March 11, 2011 — In the wake of several major earthquakes in Japan today, the largest registering an 8.9 on the Richter scale, IHS iSuppli has released data on Japan’s role in the global semiconductor, DRAM and NAND, LCD, and electronics assembly sectors.

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.

The major impact on Japan’s semiconductor production is not likely to be direct damage to production facilities, but disruption to the supply chain. 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.

DRAM manufacturing in Japan accounts for 10% of the worldwide supply based on wafer production. The two major DRAM fabs in Japan, operated by U.S. based-Micron and Japan’s Elpida, have not been directly affected, according to preliminary indications from IHS iSuppli contacts.

Japanese companies, mainly Toshiba Corp., account for 35% of global NAND flash production in terms of revenue.

Japanese headquartered companies in 2010 ranked No. 3 in semiconductor production among the world’s major chip manufacturing regions. The Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan was No. 1, the Americas ranked No. 2 and Europe/Middle East/Africa was fourth. Of the 300 semiconductor suppliers tracked worldwide by HIS iSuppli, 39 are based in Japan.

Japan in 2010 accounted for 6.2% of the world’s $86.3 billion in global production of large-sized LCD panels in 2010, i.e., panels 10" and larger in the diagonal dimension. Japan also accounts for 14% of LCD TV panel production. The country is home to many higher-generation fabs, including the world’s only 10th Generation LCD fab operated by Sharp Corp. The IHS iSuppli Japanese display research team has issued a preliminary view that the Sharp fab has not been directly impacted by the quake, given the remote location of the fab. Only one large LCD fab may be in the zone of peripheral impact by the quake.

The more important impact may be on Japan’s production of components for LCD panels. Japan accounts for a very high share of components uses in LCD panels and LCD-based products, including glass, color filters, polarizers, cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Japan in 2010 accounted for 13.9% of all global electronic equipment factory revenue, according to a preliminary IHS iSuppli estimate. This includes manufacturing of all electronic equipment, including computers, consumer electronics devices and communications gear. Japan produced $216.6 billion worth of electronic equipment in 2010, compared to $1.6 billion worldwide. Japan accounted for 16.5% of global consumer electronics equipment factory revenue in 2010. The country represented 10.2% of worldwide data processing revenue in 2010.

Visit IHS iSuppli at www.isuppli.com for more information.

Click here to see a map of wafer fabs in Japan, and listen to analysis of the quake’s effect on semiconductor supply with Jim Handy, Objective Analysis 

ElectroIQ has also been in communication with several semiconductor industry members in Japan. They share first-hand accounts of the damage in Letter from Japan: Update on infrastructure, fab status after earthquake (this is a letter from Takeshi Hattori, president of Hattori Consulting International) and News from Japan on the Impact of Disasters (this is a blog posted by editor-in-chief Pete Singer, sharing news from Kenji Tsuda).

Also read: 
Japan earthquake’s impact on semiconductor community 
Panasonic, Seiko Epson lead MEMS resurgence in Japan

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