Japan Earthquake Stuns Semiconductor Industry

The massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, with its devastating human and social consequences, has brought great heartbreak to the semiconductor industry, as it has to people all over the world.    Japan is a pioneer and leader in the global chip industry whose contributions are valued by every semiconductor company, every supplier and every fab in the world.  SEMI and our member companies extend our deepest condolences to our friends and colleagues in Japan, and to all Japanese people, for all their enormous loss. 

While the semiconductor industry is a diverse, global and wide-ranging industry, the scope of Japan’s contribution cannot be underestimated. Some relevant facts about the Japan semiconductor industry include:

  • Japan has the world’s largest chip fabrication capacity, about 23 percent of the world’s capacity
  • Japan is forecasted to consume over $9 billion of semiconductor materials in 2011
  • Japanese semiconductor equipment companies comprise about 35 percent of the world’s market
  • Japanese semiconductor material suppliers comprise approximately 55-60 percent  of the total market, yet suppliers have facilities in most of the major semiconductor countries and regions of the world     

The immediate consequences of the tragedy are still unfolding and impossible to quantify at this time.  Many of Japan’s largest semiconductor companies have issued preliminary assessments of the earthquake and tsunami’s damages to their facilities, including Toshiba (http://www.semicon.toshiba.co.jp/eng/event/news/1189934_7141.html ), Renesas (http://www.renesas.com/press/notices/notice20110315.html), Elpida (http://www.elpida.com/en/news/2011/03-14.html) and Sony (http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201103/11-0314E/index.html). 

EETimes has reported on the earthquake’s impact on Japan fabs (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4214018/Japan-quake--Tracking-the-status-of-fabs-in-wake-of-disaster) and major equipment and materials suppliers (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4214008/Nikon--TEL-impacted-by-quake). 

SST’s ElectroIQ has also reported on the Japan earthquake's impact on the semiconductor community (http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/semiconductors-article-display/7810492886/articles/solid-state-technology/semiconductors/industry-news/business-news/2011/3/japan-earthquake-impact-on-semiconductor-community.html?cmpid=ENLWaferNEWSMarch152011) and offers a list of the facilities impacted (http://www.electroiq.com/index/display/semiconductors-article-display/9454800888/articles/solid-state-technology/semiconductors/industry-news/business-news/2011/3/japan-update__list.html)

SEMI thankfully reports that our Japan employees are all safe and accounted for. 

With disruptions to transportation and electricity service still occurring, and with continuing uncertainties on materials, parts and other supply chain elements, it is too early to fully assess the near-term consequences of the disaster on both semiconductors and electronic products.  For information on potential supply disruptions to any specific parts, equipment or materials, SEMI encourages you to contact the individual companies.

At this time, SEMI urges everyone to contribute to one of the many Japan disaster relief efforts currently established. 

March 15, 2011