Tokyo - Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. expects an "extraordinary loss" of roughly $25 million at its Miyagi Oki Electric Co. Ltd. subsidiary as a result of the earthquakes that rocked northern Japan late last month. Oki said the quakes, ranging in magnitude from 5.3 to 6.2 on the Richter scale, forced it to suspend operations for an undetermined period at its most advanced wafer fab, in the Miyagi prefecture.
Other chip makers said they were largely unaffected by the temblors.
Oki said its electronic-devices segment's net sales and operating income for the second quarter would be lower than expected because of the quakes but added that its "information and telecom systems segments" would make up for it.
Oki's Miyagi fab, about 25 kilometers from the quakes' epicenter, was shut down after the first of the three quakes struck on July 26. Investigations to check the damage began after the aftershocks subsided, an Oki spokesman said shortly after the closure. The 200-mm wafer fab had been in the process of shifting from 0.18-micron to 0.13-micron technology and is Oki's base for system-on-chip and memory production.
Several major semiconductor companies, including Fujitsu Ltd., Motorola Inc., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., operate fabs within 60 km of the quakes' epicenter. But because the earthquakes were inland and their epicenters shallow, their impact was limited to a relatively narrow area. Other companies thus suffered little or no damage and were able to maintain their production schedules.