UMC said production line equipment at its Tainan factory, Fab 12A, shut down during the earthquake and that it was making minor repairs. The company also expects the impact of the temblor to be about 1.5 work days, it said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
On the same day as the earthquake, UMC also put out a press release saying that it plans to hire an additional 1,000 chip engineers for its southern Taiwan facilities.
It often requires hours or days to resume operations at a chip factory because chips on the production line can be damaged by the shaking and must be assessed, as well as due to the need to shut off and then restart the supply of gases and chemicals needed for chip manufacturing.
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), the world's largest chip packaging and testing company, said the earthquake had little impact on its production. The company has dozens of factories in Kaohsiung, a major city in Taiwan also close to the epicenter of the earthquake.
Seismic activity is nothing new to Taiwan. The island is hit by dozens of earthquakes every day, most too small to be felt. Companies on the island have developed strategies to protect devices on production lines from damage during a temblor, such as emergency stoppages, and often can resume normal operations quickly. There were a total of 24 earthquakes in Taiwan on Thursday, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. Only the one was strong enough to cause damage.