Japan earthquakes disrupt electronics supply chain

A major Sony camera sensor factory is offline after a series of quakes

A series of powerful earthquakes that shook southwest Japan has also disrupted the electronics supply chain. Sony, Mitsubishi Electric and chip-maker Renesas are among the companies with factories in the area.

On Thursday evening local time, Kumamoto prefecture was hit by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake, the first of many to rock the area. Early Saturday morning, a more powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck, triggering a tsunami advisory and several strong aftershocks.

At least four people died as a result of the Saturday morning quake, according to NHK television, and helicopter TV images showed damaged and collapsed buildings. Thursday's quakes had already killed nine people and left more than 1,000 injured.

Sony suspended work at its Kumamoto factory that produces digital image sensors. These are key components in cameras and smartphones, including Apple's iPhone. A prolonged suspension of production could have a knock-on effect on the availability of products in stores, but it's too early to tell if there will be any such effect.

A 2011 earthquake in eastern Japan caused major disruption to the electronics industry after factories suspended operations for weeks, but the scale of this week's earthquakes, while serious, was smaller.

Renesas Electronics and Mitsubishi Electric have neighboring plants in Kumamoto, the former making automotive chips and the latter power devices. Operations were suspended at both plants as a result of the earthquakes, Japanese media said.

Mitsubishi Electric also suspended an LCD parts facility and a semiconductor plant in the area.

The Saturday morning earthquake was determined to be the main shock and Thursday evening's was a precursor to it, the Japan Meteorological Agency said early Saturday.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobilityAppleiPhonePCRenesasComponentselectronics supply chainearthquakes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?