LONDON – Supplies of gallium and arsenide raw materials, semi-insulating bulk substrates and have not been disrupted by the Japanese earthquake of March 11 and ensuing tsunami or the on-going issues with the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. GaAs device manufacturing facilities were also largely unaffected, the firm said.
Japan is a leading player in the GaAs RF/microelectronics industry, accounting for 50 percent of bulk substrate supply, 18 to 20 percent of global semi-insulating GaAs epitaxial substrate production and up to one-fifth of the global GaAs device market. Japanese companies involved in the GaAs industry include Hitachi Cable, Renesas and Sumitomo Chemical.
"The primary factors that will impact GaAs device supply out of Japan relate to more generic issues which have an impact on the whole electronics industry," commented Eric Higham, director of Strategy Analytics GaAs service, in a statement. "These include disruption to utilities, logistics and concern for the availability of materials used in chip packaging and assembly."
"There is the possibility, however, that any significant ramp in demand for GaAs epitaxial substrates over the next three to six weeks may lead to end-users being placed on allocation", observed fellow analyst Asif Anwar, "Strategy Analytics analysis shows that the Japanese epitaxial substrate suppliers were running at full production rates with little to no excess inventory in the supply chain."
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