I figured I'd start a thread on damge due to the multiple situations happening in Japan. I haven't heard anything yet about chip manufacturers or suppliers yet, but my expectation is that there may be shortages and price increases for all electronics in the near future.
If anyone finds more information along these lines, please post the links.
While not GPS related specifically, here is the first report I've seen about how the digital camera industry fared. Some of these companies are involved with other digital devices, so I thought it might be appropriate to start:
The supply and cost of electronics in the USA is of much less concern than many other problems the Japanese are facing at this time.
I'm surprised to see that this many camera companies have this many plants operating in Japan. I would have thought that like American companies, many Japanese companies would have shifted production to places with much lower labor costs.
That's just one of the ways in which Japanese thinking supports their country. Europe does the same. The US will be forced to wake up about this issue if it ever wants to stay relevant in industrial capability & employing it's people.
That ought to stimulate some discussion!
We don't have to worry about the Chinese bombing America, since they own most of it anyway.
TI Japan has (at least) 3 fabs. One (Hiji) is untouched and operational.. Second (Aizu-wakamatsu) expects to be up mid April, the main issue being reliable power.
The third (Miho) is looking at May for repair and startup of some lines, and September for volume production -- if the damage isn't greater than they estimate now. Full diagnostics can't be done until they have power. The Miho fab represents about 10% of TI's revenue.
Much of the work in process is lost. Fab lines don't like power failures, and like being shaken even less. From the press release, Miho lost about 60% of work in process.
Haven't heard about other operations, but for a crystal growing/refining operation, you figure 100% loss on a power failure, and hope the furnace itself isn't destroyed.
But these are things.
Things can be replaced and rebuilt. People can not.
--bob in rainy Silicon Valley, where we're on borrowed time.
I hope there won't be that much of a hit on the electronics industry.
Most of the actual products are built and assembled in China, Taiwan, Philippines due to the high cost of labor in Japan - yep even Sony is building in China.
Japan manufactures 20% of all ICs worldwide, in Japan.
Here is a link to before and after the quatke in Japan. Watch for the 1st and 2nd series. Move your mouse from right to left the see the difference. It will be where the line is on each picture.
Unlike the US, Japan will sweep off the dust and rebuild quickly. Japans impact is many times more devistating then Katrina and other problems here in the US, but Japan will get going and be back very quickly.
The difference is the people will want to get going to rebuild instead of waiting for the obamma money, Fema trailers and other free shit! Heck there are still people living of the Katrina dole here and probably will be for many more years.
It could be many months for some sites to get back to full production.
TI's Miho fab -- they don't even know the extent of damage to equipment. If the inner cleanroom integrity was breached, that can take months to scrub. The precision lithography systems are mostly assembled and aligned in place -- those are going to take time and specialized care to bring up.
The silicon wafer foundries are another biggie -- a power failure at the wrong time not only renders the boule useless, the furnace can be damaged or destroyed. I'm pretty sure Japan still produces a large percentage of the 300mm silicon wafers used in industry.
Another biggie, related to semiconductor processes, is LCD panels -- very similar processing, bigger geometries, but bigger devices as well. Haven't heard anything about those plants in Japan.
Then again, it's a matter of months on those. Replacing an engineer or technician? More than twenty years to grow one of those!
The plant (in Northern Japan) which produces most of the world's supply of a key epoxy resin (called BT) used in many integrated circuit packages was also shut down by the quake/tsunami.
Key users include chipset manufacturers for mobile phones, and programmable logic vendors -- think qualcom, altera, xylinx, and TI. if those vendors can't build chips, then manufacturers who build products using those chips are in deep doo-doo. Phones? Tablets? Video cards?
While alternatives are available, alternatives have to be qualified -- and that can take 3 months at least.
"Just in time" strikes again!
As they say, A picture is worth a thousand words
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