SAN FRANCISCO—On Semiconductor Corp. said Thursday (May 24) that two front-end wafer fabs it operates in northern Japan remain idle due to infrastructure disruptions.
Though initial reports indicate that the fabs sustained only minimal physical damage and remain structurally sound, production remains suspended at the On Semi fab in Aizu, Fukushima prefecture and another fab operated by On Semi in Gunma prefecture because of disruptions in the supply lines of fuel, electricity, gases, water, chemicals, logistics and other services, On Semi said. The Gunma fab is leased by On Semi from Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.
Two front-end fabs operated by On Semi have remained in operation since shortly after the earthquake. One fab is in Niigata prefecture, near the northwest coast of Japan, and another leased from Sanyo in Gifu prefecture to the south. Two back-end test and assembly facilities in Kasukawa, Gunma prefecture and Hanyu, Saitama prefecture are also in operation, On Semi said.
On Semi initially restarted operations at the 6-inch wafer fab at Aizu, which suffered no power failure, but suspended manufacturing because of the infrastructure issues. The Gunma fab has remained offline since the earthquake.
On Semi said manufacturing at the Aizu and Gunma fab would remain suspended until services can be reliably restored, which it said it anticipates should be late next week.
"Semiconductor manufacturing requires consistent, high-quality electricity, and disruptions in water and power look may continue to affect semiconductor and end-equipment manufacturers even far from the earthquake area for some time to come," said Tom Starnes, an analyst with consulting firm Objective Analysis, in a report circulated late Wednesday.
On Semi said the potential for intermittent supply issues—including rolling black outs—could cause temporary production disruptions at other locations. The company said it is identifying options to shift production to other facilities in order to maintain supply to customers.
"We continue to assess our production facilities, the supply chain infrastructure and the customer impact from the earthquake and tsunami," said Keith Jackson, On Semi's president and CEO, in a statement.
On Semi confirmed that there were no on-site injuries to its employees or employees of Sanyo as a result of the quake and tsunami.
"Our first priority is, as always, the personal safety and well being of those impacted by the event," Jackson said.
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