Chip makers, P-T
Panasonic Corp. said that partial operation resumed April 1 at the company's AVC Networks production facilities in Fukushima and Miyahi prefectures. Those facilities are now operating around planned power outages, according to Panasonic. Panasonic Electric Works Koriyama Co. Ltd. in Fukushima prefecture resumed production on March 23, Panasonic said. The company said it has been rigorously enforcing electricity-saving measures by turning off lighting and other electric equipment that are not in absolute need and turning off outdoor signage of its buildings across Japan since March 12. Panasonic said it confirmed the safety of all employees on March 18, adding that a few employees suffered minor injuries.
Qualcomm Inc. said it does not ''foresee any significant impact in our ability to supply product to our customers due to the events in Japan. With regard to the availability of bismaleimide triazine (BT) resin, Qualcomm uses either BT-based or epoxy-based laminate materials in our chipset packages. To account for any potential disruption in BT supply, we believe our use of buffer stock and adjustments to our near term material mix will enable us to mitigate potential supply disruptions to our customer base.''
Renesas Electronics Corp. reported April 22 that it would run test production on the 200-mm wafer fabrication line at its Naka wafer fabrication factory the following day, with mass production scheduled to start on June 15, though can take up to three months after that for a wafer to be processed and packaged for shipment to customers. The company said that it had begun transferring some chip production to foundries. A manufacturing line for 300-mm wafers at the Naka site is still set to restart at the beginning of July, Renesas said. Renesas said it designated alternate manufacturing sites to make what would otherwise have been made at Naka, including Renesas Electronics' Saijo factory in Saijo, Ehime; Renesas Northern Japan Semiconductor's Tsugaru factory in Goshogawara, Aomori; Renesas Yamagata Semiconductor's Tsuruoka factory in Tsuruoka, Yamagata; and other Renesas Electronics Group manufacturing sites. The company said it had started transferring additional production to outside foundries at the beginning of April. As of March 28, operations had partially restarted at four of the five front-end chip fabs that were knocked off line by the March 11 earthquake. Renesas previously reported that partial electricity had been restored to the Naka fab and that the company had begun to assess the damage to both the 200- and 300-mm production lines. In a letter to customers dated March 29, Yasushi Akao, Renesas president, said the Naka fab produces fewer than 20 percent of Renesas' microcontrollers and SoCs and fewer than 10 percent of the company's analog and power devices. "We assume that we will be capable of covering approximately 70 percent of the customer orders currently in place with Naka factory that are requested to be delivered by the end of May, from the finished goods already in stock and work-in-process goods in the assembly lines,Akao wrote. He added that the company was forumlating recovery plans such as shifting production to other fabs for the remaining 30 percent of the orders with promised delivery date of May, as well as the orders for June onwards and future orders. Renesas earlier reported that a team of engineers, machinists and structural designers had been dispatched to Naka to assess the damage and develop a recovery plan. Naka has very limited power supply due to a nearby electrical substation being severely damaged in the earthquake, Renesas said. After personally inspecting the site, Akao proclaimed that Naka will resume production in July, Renesas said. The company said it now knows that the Naka production facilities and clean room can be used. Renesas said eight other factories, including four front-end chip fabs,are still experiencing shortages of electricity and fuel supply and unstable logistics networking among other effects caused by the earthquake. Although seven of these factories are restarting production, their output levels are not yet at pre-earthquake levels due to these continued unstable, but improving, conditions Renesas said. In Japan, Renesas has 10 front-end wafer fabrication sites and 12 back-end assembly and test sites. Five front-end and nine back-end factories were not impacted by the earthquake and subsequent power issues, and they are continuing full production, the company said. Market research firm IHS iSuppli said following the earthquake that 40 percent of Renesas' chip production capacity had been knocked off line.
Analog specialist Rohm Co. Ltd. said Monday (April 4) that operation resumed March 31 at its transistor and diodes fab in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki prefecture. Partial operation of that facility has been restored since March 19, according to Rohm. The company said the supply of water has been restored to its LSI chip fab in Ohira Village, Miyagi prefecture, and that manufacturing operations there are set to recommence in April 10. Rohm reiterated that four of its facilities in eastern Japan, including the OKI Semiconductor Co. Ltd. fab in western Tokyo, are operating around scheduled power outages. .
Flash memory vendor SanDisk Corp. said in a statement March 11 that the epicenter of the quake was approximately 500 miles from Yokkaichi, the location of two fab joint ventures between SanDisk and Toshiba. Both fabs were down for a short period of time due to the earthquake , but were back up by Friday morning Pacific time, SanDisk said. There were no injuries to SanDisk employees based in Japan, SanDisk said.
