Thu, Mar 17, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Quake disrupting tech supply chain

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

The Japanese earthquake is set to cause at least four to six months of disruption to the world’s technology supply chain, an analyst from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said yesterday.

Processes from raw material sourcing, component manufacturing and end product assembling to shipments to retailers will be impacted because of the quake, said Daniel Heyler, head of global semiconductor research.

“There will be delays in materials … companies are looking for substitutes for suppliers or materials,” Heyler said in Taipei.

Makers on average have four to six weeks of inventory and they are looking for contingency plans now, he added.

The memory chipmaking sector would take a lesser hit because Elpida Memory Inc has only 10 percent of the world’s DRAM market share. Japanese NAND flash makers account for 40 percent of the global market share.

Consumer electronics makers could install less memory into their products and adjust prices accordingly to weather the shortage, he said.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) is confident of overcoming any supply disruptions in the post-quake period because it has alternative sources, while some of its Japanese suppliers may take more than three months to recover, chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday.

Chemicals used in the manufacture of semiconductors at the Hsinchu-based company can also be procured from suppliers in the US, Europe and Taiwan, Chang said.


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