Data Center News Roundup: TSMC Operations Halted by Earthquake, Construction Trends Uncovered

In this week's top data center news, TSMC recovers from a major earthquake, and industry experts discuss this year’s biggest data center construction trends.

James Walker

April 5, 2024

4 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox.

Natural Disasters 

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry restarted operations on Thursday (April 4) and emergency personnel worked to help injured and trapped citizens as the island began to recover from its worst earthquake in 25 years. 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the leading producer of advanced chips for Apple and Nvidia Corporation, said it would resume production less than 24 hours after evacuating staff and halting operations. The company said there has been no damage to its most critical chip-making equipment. 

That statement was bolstered by news from Tainan Science Park, where many of those advanced chips are manufactured, that most operations have resumed.  

Technological advancements in Taiwan appear to have kept damage and casualties relatively low after the 7.4 magnitude quake struck the island’s east coast early Wednesday. 

Over in the US, a network outage knocked out National Weather Service radar systems and many forecast offices’ capability to issue tornado and severe thunderstorm alerts early Tuesday, as dangerous weather moved across the Midwest. 

The breakdown lasted more than four hours, Weather Service officials said, creating “intermittent” network disruptions at many of its 122 offices. 

Operations were back to normal as of 6:30 a.m. Eastern, Weather Service spokeswoman Susan Buchanan said after the agency shifted network services from a data center in College Park, Maryland, to one in Boulder, Colorado. 

Semiconductor Surge 

The global semiconductor industry continues to show signs that it is bouncing back from last year’s dip in sales, with one research house forecasting a 16% growth in 2024 as demand for generative AI increases. 

New research from Omdia has revealed that the global semiconductor supply chain is forecasted to reach approximately $600 billion by 2024, having navigated through strategic inventory adjustments in recent quarters.

“Nvidia currently dominates the AI accelerator market, particularly for cloud and data center deployments,” said Omdia senior analyst Claire Wen. “Concurrently, major hyperscale cloud service providers like GoogleAmazon, and Microsoft are developing their own AI Application Specific Integrated Circuits to enhance cost-efficiency and performance tailored to their unique AI workloads.” 

The Omdia report came as the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced global semiconductor industry sales totaled $46.2 billion during February 2024 – an increase of 16.3% over the prior-year period. 

Open the Stargate 

Microsoft and OpenAI are reportedly in discussion to create a new data center in the US. According to a report in The Information, the facility could cost more than $100 billion and would house an AI supercomputer called Stargate. 

DataBank has completed the lease buy-back of 7185 Pollock Drive in Las Vegas, which houses its LAS1 data center. The facility was recently expanded to 36,800 sq.ft and 3.55 MW of critical IT load power. 

In Asia, Nvidia and Indonesian telco PT Indosat are understood to be planning an ‘AI center’ in Central Java worth $200 million.

For more on the latest data center developments, check out our April roundup

Build Fast, Build Smart 

Key issues impacting the data center construction space will take center stage at the Data Center Build summit this month. 

Ahead of the event, which runs as part of the Data Center World conference and expo in Washington, DC, industry experts set the scene by laying out the top trends they expect to take place in the data center construction space this year. 

According to Ron Vokoun, Director of National Market Development at Everus Construction Group and chair of Data Center Build, one of the most significant trends in data center construction in 2024 is the emphasis on getting things done quickly and efficiently. 

“Data center construction is all about speed in this labor-constrained market,” Vokoun tells Data Center Knowledge. “Any and all ideas that can increase throughput on the construction site without requiring more labor will be given consideration.” 

Bill Kleyman, program chair for Data Center World and the author of AFCOM’s State of the Data Center Report, underscored AI’s pivotal role in the industry. 

“The pace of acceleration in digital infrastructure has been quite extraordinary, and all of it is being led by the 500-pound GPT-generated gorilla in the room: Generative AI,” he said. 

Check out the full report for all the details. 

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week 

Unlocking Tomorrow's Data Centers: A Deep Dive into Next-Gen Innovations. This free report explores how AI innovations, nuclear power, quantum technology, and turbocharged fiber-optic networks are poised to shape the future of digital infrastructure. 

US, UK Form Historic Alliance on AI Safety, Testing. Under the agreement, both countries will share knowledge on AI model risks and security measures. 

New Data Center Developments: April 2024. We look at some of the latest data center developments that have been announced over the past month. 

Amazon Is Cutting Hundreds of Jobs in Cloud Computing Division. Job cuts will affect AWS sales and marketing employees, among others. 

Garima Kochhar of Dell Technologies: Fueling Innovation and Inclusivity in Tech. Garima Kochhar, Senior Distinguished Engineer at Dell Technologies, on driving technological advancement and fostering inclusivity in the data center industry. 

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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