Taipei, Friday, January 30, 2015 00:21 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
19°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
  • Taiwan MOEA approves new investments at Kaohsiung Software Park

    IT + CE | 2h 44min ago

  • Smart LED lighting expected to see fast growing demand in 3-4 years, says Philips Taiwan head

    LED | 4h 32min ago

  • Memory suppliers account for more than 60% of 300mm wafer capacity, says IC Insights

    Bits + chips | 4h 36min ago

  • SPIL gearing up for fan-out WLP

    Bits + chips | 4h 42min ago

  • SPIL 2014 profits almost double

    Bits + chips | 4h 46min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Taiwan sees increased 4Q14 digital camera shipments

    IT + CE | 4h 50min ago

  • TSEC to showcase P-type PERC monocrystalline solar cell at Japan Expo

    Before Going to Press | 2h 54min ago

  • Everlight Electronics to shift LED lighting focus from indoor applications to outdoor and commercial, says chairman

    Before Going to Press | 2h 55min ago

  • TacBright expects new facilities to go into operation in June

    Before Going to Press | 2h 57min ago

  • Polarizer prices continuing to drop

    Before Going to Press | 2h 57min ago

  • 30% of Huawei smartphones in 2015 to be high-end products

    Before Going to Press | 2h 59min ago

  • Taiwan IC design houses January sales to rise

    Before Going to Press | 3h 34min ago

  • Facebook opens Taiwan office

    Before Going to Press | 3h 39min ago

  • Macronix expects return to profitability in 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 3h 39min ago

  • AUO aims to hold a 30% share in curved Ultra HD TV panel shipments in 2015

    Before Going to Press | 4h 38min ago

  • Taiwan government increasing cooperation with local universities to develop medical equipment

    Before Going to Press | 4h 49min ago

  • AUO expects 6-8% on-year increase in LCD panel surface in 2015

    Before Going to Press | 4h 53min ago

  • AUO to increase production capacity at Taiwan 8.5G facilities

    Before Going to Press | 4h 56min ago

  • Digitimes Research: WPC far surpasses PMA in wireless power charging certification

    Before Going to Press | 5h 7min ago

  • China market: Meizu to launch inexpensive TD-LTE smartphone

    Before Going to Press | 5h 9min ago

Pause
 | 
View more
VOICE 2015 Developer Conference
Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • 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.

  • Greater China touch panel shipment forecast through 2015

    This Special Report provides forecasts through 2015 for Greater China touch panel shipments with breakdowns based on technology (glass, film, resistive), application (smartphone, NB and tablet) and by firm.

  • 2014 global tablet demand forecast

    This report analyzes the main players, their strategies and shipments forecasts for 2014, as well as other factors contributing to either growth or decline in various segments within the tablet market, with a particular focus on Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, along with whitebox vendors.