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Electronics Production in Japan Bounces Back

The entire electronics supply chain is expected to complete its recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan by the end of the third quarter, according to researcher IHS iSuppli.

Semiconductor fabs and other electronic component factories nearest to the quake that were damaged are expected to restore full production by early September, reported IHS iSuppli. The restoration will occur during the peak season for electronics components and semiconductor sales. Global semiconductor revenue growth will peak in the third quarter with a sequential rise of 7.4 percent, according to IHS iSuppli.

The duration of electronics production disruptions varied depending on distance from the earthquake epicenter. Companies that were farthest from the epicenter took only one to two weeks to restore production, while companies closest to the disaster could take as long as four to six months to return to normal.

IHS has identified 14 semiconductor suppliers and four silicon wafer makers in Japan that were impacted by the quake. Among those companies affected were Texas Instruments, Renesas, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and ON Semiconductor, among others.

Dale Ford, senior vice president for semiconductor market intelligence at IHS iSuppli, said nothing has had such an impact on the electronics supply chain impact as the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Ford said the disaster reverberated "through the materials, components, and equipment segments of the supply chain."

The disaster affected the various segments of the semiconductor market. The impact was most severe on automotive equipment. Japan accounts for 31.5 percent of global semiconductor production for automotive electronics. Consumer electronics bore the next greatest impact, with a moderate effect on production. Japan is responsible for 45.1 percent of global consumer electronics semiconductor production.

In comparison, the impact on the wireless and data processing semiconductor markets was mild, while the wired communications segment was unaffected.