LONDON – Toshiba hopes to restore some level of operation at its wafer fab in Kitakami, Iwate, by the end of March, the company said in a status update on Friday (March 18). However, the company said it will only be able to start test operations after recovery of its power supply. The company has a partial recovery of power at the site as of March 13.
Toshiba added that it is concerned about the short-term impact of logistics on all its semiconductor facilities.
Iwate was one of the prefectures worst-affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Japan on March 11 and Toshiba's fab there makes logic ICs for consumer and industrial applications.
The company said that ceilings, walls and air conditioning plant had been damaged at Iwate fab but that the company expected to complete repairs by the end of March. Similarly some equipment had been moved from their fixed positions and Toshiba said it is working with equipment suppliers to get kit back in position and hooked up by the end of March.
Some production will be shipped from inventory starting in the week beginning March 21, Toshiba said.
A second plant in Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture, is due to begin production gradually from Monday (March 21). It is not clear whether this is a wafer fab or a packaging plant. Toshiba said that while the factory is undamaged with the exception of an exhaust airduct in the roof, it is subject to rotating controlled black outs. "Production will restart gradually from March 21, but may be delayed by the planned power outages," Toshiba said in the update
Toshiba said there are currently problems with the procurement of materials and equipment and this is giving rise to concerns for the impact on short-term production at all its semiconductor facilities and not just those affected directly by the earthquake.
The NAND flash memory fabs at Yokkaichi are operating normally, Toshiba said, but it added that there are supply chain concerns about operations there.