© Enics / Evertiq Electronics Production | October 06, 2011

2010: 1/3 of MEMS in value processed in Japan

Visitors at the Enics Day 2011 at the Slagthuset in Malmö (Sweden) were able to attend and listen to a number of interesting presentations. One of them came from Dev Patel, Regional Sales Manager EMEA at IHS iSuppli.
In 2010, a third of the MEMS in value was processed in Japan. In fact, 9 of the top50 MEMS IDM/fabless manufacturers are Japanese; Canon, Panasonic, Epson to name but a few.

Western companies also processed their MEMS in Japan. Texas Instruments did >50% of its CMOS processing of DLP chipsets in Miho in 2010. Freescale had >80% of MEMS processed in Sendai, while Knowles (foundry Partner Sony Kyushu Corp.) Goodrich (automotive and commercial gyros processed in Amgasaki) and STMicroelectronics (microphone dies manufactured at Omron in Yasu) reach 100%.

"On March 11, Japan was hit by a natural disaster. I don't know if anyone knew what was going to happen after that. Closest to the epicentre of earthquake, a lot of damage to equipment recorded. Further away infrastructure was most affected. "
Then came March 11, 2011. Japan was hit by a massive earthquake. The epicentre just off shore Fukushima put a stop to most manufacturing activities in the country. The nuclear contamination around the Fukushima power plant caused further problems.

Surprisingly enough, only 3 MEMS facilities were damaged:

• Freescale’s Sendai fab (was scheduled to close in Dec. 2011 / transfer to 8’’ Oak-Ill fab in TX already initiated and buffer inventory had already been built)

• TI’ Miho’s fab (TI had already multiple sources in place e.g. internal fab in Dallas and external foundry e.g. Dongbu Hitek (Korea)

• Canon’s Fukushima fab (located 60km in-land away from Fukushima power plant / already fully operational 11 days after the earthquake)

A lot of things have happened since then. Now - 6 months later - 80% of the infrastructure has been restored. The rest does not cause any disruptions to the supply chain. "Japan has done a fantastic job. It is interesting to see today. There have been problems, but much of it has been managed very well. Most companies acted fast; switching manufacturing to other places."

Note: The imformation used for this article was presented by Dev Patel at the Enics Day 2011. / All charts © iSuppli
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