SAN JOSE, Calif. - Nikon Corp. on Tuesday (March 22) said that one employee is dead and three others are still missing following the recent earthquake in Japan.
''To our deepest regret, death of one employee of Sendai Nikon Corporation has been confirmed. Safety of three employees is not yet confirmed in the area of Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture,’’ according to the Tokyo-based company. Nikon did not identify the employees.
As reported, Nikon was hit hard by the earthquake. One plant and seven manufacturing subsidiaries are located close to the region of the quake, including the Miyagi Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture.
On Tuesday, Nikon provided an update of its operations. At Tochigi Nikon Corp., operations started on March 18. This operation makes devices and lenses for IC/LCD steppers and scanners.
At Sendai Nikon Corp. and Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., both of which have been severely damaged, operations are expected to resume by the end of this March. Sendai Nikon makes of cameras. Miyagi Nikon makes devices for IC/LCD steppers and scanners.
Operation at the remaining facilities will start on March 23. This includes Tochigi Nikon Precision Co. Ltd., which makes interchangeable lenses and optical lenses.
Asked if the damage will impact its lithography tool shipments, a Nikon official said: ''We are going through the assessment now.''
''Even after operation resumes, we have a concern that the situation may happen where our production cannot fully satisfy our customers’ requirement due to inability of full swing production caused by problems such as the planned blackouts of electricity and procurement of components from our business partners,’’ according to Nikon in a statement. ''While we will do our utmost effort to overcome such expected difficulties, we will be most grateful if our customers could understand such circumstances.’’
This is sad, my prayers are for the family members of the employees.
A couple of weeks ago, during the SPIE Lithography conference at San Jose, Nikon reported yet another year of EUV delay. I wonder what the revised schedules are for its lithography tools? Given the low choices (ASML the other major lithography tool vendor) in litho, customers will be forced to wait for the recovery of Nikon's litho facility. Looks like the 14 & 9nm nodes are getting pushed out to 2016!
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