March 15, 2011 – The devastating impact of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami are a long way from being tallied; indeed from a human impact perspective it may be impossible to calculate, and our thoughts and hearts go out to friends and colleages in the area.
For those keeping an eye on the situations through an electronics industry lens, we’re tracking the earthquake + tsunami’s impact on the semiconductor community (and also what it means to related sectors like solar PV). Here’s the most recent running tally of what has happened to a number of key companies:
- Nikon: Damage to plants at Sendai Nikon (Miyagi Prefecture, cameras), Nikon Precision (Miyagi and Toshigi Prefectures, IC/LCD steppers), Tochigi Nikon (Tochigi Prefecture, optics/lenses), and other subsidiaries suffering damage to some equipment and buildings. Operations have been suspended, with damage being further evaluated; no timeline offered for return to operation. Some injured employees reported but no specifics.
- Canon: Several sites in northern Honshu affecting five of its divisions; "concrete schedules for when production may resume have yet to be determined," the company states. There is "significant" damage at its Utsunomiya site (plant, optical products, optics R&D center) with 15 injuries, and also at Canon’s Fukushima plant (the Nikkei daily says this site is without power and major roads nearby are blocked by landslides). Operations also were suspended at the company’s plants in Toride and Ami in Ibaraki Prefecture, and operations of its Precision group (Hirosaki/Aomori Prefecture), Optron (Yuki/Ibaraki Prefecture), Chemicals (Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture), and Mold (Kasama/Ibaraki Prefecture).
- Hitachi: Damages mainly at production bases in Ibaraki prefecture, spanning its power systems, urban planning, IT/control systems, appliances, and automotive systems. The Nikkei daily quoted a company source saying that with power blackouts, "we’ve no idea when production will restart."
- Freescale Semiconductor: The company has a 150mm plant in Sendai — among the hardest hit areas — which reportedly was without power, shut down and evacuated; once power is restored the plant’s condition will be evaluated. The site was already slated to be closed in 4Q11.
- Texas Instruments: The company’s manufacturing site in Miho (40mi NW of Tokyo), which produces about 10% of its output (mostly analog, some DLP), "suffered substantial damage" with damage to infrastructure (chemical, gas, water, air systems) and about 40% of work-in-progress lost; equipment damage is unclear until power is restores. TI plans to return to production in stages from May to mid-July, reaching full shipments in September. Alternative sources amounting to 60% of the Miho wafer production have been identified. TI’s fab in Aizu-wakamatsu, about 150mi north of Tokyo, was also damaged but equipment is already being restarted with full production expected by mid-April. A third fab in Hiji (500mi north of Tokyo) was undamaged and is running normally.
- Shin-Etsu (SEH): Operations were halted at its sites in Annaka/Gunma Prefecture, Kamisu/Ibaraki Prefecture, and Nishigo Village/Fukushima Prefecture, with three workers "slightly injured." The Gunma sites have passed safety checks and have restarted operations, though may be affected by rolling blackouts; the other two sites are still continuing safety inspections.
Renesas: Production halted at seven of its 22 chip plants: five frontend lines in Aomori, Yamagata, Ibaragi, Gunma, and Yamanashi Prefectures, and two backend lines in Aomori and Yamagata. Eight factories (including some of those) will be impacted by the rolling blackouts.
- Sony: Operations at six plants have been suspended in Miyagi, Fukushima, Saitama, and Ibaraki prefectures, spanning everything from semiconductor lasers to Li-ion batteries to surface mounting equipment to optical devices to Blu-ray discs. The Nikkei daily reports that at the latter plant in Miyagi, about 1000 workers had to escape upstairs to the second floor to avoid flooding. Other Sony sites in Tochigi and Kanagawa prefectures voluntarily suspended operations to help alleviate overall power outages.
- Panasonic: The company says it is still assessing the quake’s full impact on its operations, but said it could not enter an optical pickup plant in Sendai nor a digital camera facility in Fukushima. Supply and distribution is also partly disabled.
- Asahi Kasei: The company halted production and evacuated workers at its LSI plant in Miyagi, with damages uncertain; the Nikkei daily did report that there were injuries but did not specify.
- JSR: No damage or injuries to the Chiba plant in Ichihara City, which is currently under normal operations, but further impact from energy shortages yet to be calculated. The company’s Kashima plant (Ibaragi) halted manufacturing by automated interlocks triggered by the quake, with no physical damages observed (pending physical inspections) but water supply is interrupted with no clarity on restoration. One employee reportedly was injured during repair work.
- MEMC: The company’s Utsunomiya wafering facility (~130 miles from Sendai) was evacuated with no injuries, with operations suspended pending building and safety inspections and analysis of potential damage. The company is still inspecting and assessing the impact to production and shipments from this facility, but says it does expect near-term shipment delays.
- Ulvac: In a letter to customers, president/CEO Hidenori Suwa said there was no serious damage at the company’s Fab 1 in Tohoku/Hachinohe Prefecture, but there is water damage to some equipment at its Fab 2 there (no facility-related damage). Other sites in Chigasaki, Aichi, Kyusyu, and elsewhere have not been affected at all. The company expects no disruption of fab operations (current bookings or future parts), except for potential disruptions caused by scheduled power outages caused by the nuclear plant crisis.
- On Semiconductor: No power loss and "limited physical damage" at its Aizu plant, and operations shortly resumed at its Niigata plant co-owned with Sanyo Semiconductor. Both sites reported limited damage. Power was lost at the leased Gunma site with production impact still being assessed, and the company’s backend sites in Kasukawa and Hanyu resumed March 13 after limited damage.
- Tokyo Electron: TEL Hohoku (Oshu city), AT (Matsushima City) and the Technology Development Institute (Sendai City) have suspended operations while damage is investigated, and assessments to gauge resumption of operations.
- DNS: Most of the company’s semiconductor/FPD/printing operations in southwest Japan (Kyoto and Shiga prefectures) have no damage, and procurement for production "is under control."
- Amkor: Unknown extent of damage to subsidiary Amkor Iwate’s Kitakami facility, but apparently the site is without power, though employees are apparently safe.
- Advantest: Minimal damage to its domestic operations; no serious damage to its R&D facility in Sendai, and facilities in Gunma and Saitama resumed operations on Monday.
- Applied Materials: No specifics on any problems at its Japanese operations, though the company says it is already shifting its supply chain sourcing options.
- Cabot Microelectronics: No impact to its manufacturing/R&D facilities in Geino, about 500mi from the epicenter, and other administration operations are "generally not impacted."
- Formfactor: No damage to its manufacturing and repair facility in Yokohama and repair operations in Hiroshima. The company says its Japan-based suppliers have no significant damage and should resume operations according to local power-usage guidelines.
- SanDisk: Of the company’s JV with Toshiba in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture (about 500mi from the quake’s epicenter), Fab 3 and Fab 4 were shut down "for a short period of time" but were back up and running on Friday, with "minimal immediate impact on wafer output." Spokesperson Mike Wong was quoted saying there was "some loss" of wafers in process.
- Elpida Memory: The company’s DRAM plant in Hiroshima "suffered little impact" and is operating normally with no lost wafers. A plant in Akita was shut down due to power outage, but equipment wasn’t damaged and operations will resume when the power comes back on, the company said. It’s still too early to tell what the impact on suppliers is.
- Toshiba: A LSI plant in Iwate Prefecture has suspended operations.
- UMC: The company’s 200mm fab in Chiba Prefecture was evacuated, with no damage to equipment; equipment calibration is ongoing.
Many companies are also digging deep to offer financial assistance:
- Advantest: ¥100M
- Asahi Chemical: ¥100M (and 500,000 "books" of Saranwrap);
- Canon: ¥300M;
- Hitachi: ¥300M;
- Kyocera: ¥100M, plus employee contributions;
- Mitsubishi: ¥500M, plus a match of employee donations, and possibly other donations of products and goods;
- NEC: >¥100M in funds and tech equipment (computers, telecommunications, IT networking);
- Nikon: ¥100M;
- Novellus: $1M;
- Panasonic: ¥300M, plus tens of thousands of radios, flashlights, and batteries;
- Sony: ¥300M plus a match of employee donations, and 30,000 radios;
- Tokyo Electron: ¥300M;
We have been in communication with several semiconductor industry members in Japan. They share first-hand accounts of the damage in Letter from Japan: Update on infrastructure, fab status after earthquake (this is a letter from Takeshi Hattori, president of Hattori Consulting International) and News from Japan on the Impact of Disasters (this is a blog posted by editor-in-chief Pete Singer, sharing news from Kenji Tsuda).