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Japan Earthquake, Tsunami: Business Impact Unknown

By Susan Nunziata  |  Posted 03-14-2011 Print
Major technology companies based in Japan are assessing the full impact of the disaster on their operations Many high-tech manufacturers in Japan have had to stop production to carry out safety checks. The prospect of rolling blackouts means further interruptions are likely over the coming weeks. Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba and Canon are among the companies affected.

There could be significant near-term effects on the semiconductor industry, according to analysts. Japan and Taiwan account for a huge portion of global semiconductor manufacturing, and even the smallest amount of downtime could have a large impact on chip supply and prices, the analysts said in various reports.

More than 40 percent of the NAND flash memory chips and about 15 percent of the global DRAM supplies are made in Japan, which also is a key source of chips that support such booming consumer electronics devices as smartphones, tablets and PCs, Jim Handy, an analyst with semiconductor market research firm Objective Analysis, said in a March 11 report.

Raymond James Equity Research wrote in a media advisory March 14 that most DRAM players have ceased "spot" price quoting activity since March 11 as a result of uncertainty regarding manufacturing-equipment damage, power disruptions and raw-wafer supply disruptions.


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