Taipei, Wednesday, November 25, 2015 08:21 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
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


2010 revenues

2009 revenues


2010 WW rank

2009 WW rank




































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

Topics: Page 2

Realtime news
  • Digitimes Research: Next generation IEEE 802.11ay standards to come in 2017

    Before Going to Press | 10h 17min ago

  • Wistron to set up joint venture in India

    Before Going to Press | 10h 18min ago

  • Touch panel makers reducing capital in light of competition

    Before Going to Press | 10h 18min ago

  • India market: Smartphone shipments increase 21.4% on year in 3Q15, says IDC

    Before Going to Press | 11h 26min ago

  • Schott optimistic about hard coated protection glass demand

    Before Going to Press | 11h 26min ago

  • Taiwan Color Optics wins ASPA Grand Prize 2015

    Before Going to Press | 11h 27min ago

  • Ibase Technology holds rosy business outlook for 2016

    Before Going to Press | 11h 27min ago

  • China market: Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 3 smartphone

    Before Going to Press | 11h 28min ago

  • China General Nuclear Power to procure 600MWp PV modules in December

    Before Going to Press | 11h 29min ago

  • Acer to enhance gaming notebook product line in 2016

    Before Going to Press | 11h 30min ago

  • China firm reportedly lands SiP device orders from Apple

    Before Going to Press | 11h 30min ago

  • Xian LONGi to supply 300MWp PV modules to China Minsheng New Energy, say reports

    Before Going to Press | 11h 31min ago

  • Global 3Q15 NAND flash market posts 2% growth, says DRAMeXchange

    Before Going to Press | 11h 32min ago

  • Chunghwa Telecom boosting shift from 2G to 4G

    Before Going to Press | 11h 32min ago

  • Open bids for 2,500-2,600MHz bands increase to NT$22.55 billion, says NCC

    Before Going to Press | 11h 33min ago

View more

China Internet TV and OTT market developments

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Oct 21, 16:00

China's Tri-network Integration Policy has eased restrictions on the broadcasting and telecom industries in China and allowed them to offer each other's services. This has brought new competitive challenges to the local video market, especially its Internet video/TV...

The Big Fund - China's next step to becoming a global semiconductor leader

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Sep 16, 17:49

China has been solidifying its semiconductor industry policy objectives through the release of the "National IC Industry Development Guidelines" in June 2014 and "Made in China 2025" in June 2015, with one key financial support program being the National IC Industry...

Global tablet market – 3Q 2015

GLOBAL TABLET | Nov 19, 18:44

Global tablet shipments reached only 50.64 million units in the third quarter, up 9% from the second quarter, but still down sharply by 18% on year.

China smartphone market and industry – 3Q 2015

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Nov 13, 15:36

In September, Digitimes Research surveyed China's smartphone supply chain. After analyzing the industry as well as relative market data, it found that in the third quarter, there were 59.8 million new 3G/4G users in China, which is higher than the average growth...

Taiwan LCD TVs - 3Q 2015


Taiwan-based makers saw significant shipment growths in the third quarter of 2015, as clients in Europe and North America prepared for the year-end shopping season.

The Big Fund
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.