LONDON Ė Toshiba Corp. has announced it plans to close three manufacturing facilities and consolidate much of its discrete, analog and imaging IC production into three others, as part of a response to a fall off in demand for consumer products from the western hemisphere. At the same time Toshiba said it would cut production at some of its semiconductor facilities, including one making ASICs and MCUs, from now until early January 2012.
Toshiba said the slowdown was notably in demand for PCs and TVs in Europe and the United States.
As a result, in the first half of its 2012 fiscal year Toshiba plans to close wafer fabs used for optical components in Kitakyushu and Hamaoka as well as an assembly plant used for power semiconductors at Mobara. The company added that regular employees at the affected facilities will, in principle, be redeployed within Toshiba Group.
Toshiba did not disclose how many permanent and contract staff would be affected by the closures.
The re-organization will concentrate manufacturing at three major facilities: Hijimeji Operations Semiconductor (Ibo-gun, Hyogo prefecture); Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corp. (Nomi, Ishikawa prefecture); and Buzen Toshiba Electronics Corporation (Buzen, Fukuoka prefecture).
After the re-organization Hijimeji Operations Semiconductor will be a development center for power semiconductors and small signal devices, Toshiba said.
Kaga Toshiba Electronics will be a main location for power semiconductor front-end process and will increase the 200-mm wafer manufacturing capacity of its 200-mm and expand production to include optical semiconductor manufacturing. Buzen Toshiba will become a development center for the assembly and packaging of optical semiconductors but with production limited to certain products while the rest is outsourced, Toshiba said.
The production slow down will affect six facilities in all: Oita operations, which produces analog semiconductors and image sensors; Himeji Operations Semiconductor, which produces discrete semiconductors; and Kitakyushu Operations, which produces optical semiconductor devices; Iwate Toshiba Electronics, which produces ASICs and MCUs; and Kaga Toshiba Electronics and Hamaoka Toshiba electronics, which both produce discrete semiconductors.
Oita will have a 6-day shutdown around the end of the year as well as running at reduced levels. Himeji and Kitakyushu would both be put on a two-week shutdown, Toshiba said.
Toshiba said it would re-assess required production levels early in 2012.
I believe that Flash memory has been subsidizing Toshiba's logic business for a number of years now.
It is a stunning reversal of fortune from the late 80's and early 90's when Toshiba was dominating the ASIC business and driving innovations in digital IC technology along with NEC, Mitsubishi and Fujitsu.
I wonder if the changes reflect more than just a short term demand fall off but are indicators of a greater shift? Could it be that Toshiba is retooling their production for future growth in new areas? Toshiba has always planned for the long run and I would be surprised if they are not executing to a well thought out plan. Time will tell of course, but given their history and determination I would expect them to be moving in the right direction..
Toshiba was once a very popular vendor on consumer electronics, especially TV and audio. With the newly developed digital consumer products, Taiwanese, Korean and European are taking a bit share of this market that may lead to the shrinking of Toshiba. What is the core business of Toshiba now? Without a clear direction on the development, this old company won't be easy to survive.
The death of Analog CRT TVs and Analog Audio (Cassette) players might have made this to happen to Toshiba, most of the semiconductor components in CRT Television Set were manufactured by Toshiba, is this the reason behind closure of some of the Toshiba Semiconductor manufacturing?