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Semiconductor Fabs Facing Obstacles

New York – The ongoing aftershocks and power outages are
hampering Japan’s semiconductor industry, a HIS iSuppli report stated.

The research firm said semiconductor production automatically
shuts down every time a 5 on the Richter scale or greater quake takes place. The company has listed 130 production facilities potentiall impacted by the initial and on-going quakes. (see chart below)


Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazard Program

indicates at least eight
earthquakes with a strength of 5 or greater took place in the past 24 hours off
the coast of Sendai.

IHS said there is some panic buying of semiconductors as OEMs try
and stock up in case of a long-term shut down in manufacturing.

IHS tempered its outlook. Worldwide semiconductor inventory had
risen to a 2.5-year high in the months leading up to the disaster.

“Although not completely compensating for supply disruptions from
Japan, these excessive inventories may provide some cushion for global
semiconductor supply,” the report stated.

Other semiconductor-related problems that could arise under the
current conditions in Japan are the inadvertent release of dangerous chemicals
used in semiconductor production, IHS said. An unexpected power outage could
lead to an explosion or release of poisonous material, so IHS believes
companies will suspend operations to maintain a safe environment.