The Reuters news service reported that two Sony Corp. plants in northern Japan were halted by a power cut
in the region following the April 7 aftershock. The plants, which produce
optical devices, IC cards and other products in Miyagi prefecture, had
just resumed partial operations March 28 after being knocked off line by
the March 11 quake. Reuters also reported that manufacturing was briefly halted at the Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor Inc. laser diode manufacturing facility in Miyagi prefecture, which had just partially restarted operations April 6 for the first time since the March 11 quake, but that production there had resumed following inspections. Sony earlier reported that manufacturing operations partially resumed Wednesday (April 6) at Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor, one of 10 Sony manufacturing facilities that was idled after sustaining damage in the March 11 earthquake. Operations resumed or partially resumed at several other Sony sites last week, the company said. Of the 10 facilities that had been knocked off line following the earthquake, two remain idle—the Tagajyo plant in Miyagi prefecture, which produces magnetic tapes, Blu-ray discs, and other products, and the Motomiya plant in Fukushima prefecture, which produces lithium lion batteries. The Tagajyo plants is currently undergoing cleaning and damage inspection, Sony said. The company offered no timetable for the Tagajyo plant's return to production. Manufacturing operations at the Motomiya lithium-ion battery plant are scheduled to gradually resume operations by the end of April, Sony said. Sony previously confirmed the safety of all of its and its group companies’ employees in the region affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
final manufacturing sites are outside Japan and the impact to near term product supply ''is expected to be minimal,'' according to the NOR flash firm on Tuesday (March 15). However, one of Spansion's foundry fabs is Texas Instruments Inc.'s plant in Aizu-wakamatsu, Japan, which was damaged by the quake. TI recently acquired that fab from Spansion. Spansion also has its own 200-mm fab in Austin, Texas. It also has a foundry deal with China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.(SMIC). ''Spansion is actively engaged in working with its manufacturing partners in Japan to provide assistance and understand any future changes to production as they deal with the tragedy daily. In order to ensure stability of supply to customers, Spansion has the flexibility to move manufacturing of certain products to its Austin facility or other partners as the situation evolves,'' according to Spansion.
Texas Instruments Inc.
initially reported that its Miho and Aizu sites and its Tokyo offices were affected by earthquake, but that employees at these sites were evacuated, and no injuries were reported. On March 29 TI said its wafer fab in Miho, Japan, is on schedule for a return to full production by mid-July — meaning chips shipments in September — while its fab in Aizu is on track for full production by mid-April or earlier. The Miho fab produced about 10 percent of TI’s output
as measured by revenue in 2010, of which more than a third was DLP,
with the remainder being analog, TI said. The company said it has found alternate manufacturing sites for about 80 percent of Miho's work load include TI factories in Dallas and Richardson, Texas, and Freising, Germany. TI's third fab in Hiji, about 500 miles south of Tokyo, was undamaged and is currently running at normal capacity, TI said. On Sunday (March 27) repairs were completed to the infrastructure systems that deliver water, gases, chemicals and air to the Miho manufacturing site, TI aid. In addition, more than 90 percent of the equipment has been checked electrically. However, TI's resumption plans are dependent on a "stable" electricity supply, the company said.
Toshiba Corp. suffered power outages at its microcontroller fab in Kitakami, Iwate prefecture, following the April 7 aftershock, according to the Reuters news service. A spokesperson for Toshiba told Reuters that it was not clear whether the aftershock would delay the restart of the Kitakami fab, which is scheduled for April 11. Toshiba previously said it hoped to restore some level of operation this fab by the end of March. To minimize the impact on customers, Toshiba said it has started to provide support at alternative production facilities, including the company's Oita operations in Oita prefecture, its Himeji operations in Hyogo prefecture and Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corp. in Ishikawa prefecture. Toshiba estimated it would take about one month to restore manufacturing at its Toshiba Mobile Display Co. Ltd. subsidiary in Fukaya City, Saitama prefecture, which builds mid- and small-sized LCD displays. Toshiba said it has started to supply some products alternatively from the Ishikawa Works, another display production facility located in Ishikawa prefecture. Toshiba said its semiconductor production fabs in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture and Oita prefecture are operating normally, as are social infrastructure facilities in Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo and its digital product plants in Saitama prefecture and Tokyo. Toshiba said it is implementing energy-saving measures at office and production facilities and that facilities in areas subject to rolling power outages are basically operating as usual except for the hours of outages. If necessary, Toshiba said it would implement some production on holidays. Toshiba said it continues to investigate the status of its suppliers to determine if the company will have any procurement problems. As of March 21, Toshiba said it has confirmed the safety of all but one of its 74,104 employees in Tohoku and Kanto. The company continues to try to confirm the safety of the missing employee. Toshiba issued a statement Tuesday outlining its participation in helping to secure power infrastructure in affected areas of Japan, including the creation of a task force of 700 engineers in Tokyo and said the company has dispatched more than 100 engineers to help the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi and the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants.