Taipei, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 22:17 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
28°C
Digitimes Insight: Japan earthquake impact on semiconductor industry
Nobunaga Chai, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 15 March 2011]

Areas affected by Japan's March 11 earthquake, aftershocks and the quake-triggered tsunamis include the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Aomori, Yamagata, Iwate and Akita.

Not to mention its focus on the development of agriculture and tourism, northeast Japan is also considered one of the nation's major manufacturing locations. Several of Japan's major semiconductor companies locate their manufacturing spots in the northeast prefectures, for example, Toshiba's 8-inch wafer fab in Iwate, Renesas Electronics' factories in Aomori, Hokkaido and Yamagata, Elpida Memory's backend manufacturing facility in Akita and Fujitsu's plants in Fukushima.

Disruptions in transportation and power infrastructure will inevitably have a certain degree of impact on chip companies. Moreover, there is also concern about supply constraints for upstream materials.

With its major production hub in Nishigo Village of Fukushima, a prefecture close to the epicenter of the earthquake, Shin-Etsu Handotai (SEH) is expected to suffer significantly from the impact. SEH is still unable to disclose when normal operations at the facilities can be resumed.

SEH's Shirakawa plant, Fukushima Prefecture, produced about 22% of total silicon wafer demand in the world in 2010. Monthly capacity at the plant reaches as high as 800,000 12-inch wafers, accounting for more than 60% of SEH's overall production capacity of 1.2 million units.

Many chipmakers have claimed that they are capable of activating alternatives if necessary. In addition, wafer inventory among companies remains at a sufficient level of two to three months. However, if SEH's supplies cannot return to normal over a longer period of time, the semiconductor market will struggle with wafer shortage issues later in the year.

In 2010, Japan's semiconductor industry generated sales of US$44.6 billion, up 16.4% from 2009 levels. The growth also represented a recovery for the sector following two years of sales drops. Japan accounted for 15.9% of total semiconductor revenues worldwide in 2010, compared to 16.9% in 2009 and 19.5% in 2008.

Japan top-5 semiconductor companies: Revenues and worldwide ranking, 2009-2010 (US$m)

2010 Japan rank

Company

2010 revenues

2009 revenues

Y/Y

2010 WW rank

2009 WW rank

1

Toshiba

13,081

10,319

26.8%

3

3

2

Renesas

11,840

5,153

129.8%

5

9

3

Elpida

5,678

3,948

74.2%

10

15

4

Sony

5,336

4,468

19.4%

14

10

5

Panasonic

5,128

3,243

58.1%

15

18

Source: Digitimes Research, compiled by Digitimes, March 2011

Digitimes Research: Silicon wafer suppliers, market share 2010

Source: Digitimes Research, compiled by Digitimes, March 2011

Digitimes Research: Japan semiconductor industry and its share of WW market, 2005-10 (US$b)

Source: Digitimes Research, compiled by Digitimes, March 2011

Realtime news
  • TSMC to beat Samsung in 10nm race

    Bits + chips | 14min ago

  • Google BrandLab to set up branch office in Singapore in 2H16

    IT + CE - Newswatch | 15min ago

  • Seagate names new head for Taiwan office

    IT + CE - Newswatch | 16min ago

  • MediaTek to expand workforce in 2015

    Bits + chips | 1h 55min ago

  • UMC holds technology forum in Japan

    Bits + chips | 2h 14min ago

  • Sharp to launch smartphones in Indonesia, says report

    Mobile + telecom | 2h 16min ago

  • Semi-equipment component maker Calitech applies for OTC listing

    Before Going to Press | 24min ago

  • Sony launches flagship Xperia Z3+ smartphone

    Before Going to Press | 25min ago

  • Panasonic to add BLU production lines at plants in Mexico and Brazil

    Before Going to Press | 26min ago

  • HTC to block media from attending shareholders meeting

    Before Going to Press | 27min ago

  • Taiwan becomes major revenue contributor to Google

    Before Going to Press | 29min ago

  • GIS expects 2Q15 revenues to fall 15-20% sequentially

    Before Going to Press | 2h 28min ago

  • CSOT starts producing 55-inch Full HD TV panels at 2nd 8.5G factory

    Before Going to Press | 2h 31min ago

  • LCD monitor panel prices in May fall sequentially, says WitsView

    Before Going to Press | 2h 33min ago

  • GIS to list on TSE

    Before Going to Press | 2h 39min ago

  • Solar cell maker TSEC to be listed on TSE in 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 2h 40min ago

Pause
 | 
View more
High-brightness LED market trends and forecast, 2015
Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017
Demand and supply trends in the global sapphire industry, 2014-2015
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.