Seeing how Japan is the leading producer of chips and electronics, would the earthquake and the subsequent crisis cause an increase in the price of hardware?
It looks like it. Japan doesn’t make all that many processors, but they do seem to make a lot of memory chips and LCD screens. (Korea makes a lot of memory also.) I heard this morning that TI has two plants shut down, one at least until this summer. While the area directly hit was not all that involved in electronics, the power shortages will affect more plants. You can’t make chips with 8 hour rolling blackouts coming at any time.
On Marketplace yesterday they said to expect some shortages and thus higher prices.
Obviously not the most pressing story at this time, but I was wondering this, too. More specifically, I imagine that this would push back the launch date of the 3DS a ways into the future.
The 3DS launch date is so close I can’t imagine the quake would have a substantial impact on launch quantities.
It’s times like this I’m glad I don’t make complicated electronic devices for a living…
(Yes. I’d rather have a supply chain impact than actually be there…not trying to minimize the disaster at all.)
Lots of display companies are in Southern Japan, but they will still be disrupted. Many other components…dedicated ICs, smaller passive components, etc… need to be handled. I know several camera vendors and integrators are in Japan as well.
Most companies strive to have multiple sources for their components, but it isn’t always possible.
At my old company, we looked at the number and location of fab a part of our supplier qualification. I’m not sure about my current company.
Even with the second sources, there is going to be an increase in demand at the locations that can produce.
China has excess capacity, I believe…but it can’t just be turned on like a switch. There could be noticable disruptions for some time.
The question is, are the rolling blackouts affecting Southern Japan also? I know of one supplier who says they are fine, but I’ll want to see product before I believe it.
Plus, if everyone is going to the same second sources, you’ll go on allocation and the price will go up.
If they don’t move on. It is pretty standard, especially in that part of the world.
We do state of the art stuff, and there is no fab in China which could possibly handle us. Luckily, we don’t have any production in Japan so that part is fine for us.
BTW, an article in the Business section of Wednesday’s times notes that the price of 8gig memory chips for cameras, etc. has risen 30% in a week in the spot market.