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Japan quake impacts electronics supply chain

Posted: 16 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wafer fab  electronics supply chain  fab tool vendor 

Japanese chipmakers are still assessing the impact of the quake. Fujitsu Ltd issued the following statement. ''As of 6:00 pm JST, there have been no reports of any injuries that have been sustained by our Fujitsu employees from the earthquake that hit northern and central Japan today. There have been reports of slight damages to our buildings and power outages; however, there have been no reports of any severe damage. We are currently confirming whether this disaster has affected our regular business operations.''

''We are assessing the situation'' in Japan, according to a spokeswoman from Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. ''As with any significant disaster, much information is coming in piecemeal and unconfirmed. TAEC is working with other affiliates and Toshiba Corp. to sift through the information to determine what can be accurately reported. When confirmed information is available, we will provide it.''

There were signs of a fab power outage, however. ''Currently, there are indications that the Iwate factory has been affected by a power outage. All factories are being inspected for damage,'' she said. ''In addition to delivery interruptions that may arise from factory damage, shipments of product may be affected by disruptions in road, rail, sea and air transportation within and from Japan.''

A spokeswoman from Renesas Electronics America Inc. said: ''Some of our facilities are located in Northern Japan. Right now, our team in Japan is checking on damage that may have occurred to our facilities. As aftershocks are frequently occurring, our priority right now is to ensure the safety of our employees and carefully assess the status of any damage.''

Japan fab locations

Figure 1: Location of fabs in Japan (Source: Objective Analysis).

Flash memory vendor SanDisk Corp. said in a statement that the epicentre of the quake was approximately 800km from Yokkaichi, the location of two fab joint ventures between SanDisk and Toshiba. "Both fabs were down for a short period of time due to the earthquake and were back up and operational as of Friday morning, Pacific Time," SanDisk said.

There were no injuries to SanDisk employees based in Japan, SanDisk said. "SanDisk's current assessment is that there has been minimal immediate impact on wafer output due to the earthquake," the statement said. "SanDisk continues to assess the situation for any potential future impact that may arise from issues related to Japanese infrastructure and the supply chain."

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