SAN FRANCISCO—Operations partially resumed Monday (March 28) at two Fujitsu Group front-end semiconductor fabs in Aizu-Wakamatsu-shi, Fukushima prefecture, that had been idled in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck off the coast of Japan March 11, Fujitsu said.
Production is expected to partially resume April 3 at a third front-end fab in Iwate prefecture, Fujitsu said in a status update posted Monday. The company provided no statistics on production ramp-up volume for the facilities.
Fujitsu said last week it that it partially resumed operations at a back-end semiconductor packaging facility in Miyagi prefecture and a semiconductor testing facility in Aizu-Wakamatsu-shi, Fukushima prefecture.
Market research firm IHS iSuppli last week estimated that 50 percent of Fujitsu's semiconductor production capacity had been knocked off line as a result of the earthquake and subsequent power outages.
Fujitsu said Monday that manufacturing of desktop servers at its facility in Date-shi, Fukushima prefecture had been fully restored to 100 percent capacity and that PC production operations at the facility partially resumed Monday.
Fujitsu said March 23 that manufacturing of desktop PCs at a plant in Shimane prefecture manufacturing and shipping of printers at the Date-shi facility resumed March 22 and that manufacturing and shipping of power supply units and facilities at the Fujitsu Telecom Networks Ltd. plant in Fukushima prefecture also resumed March 22.
Two Fujitsu production facilities in Tochigi prefecture—one that produces mobile phones and system products and one that produces optical transmission devices and components—remain affected by rolling blackouts and are operating around them, Fujitsu said Monday.
Transferring front end operations to other locations may not be done quickly but will be a solution with longer term benefits. Who is to say there will not be even a bigger earthquake in Japan? The geographical location always holds the possibility.
It is good to see positive news increasingly from Japan. I agree power problems are the severe ones to be resolved quickly. Seems to me that interim solution will have to be thermal power plants running on fossil fuels.
Fujitsu's predicament is a tough one! Transferring their front end operations to other locations or other sources is more time consuming than solving their power issue. Then there are also the IP issues and protection of its business secrets which may discourage it from going outside the country (like Taiwan or China). Even seemingly simpler back-end operations like packaging & test will take time to transition to other sources. Which probably explains what Fujitsu is likely to do in the coming months -restart its current operations.