With much of the semiconductor manufacturing in Japan and other Asian countries, the earthquake and tsunamis that hit Japan could have a significant impact on the tech industry.
The massive earthquake and tsunamis that tore through Japan
March 11 and rippled throughout the Pacific region could have significant
near-term effects on the semiconductor industry, according to analysts.
and Taiwan make
up a huge amount of the global semiconductor manufacturing, and even the
smallest amount of downtime could have a large impact on chip supply and
prices, the analysts said in various reports.
, which the Japan Meteorological Agency called the largest in Japan's
history, struck the region midafternoon local time March 11. The massive
earthquake set off a series of aftershocks, some as high as 6.6, and tsunamis
that slammed into the island nation and rolled out as far as the West Coast of
the United States.
assessments were still coming in midafternoon EST, and tech companies
reportedly were scrambling to determine the damage to their operations in the
than 40 percent of the NAND flash memory chips and about 15 percent of the
global DRAM supplies are made in Japan,
which also is a key source of chips that support such booming consumer
electronics devices as smartphones, tablets and PCs, Jim Handy, an analyst with
semiconductor market research firm Objective Analysis, said in a March 11
two-week shutdown would remove from production a sizable share of each of
these," Handy wrote. "It doesn't take a large production decrease to
cause prices to increase dramatically. Objective Analysis anticipates
phenomenal price swings and large near-term shortages as a result of this
supply side of the business will not be the only one to take a hit, he said.
will be impacted as well since many electronics manufacturers are in Japan,
and their consumption of semiconductors will be halted until earthquake damage
is repaired," Handy said.
with IHS iSuppli said the major impact of the disaster will be not in
semiconductor production, but to the supply chain.
are likely to encounter difficulties in getting raw materials supplied and
distributed and shipping products out," IHS iSuppli said in a March 11
research note. "This is likely to cause some disruption in semiconductor
supplies from Japan
during the next two weeks,
based on the IHS iSuppli preliminary
assessment of the situation."