TI plants damaged in Japan quake

Dallas, Tex. — After a preliminary assessment, Texas Instruments (TI) reported its manufacturing site in Miho, Japan, about 40 miles northwest of Tokyo, suffered substantial damage during Japan’s recent 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

The company estimates it will reinstate production in stages, beginning with several lines in May and returning the factory to full production in mid-July, which means full shipment capability in September. However, TI noted that this schedule could be delayed if the region’s power grid is unstable or if further complications prevent the re-start of equipment.

TI is shifting production to other fabs and so far has identified alternate manufacturing sites for about 60 percent of Miho’s wafer production. Work is underway to increase this percentage by moving the production of additional products.

Specific damage at Miho includes the infrastructure systems that deliver chemicals, gases, water and air as well as work-in-process. Repairs on the infrastructure systems should be completed in about three weeks. TI believes that about 40 percent of its work-in-process can be recovered.

The impact to the manufacturing equipment is still not clear until continuous power is available from the electric utility, said TI. The Miho building itself suffered little damage and remains structurally sound.

TI expects to describe financial impact in detail at the time of its first-quarter earnings report on April 18.

TI’s fab in Aizu-wakamatsu, about 150 miles north of Tokyo, also was damaged in the earthquake, although equipment already is being re-started and full production is estimated by mid-April, as long as there is stable power supply. The company’s third fab in Hiji, about 500 miles south of Tokyo, was undamaged and is currently running at normal capacity.