Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Wafer production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), the world's top two contract chip makers, remained normal Wednesday despite an approaching tropical storm.
TSMC and UMC said their production lines have so far not been affected by Tropical Storm Talim, even if the weather front has forced most counties and cities in Taiwan to announce school and office closures on expectations of strong winds and heavy rains.
Joining counties and cities in central and southern Taiwan, the Hsinchu City government announced that schools and offices in the city would be closed as a precaution starting Wednesday noon as the storm approached.
The Hsinchu Science Park, which houses many Taiwanese high-tech firms, including TSMC and UMC, is located in the city. The two companies operate 8-inch and 12-inch wafer plants in the science park.
TSMC and UMC said employees in non-production departments were taking a half day off Wednesday in response to the city government's announcement, but workers at the wafer plants remained on the job without any interruption.
The city government said it took the precaution after the Central Weather Bureau forecast stronger winds Wednesday afternoon as Talim approached.
As of 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Talim was centered 80 kilometers north-northwest of the outlying Penghu County, moving at a speed of 39-42 kph in a northeasterly direction.
It is packing maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts reaching 108 kph, according to the bureau.
MediaTek Inc., a fabless integrated designer in Taiwan, said all of its employees in the Hsinchu Science Park took a half day off Wednesday because it does not have a production line there.
TSMC and UMC also operate wafer production lines in Taichung and Tainan, which were affected by the tropical storm earlier than Hsinchu in the north, but the two companies said their operations in the two cities have also not been affected by the storm.
(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)