Elpida fabs unharmed by the Japanese earthquake

One fab up, the other shut by blackouts

elpida logoIn a bit of good news from the Japanese earthquake, the DRAM maker Elpida seems to have escaped damage with only power loss related shutdowns. Given the overwhelming scope of the tragedy, this is about as good an outcome as you could hope for.

The short story is that the Hiroshima fab is totally unaffected, with production ongoing as normal. Elpida says there is no damage, loss of materials, or other negative consequences as one would expect from a location in the far southern part of Japan.

Their second fab in Akita, on the west coast of Japan, and a bit north of the quake epicenter, was only affected by the loss of power. Elpida says that full production will resume as soon as power is restored, and there was no damage to sensitive and very expensive equipment. Although not stated outright, it is likely that there will be some loss of in-process wafers due to the unexpected shutdown.

As far as materials for use at the fab, and transport of finished goods out, things are a bit unclear for Elpida, and no firm expectations were stated. Because of the scale of the emergency, and the breadth of their supply chain, this is a very understandable situation. We at SemiAccurate hope Elpida and the rest of Japan has a very quick recovery from this tragedy. Our thoughts go out to all the people affected.S|A

Note: The full text of the Elpida statement is reprinted below.

Elpida Reports Business Impact Resulting from Japan’s Earthquake

TOKYO, JAPAN, March 14, 2011 – Elpida Memory, Inc. (TOKYO: 6665), Japan’s leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today said that it is working as fast as possible to assess the business impact of the major earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on March 11.

Elpida provided the following business status report based on information available as of March 12:

Hiroshima Plant
The Hiroshima Plant suffered little impact because it is located in Hiroshima in the southwest of Japan, far from the northeastern regions struck by the earthquake.
As of the morning of March 12 the Plant is operating normally without any need to scrap wafers due to seismic effects.

Akita Elpida Memory
The Akita Elpida plant is not in operation as of the time of this announcement due to power shut down caused by the earthquake. As soon as the electricity comes back on, normal business operations can be resumed. There is no damage to the manufacturing equipment.

Elpida is working to communicate with suppliers but available information is currently insufficient. The company will continue to gather and analyze all information from suppliers.

Logistics and distribution
Normal operations are expected to today.

Elpida cautions that information remains incomplete. Company officials indicate that avoiding confusion or misunderstandings about business operations will depend on allowing more time to make a full assessment. Currently, managers and employees are working as fast as possible to carefully check operations at every level to make sure that business can proceed normally.

About Elpida
Elpida Memory, Inc. (Tokyo: 6665) is a leading manufacturer of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) integrated circuits. The company’s design, manufacturing and sales operations are backed by world class technological expertise. Its 300mm manufacturing facilities, consisting of its Hiroshima Plant and a Taiwan-based joint venture, Rexchip Electronics, utilize the most advanced manufacturing technologies available. Elpida’s portfolio features such characteristics as high-density, high-speed, low power and small packaging profiles. The company provides DRAM solutions across a wide range of applications, including personal computers, servers, mobile devices and digital consumer electronics. More information can be found at http://www.elpida.com.

Information in this news release is current as of the timing of the release, but may be revised later without notice.

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Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate