How much has Japan's electronics supply chain been affected by the earthquake in Ishikawa?

Chiang, Jen-Chieh, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: The New York Times

On January 1, 2024, at 4:10 PM local time, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. The epicenter is located in Noto, in the northern part of Ishikawa. Reports on the disasters have continued to surface in the past few days.

Ishikawa and nearby prefectures of Toyama, Niigata, and Fukui house several companies belonging to the semiconductor/electronics supply chain. A source from an electronic component factory pointed out that based on the scale of the earthquake, it's likely that it would impact production equipment.

Credit: Japan Reference

Credit: Japan Reference

The Ishikawa prefecture has seen the most severe impact as it is where the earthquake's epicenter is located. Kaga Toshiba Electronics, the Toshiba subsidiary responsible for manufacturing power semiconductors, has halted production with no restart date scheduled. LCD panel and substrate maker Eizo has seen partial damage to its buildings and equipment in addition to water and electricity cuts.

Power module and component maker Sanken Electric has seen severe damage to its infrastructure due to its proximity to the epicenter. The impact on product shipment is still being confirmed. Other possibly affected entities include Sharp's mid-to-small-sized LCD factory and automotive LCD panel maker JDI.

Toyama, the eastern neighboring prefecture of Ishikawa, is where TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor (TPSCo) and Kokusai Electric are located. TPSCo, which manufactures analog IC and power discrete semiconductors, has paused production to inspect its equipment. Kokusai Electric, which makes semiconductor equipment, has seen partial damage to its factory but is set to resume production on January 4.

Fukui is the southern neighboring prefecture of Ishikawa. It's home to the MLCC production factory for Murata and the silicon wafer factory for Shin-Etsu Chemical. Fortunately, both companies have yet to report any severe damages.

The Niigata prefecture, located east of Toyama, also houses several manufacturing sites for electronics companies. Shin-Etsu Chemical's semiconductor material factory, which manufactures items like photoresist, saw its production equipment automatically stopped when the earthquake struck and is currently undergoing inspections.

GlobalWafers' Japan branch has two silicon wafer factories in Niigata and has suspended production to inspect damages. No severe damage has been reported as production has gradually resumed, and Taiyo Yuden's MLCC factory has yet to report any issues.

Other nearby production sites include an ABF substrate factory for Ibiden in Gifu and an IC substrate factory for Shinko Electric in Nagano. Both companies have yet to report any issues caused by the earthquake.