Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Manufacturing/Packaging

Most Japan fabs survive 8.9 quake

Posted: 17 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor? fab? earthquake? effect?

The semiconductor industry may be profoundly impacted by the sudden reduction and capacity and the disruption of the materials supply chain that may make many of the materials used in chipmaking harder to come by.

Japanese suppliers accounted for more than one fifth of global semiconductor production in 2010, wherein companies headquartered in Japan generated more than a fifth of all chip revenue, $63.3 billion, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. On Monday the firm warned that while there are few reports of actual damage at electronic production facilities, the impact of the quake on Japan's transportation and power infrastructure will result in disruptions of supply, leading to short supply and rising prices of electronic components, including NAND flash memory, DRAM, MCUs, standard logic, LCD panels and LCD parts and materials. IHS also noted that Japan is the world's largest supplier of silicon used to make semiconductors, accounting for about 60 percent of the global total.

Many of the damaged fabs may remain offline for a prolonged period as Japan continues to grapple with the damage and prevent meltdowns at damaged nuclear reactors. The following are information available about the status of chip fabs and other facilities that have been impacted. The first part deals with the status of chipmakers, while the subsequent pages detail the status of equipment and materials suppliers, CE companies and automakers. Most of the information on the fabs was provided by companies that operate them.

Elpida Memory Inc., Japan's sole DRAM maker, said its 300mm fab in Hiroshima "suffered little impact because it is located in Hiroshima in the southwest of Japan, far from the northeastern regions struck by the earthquake. As of the morning of March 12 the plant (was) operating normally without any need to scrap wafers due to seismic effects. "Elpida's Akita Elpida Memory unit, based in Akita-shi, Akita, wasn't so lucky. That facility is responsible for chips requiring advanced packages and as its principal mass-production facility. "The Akita Elpida plant is not in operation as of the time of this announcement due to power shut down caused by the earthquake. As soon as the electricity comes back on, normal business operations can be resumed. There is no damage to the manufacturing equipment," according to Elpida.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. issued a statement saying that all employees of its 150mm wafer fab in Sendai are safe. Though Japanese language reports over the weekend said that the Sendai fab survived the quake with no equipment damage, Freescale has not provided a timetable for when this facility might reopen. The fab, formally known as Tohoku Semiconductor Corp. is located at Izumi-ku Sendai, about 8miles from the coast that was devastated by a tsunami wave following the earthquake. Freescale put the fab up for sale in 2009.

Fujitsu Ltd said a number of its facilities sustained damage from the earthquake, including its Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd fab in Iwate prefecture and its Fujitsu Integrated Microtechnology Ltd Miyagi plant in Miyagi prefecture, as well as four facilities in Fukushima prefecture. The company said the amount of loss and effects on profits as a result of the earthquake are currently unknown and that it would promptly make an announcement if the effects are significant.

Hitachi Group said several of its buildings and production facilities suffered damage, mainly at production bases in the Ibaraki prefecture. According to a report by Taiwan-based news outlet, the disaster may have tangential impact on Hitachi's chemical production. Taiwan's Vice Economics Minister Huang Chung-qiu said on March 13 that production of anisotropic conductive adhesive (ACF) used in panel module driver ICs and silicon wafers needed for the manufacture of semiconductors have been affected: "A shortage of these materials could have a profound impact on midstream electronics components and downstream IT industries," he said. He also mentioned that the primary producer of ACF is Hitachi Chemical, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the total global production, as well.

Molex Inc. reported its employees in Japan are safe and that none of its three facilities were damaged in the massive earthquake. Molex has major operations in Shizouka, Kagoshima and Yamato City, none of which are in the northeastern part of the country that was hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami. "With the situation also evolving rapidly in regard to transportation and infrastructure issues, we do not yet know what the effect will be on Molex's business. As we work to assess how this will affect Molex, our business continuity teams are working to ensure we continue to supply customers," said Martin Slark, vice chairman and CEO, in a statement.

On Semiconductor Corp. reported power loss and limited physical damage to its 6-inch wafer fab in Aizu. The company said its fab in Niigata, recently acquired along with Sanyo Semiconductor also reported limited physical damage, but sustained no power loss. The Niigata facility was initially evacuated as a precaution but operations were later restored, On Semi said. Another former Sanyo fab in Gifu sustained limited damage and was taken off line at least temporarily, according to On Semi. It is not known whether that fab has restored operations. Two of On Semi's back-end packaging facilities were also damaged, according to the company.

1???2???3???4?Next Page?Last Page

Article Comments - Most Japan fabs survive 8.9 quake
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top