Chipmakers are asking US officials for permission to work during the coronavirus pandemic

nanoguy

Posts: 450   +4
Staff member

The coronavirus pandemic has already left its mark on almost every industry and is testing the limits of the medical systems in countries from Europe, and, given the current rate of newly confirmed cases of infection, the US.

Tech companies have also been hit by the crisis, and an industry association representing the largest US semiconductor companies is currently working with federal officials that have ordered lockdowns to convince them to allow their continued operation.

In its public letter, the Semiconductor Industry Association argues that chipmakers with local factories such as Micron and Intel are essential in producing the technology that helps fight the virus by powering computers and data centers that make it possible for millions of professionals to work from home and communicate with others. Not only that, but every piece of medical equipment, power grids, transportation systems, education, and pretty much every human activity nowadays makes use of technology on some level.

SIA president John Neuffer says Homeland Security should refine guidance sent to state officials to prevent any manufacturing disruptions. He notes that "ensuring the continuity of semiconductor and related supply chains is necessary to support the even greater range of services that will be digitized in the coming weeks and months."

There is a strong case to be made that cleanroom operations in the semiconductor industry are highly automated and take place in large areas where people are usually working at a distance from each other and filtration systems keep out airborne particulates that are 0.1 micrometer in size (for reference, Covid-19 is 0.125 micrometers).

Their work is also subject to strict protocols to prevent contaminants, from the moment they enter the facility through an airlock wearing full protective clothing and masks, and throughout their work day. This has been demonstrated by South Korea and China where semiconductor manufacturing has been operating successfully by following stricter safety protocols, which is why Samsung was able to deliver one million DDR4 DRAM modules using EUV lithography.

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Nobina

Posts: 2,421   +2,024
I'd choose peoples health over their greediness. The virus has the potential to kill them and infect their close ones. That is unless workers don't mind cause they also got to keep earning money.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,119   +3,208
I'd choose peoples health over their greediness. The virus has the potential to kill them and infect their close ones. That is unless workers don't mind cause they also got to keep earning money.
If they get permission, this may backfire on them. If they increase supply while demand is low - given 3.3 Million Americans filed for unemployment last week, prices may end up dropping way more than they would like.

With more confirmed cases in the US of COVID-19 than anywhere else in the world, this may indeed backfire on them exactly like you say.
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,312   +5,699
I think we have enough chips floating around to get us passed this epidemic. Continued supply of chips is not essential.
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 47   +46
...a bunch of excuses made by irresponsable people who try to get profit during a pandemic.
Stay at home to prevent diffusion of the virus. Life will continue even if you stop to produce new cpu for a few weeks.
 

seeprime

Posts: 454   +491
I think we have enough chips floating around to get us passed this epidemic. Continued supply of chips is not essential.
I disagree. Our small shop has seen an increase in both repairs and new PC sales, due to the work-from-home bunch needing PC's to connect to work. A drop in the supply of chips will immediately impact the cost of existing parts. As long as the few workers needed in the clean rooms follow safety guidelines, it's a good idea to keep them working, to help avoid another financial shock to the economy that might snowball into a very deep economic depression.

Let's be safe and sensible.
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,312   +5,699
Our small shop has seen an increase in both repairs and new PC sales
And you also think your small shop is essential as well. From your perspective no one can shut down. All jobs are essential.

I have news for you. We can survive without any electronics. We have done so for many centuries in the past.