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Electronics supply uncertain in quake-hit Japan

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Once the human toll from Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami has been counted, the world will still have to come to grips with the effect of the disaster on the electronics industry. As one of the global manufacturing powerhouse, Japan accounts for a large portion of electronics, consumer electronics, data processing and semiconductor revenue.

According to an estimate from IHS iSuppli, in 2010, Japan accounted for 13,9% of all global electronic equipment factory revenue. This includes the manufacture of all electronic equipment, including computers, consumer electronics devices and communications gear. Japan produced $216,6-billion worth of electronic equipment in 2010.
The country accounted for 16,5% of global consumer electronics equipment factory revenue in 2010, and represented 10,2% of worldwide data processing revenue.
In addition, Japanese suppliers accounted for more than one-fifth of global semiconductor production in 2010. Companies headquartered in Japan generated $63,3-billion in microchip revenue in 2010, representing 20,8% of the worldwide market. While not all of this actual production is located in Japan a large percentage is produced in manufacturing facilities in Japan, according to a statement from IHS iSuppli.
“The major impact on Japan’s semiconductor production is not likely to be direct damage to production facilities, but disruption to the supply chain,” the statement adds. “Suppliers are likely to encounter difficulties in getting raw materials supplied and distributed and shipping products out.
“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.”
IHS iSupply adds that DRAM manufacturing in Japan accounts for 10% of the worldwide supply based on wafer production.
“The two major DRAM fabs in Japan, operated by US-based-Micron and Japan’s Elpida, have not been directly affected, according to preliminary indications from IHS iSuppli contacts.”
Japanese companies, mainly Toshiba, account for 35% of global NAND flash production in terms of revenue.  While Toshiba facilities have not been affected by the disaster, the company is closing some plants in a bid to conserve power.
IHS iSuppli believes the bigger imact from the earthquake will be on LCD panels, as Japan accounted for 6,2% of the world’s $86,3-billion in global production of large-sized LCD panels in 2010.
Japan also accounts for 14% of LCD TV panel production and is home to many higher-generation fabs. The country also accounts for a very high share of components uses in LCD panels and LCD-based products, including glass, colour filters, polarisers, cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).