Infineon plant downed by power outage in Germany could worsen chip shortage

One of German auto chipmaker Infineon Technologies' most important manufacturing sites was forced to shut down after a power outage, potentially exacerbating a global semiconductor supply crunch.

The city of Dresden suffered a large-scale power disruption for 20 minutes from around 2 p.m. on 13 September, and Infineon’s factory there came to a complete halt, a Spokesperson said via email.

Production resumed on 14 September evening. The company did not quantify the impact.

Automakers are still struggling to secure supplies of components such as microcontrollers and power management chips. Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss said in August that the worldwide chip shortage is likely to drag into 2023.

“There are big logistical challenges that we’re seeing right now -- shipping costs are getting much higher, we’re seeing port shutdowns in China and other places that are trying to control the spread of Delta,” Sanford C. Bernstein Analyst Stacy Rasgon said, referring to the coronavirus variant. “It’s just a big hot mess.”

Infineon’s Dresden plant makes more than 400 different parts that are used across its product range, including automotive chips. The campus in the eastern German city is one of Infineon’s largest and most advanced production sites.

Robert Bosch and GlobalFoundries also operate plants in Dresden.

Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond when asked whether they were affected by the outage.