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Japan earthquake causes pause at semiconductor factories

A semiconductor

The analyst firm TrendForce has said that a recent strong earthquake in Japan has caused a temporary, but manageable, pause at semiconductor factories in the Noto region. Thankfully, after plenty of disruption in previous years, the effects of the earthquake are described as ‘controllable’.

For anyone not keeping up with current events, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Japan’s Noto peninsula in Ishikawa province. The quake struck on January 1 in the afternoon local time and has killed at least 57 people with searches still continuing.

Several companies including MLCC manufacturer TAIYO YUDEN, silicon wafer producers Shin-Etsu and GlobalWafers, and fab makers including Toshiba and TPSCo all have facilities in the area.

Shin-Etsu and GlobalWafers have shut down their facilities for inspection as the work they do there related to crystal growth is sensitive to earthquakes. Most of their work is done in Fukushima according to TrendForce so they are minimally affected by the quake.

TPSCo has also shut down its factories in Uozu, Tonami, and Arai to check everything is OK and Toshiba is checking out its Kaga facility too. TAIYO YUDEN’s Niigata plant, which was designed to withstand earthquakes with a 7 magnitude, has not endured any equipment damage, according to the company.

TrendForce believes that the impact from the earthquake will be manageable for all of the companies involved. It noted that there is a downturn in the semiconductor industry and that it’s off-peak season so they will all have time to recover. It also noted that most of the factories were in areas that experienced level 4 to 5 seismic activity which is in their structural tolerance so damage should be minimal.

With PC sales expected to begin to pick up in 2024, inventories could start to remove their oversupply. Hopefully, these Japanese companies will have resolved their issues by the time customers come asking for more.

Source: TrendForce

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