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Quake damages 2 TI fabs

Posted: 17 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor  fab  earthquake 

Texas Instruments Inc. reported heavy damage to its semiconductor fab in Miho, about 40 miles (6km) northwest of Tokyo as well as damage to its other fab in Aizu-wakamatsu following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. TI said the Miho fab would not return to full production until mid-July at the earliest.

The company said it had plans to restart production at the Miho fab in stages, beginning with several lines in May. The schedule could be delayed if the region's power grid is unstable or if further complications prevent the re-start of equipment, TI said.

The Miho fab produced about 10 per cent of TI's output as measured by revenue in 2010, of which more than a third was DLP, with the remainder being analogue, TI said.

TI said its fab in Aizu-wakamatsu, about 150 miles (241km) north of Tokyo, was also damaged in the earthquake. Equipment at the Aizu-wakamatsu fab is being re-started and full production is estimated by mid-April, assuming a stable power supply, TI said.

The earthquake caused damage to numerous fabs, at least a dozen of which remained idle Monday. The loss of capacity and general disruption of the semiconductor supply chain could have profound impact on the global chip industry.

The quake caused damage to the Miho fab's infrastructure systems for delivering chemicals, gases, water and air, TI said. Repairs should be complete in about three weeks, TI said.

The impact of the quake on the Miho fab's production equipment is still unclear because of power outages, TI said. Northwestern Japan has been experiencing rolling blackouts since the earthquake.

A third TI fab in Hiji, about 500 miles (805km) south of Tokyo, was undamaged and is currently running at normal capacity, TI said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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