virus that has killed greater than 1,300 individuals in China to this point. Quite, they work for Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (XMC) and Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), which function hospital-model clear rooms designed to stop microscopic particles from contaminating silicon wafers.
The fallout from the lethal coronavirus outbreak for the tech trade and the worldwide provide chain has been important, with Canalys forecasting that China’s smartphone shipments would drop 40 to 50% within the first quarter of 2020. But the semiconductor manufacturing sector has been extra resilient to the influence because of its larger stage of automation and clear room atmosphere on the manufacturing facility flooring.
Jim Handy, semiconductor analyst from Objective Analysis in California, mentioned the “extremely clear and uncrowded” office in chip fabs would most likely restrict the unfold of any illness. Employees typically dwell in dormitories on the corporate’s campus, so they don’t must take public transport to work, he added.
That view was echoed by Linda Sui, director of Wireless Smartphone Strategies at Strategy Analytics, who stated labor-intensive firms like Foxconn have seen a a lot better affect as a result of employees getting back from their Spring Festival break have needed to endure 14-day quarantines earlier than resuming work.
Foxconn, which makes a lot of the world’s iPhones, employs greater than 1 million individuals in a dozen factories on the Chinese mainland, together with a significant facility in Zhengzhou, about 480km (300 miles) from the middle of the outbreak.
China enforced obligatory manufacturing unit shutdowns in at the very least 24 of its 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous areas from January 31 to February 9 in an effort to include the outbreak, however, that order doesn’t seem to have been directed at semiconductor factories which usually function 24/7.
An XMC spokeswoman informed the Post last week that its manufacturing facility strains haven’t been interrupted because of the coronavirus and that manufacturing continued safely through the Spring Festival holidays.
China is a key a part of the worldwide electronics trade’s worth chain, with semiconductors essential to the perform of on a regular basis shopper electronics, communications and computing merchandise, in addition to increasingly refined functions reminiscent of 5G and artificial intelligence.