Analysts at IHS iSuppli already are seeing pricing jumps in the DRAM and NAND spot markets, though shortages in the component supply chain won't be felt for two weeks.
are still trying to get a gauge on how the unfolding
disaster in Japan
, which has moved from last week's earthquake and tsunamis
and now focuses on nuclear reactor concerns, will impact the supply chain for
the various computer components manufactured on the island nation.
becoming increasingly clear is that there will be some disruption in the
manufacturing and shipping of such components as NAND
and semiconductor and DRAM
components, with resultant price increases to follow. But with the country in a
state of flux, and the problems arising from the double punch of the earthquake
and tsunami still unsettled, it's difficult to get a firm grasp on the computer
component situation, according to analysts from Deutsche Bank Securities and
a report late March 14, IHS iSuppli analysts said they expect "significant
shortages" of particular computer components, with dramatic price
increases for devices built with these components.
there are few reports of actual damage at electronic production facilities,
impacts on the transportation and power infrastructure will result in
disruptions of supply, resulting in the short supply and rising prices,"
the analysts said in the report. "Components impacted will include NAND
flash memory, dynamic random access memory (DRAM),
microcontrollers, standard logic, liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, and LCD
parts and materials."
already are indications of price increases due to the disaster, the analysts
at Deutsche Bank said some companies are in a larger immediate bind than
remains a leading producer of NAND flash, CMOS
Image Sensors, ASICs, and DRAM," they
wrote in a March 15 report. "Given the disparate location of Fabs and the
impact of rolling power outages, it is difficult to estimate the impact on
semiconductor production. However within our coverage universe SanDisk has the
most exposure with 100% of its front-end facilities in Japan
(through Toshiba JV)."
and financial analysts have been trying to get a better read on the situation
since the earthquake-which first was listed as an 8.9-magnitude event, but some
reports have said it was upgraded to 9.0 magnitude-and tsunami overwhelmed the
northern coast of Japan March 11. For the computer industry, the risks are
significant, given the size of the country's component manufacturing industry.
research firm Objective Analysis said March 11 that more than 40 percent of the
world's NAND flash memory chips and 15 percent of the global DRAM
supplies are made in Japan, where a large percentage of chips that support such
popular consumer electronics devices as smartphones and tablets are made.
iSuppli also said that about 60 percent of the world's silicon, used to make
, is manufactured in Japan.
A disruption in the silicon supply chain could grow the impacted technologies
to such components as bipolar transistors and small signal transistors.
the IHS iSuppli analysts, the component shortages shouldn't be felt for the
next two weeks. Right now, the global supply chain has about two weeks of
excess inventory for semiconductor parts, they said. However, the shortages
will start making themselves known in late March or early April, and then
should linger into the third quarter.
there is the psychological impact of the Japan
disaster, which is already driving up component pricing, the analysts said.
for higher-density NAND flash already has climbed by as much as 10 percent on
the spot market, which buyers use to procure relatively small quantities of
parts," IHS iSuppli analysts said, adding that they don't "expect
price volatility for OEM DRAM customers and
it is likely that the average selling price for major OEM customers on the
contract market will hold steady for sustained periods of time until the supply
chain moves past the infrastructure challenges."
pricing on the spot market also is up, by as much as 7 percent over prices on
March 11, they said.
individual companies, most of the immediate problems have to do more with
shipping and receiving of components, and not with damage to facilities, the
bulk of which are located south of the earthquake epicenter. However, those
supply chain problems, as well as the ability to get workers to the facilities
and power interruptions, are having an impact on operations.