Taipei, Saturday, March 28, 2015 13:16 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
22°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

Topics: Page 2

High-brightness LED market trends and forecast, 2015

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Mar 16, 17:50

Digitimes Research forecasts that in 2015, the global high-brightness (HB) LED industry will have annual growth of 7.5% in terms of output, reaching US$13.7 billion. The total number of LEDs used will reach 186 billion units, representing annual growth of 32.6%,...

2015 China IC design market forecast

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jan 23, 10:50

Global economic growth is forecast to reach 3.8% in 2015, up from 3.3% in 2014. From the perspective of the electronics industry though, PC shipments will continue to decline, smartphone shipment growth will drop, and tablet shipments may decline. Despite the...

Taiwan large-size LCD panels – 4Q 2014

TAIWAN LCD PANEL | Feb 17, 11:23

Taiwan-based makers saw their large-size TFT LCD panel shipments increase on year in fourth-quarter 2014, driven largely by demand for TV applications. But they are facing growing competition from China-based and Korea-based makers who are ramping up new production...

Taiwan LCD TVs – 4Q 2014

TAIWAN DISPLAY SYSTEM | Feb 17, 11:07

Taiwan's LCD TV makers saw significant increases in shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 thanks to strong seasonal demand, as well as Foxconn's shipments to Mexico to fulfill government procurement orders.

Taiwan small- to mid-size LCD panels – 4Q 2014

TAIWAN LCD PANEL | Feb 16, 15:11

Major Taiwan-based suppliers of small- to medium-size LCD panels changed their production strategies in fourth-quarter 2014 as the industry entered the slow season amid sluggish demand for smartphone applications and rising competition from China-based rivals...

2015 global notebook demand forecast
Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017
Trends and developments in the OTT market
  • 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.