In the rankings for 2010, Renesas was the MCU leader with $4.447 billion in sales, followed by Freescale ($1.525 billion), Samsung ($982 million), Microchip ($968 million), Atmel ($958 million), TI ($946 million), Infineon ($930 million), ST ($915 million) and Fujitsu ($684 million), according to Gartner.
Not surprisingly, Renesas is moving full speed to recover from the quake. In MCUs, ''we’re still catching up,’’ said Daniel Mahoney, president and CEO of Renesas' U.S. subsidiary, Renesas Electronics America Inc., at ESC. ''We think we will close the gap’’ in the second half of 2011.
Following the quake, five out of Renesas’ 10 fabs in Japan were temporarily shut down. ''Four of five have resumed production’’ in more recent times, Mahoney said.
The problem is that Renesas’ Naka fab is still out. The plant consists of two lines, including separate 200- and 300-mm lines. In total, Naka represents 20 percent of the Renesas-branded MCU capacity. Renesas did not elaborate which lines were impacted, but it did say that the quake did not disrupt the supply of NEC-branded MCU devices.
Seeking to play catch-up, Renesas outlined its strategy. First, the company is moving to re-open the Naka fab. The 200-mm line, dubbed N2, will restart on June 15; the 300-mm line, dubbed N3, will restart in July, he said.
Second, Renesas has shifted some production to other fabs. Third, it has moved some production to the foundries. The company has transferred some of the ''Naka production to TSMC,’’ he said. The company is also moving some MCU production to a 200-mm fab in Singapore, now owned by Globalfoundries Inc. That fab was once owned by Chartered, which was acquired by Globalfoundries.
Still, there could be disruptions in the supply chain. There were ''two months of inventory’’ in the supply chain before the quake, but that stock is nearly depleted, said Microchip’s Sanghi.
The inventory issue, coupled with Renesas’ woes, is expected to cause some shortages. Many OEMs are seeking replacement parts from Microchip. As reported,
Microchip has outlined a replacement program and is expanding production within its fab in Gresham, Ore.
, Microchip posted stellar results and bought an IC-assembly house to expand its backend requirements.