Monday, April 06, 2009

Micron's Image Sensor Fab is in Earthquake Area

EETimes reports that Micron's Avezzano fab in Abruzzo region 60 miles east of Rome is close to the area stricked by a powerful earthquake. This fab is responsible for the image sensor production by Aptina. The plant was originally constructed by TI but was subsequently taken over by Micron. If the fab is damaged, we might see Aptina sales plummeting this quarter, unless Boise fabs take the load.

12 comments:

  1. well, sounds some particular persons try to attack Aptina.

    However, be remind, that both Japan and Taiwan are in earthquake area also. Thus, we should consider that OVT, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp may not move their production base to other safe places

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  2. I have nothing against Aptina. You are right, TSMC and Sony suffered from earthquakes in the past. While we are at this, Silicon Valley is in seismic active area too. So, Omnivision, Aptina, Hynix, Kodak, Foveon and whoever else has design centers there are in danger. And some predict a big earthquake in Grenoble area, where ST image sensor production base is located.

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  3. It's not an image sensor fab.

    Avezzano - Fabrication Plant

    The Avezzano fabrication plant is a key manufacturing plant using advanced process technology. Avezzano produces leading-edge memory devices and plays a significant role in Micron's growing international presence. In addition, our Avezzano location also hosts a network communications design center as well as a regional sales and marketing office.
    http://www.micron.com/jobs/europe/italy/index

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  4. Call it image sensor fab or fabrication plant, but most of the recent Aptina's sensors are/were manufactured in Avezzano.

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  5. Sorry Ron,
    Disagree with your statement.
    Good news, no major impact on the fab

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  6. > Good news, no major impact on the fab

    I'm glad to hear this. I assume a part of wafers in mid of processing now should be scrapped. But this should be a minor loss.

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  7. ALERT: ITALY EARTHQUAKE THREATENS MICRON FAB



    Here is a report from a market analysis firm that sends me these sort of things. I know Jim Handy and he's a knowledgeable person that makes every effort to put accurate information on the street.
    ----


    Magnitude 6.3 Quake Short Distance from Avezzano
    The powerful earthquake that struck central Italy on Monday was centered roughly 30Km (18 miles) from a Micron wafer fabrication plant in Avezzano. Objective Analysis contacted Micron for a report on the situation.

    Micron replied with the following statement:

    Fortunately, Micron's team members at its Avezzano fabrication facility are safe and our thoughts are with those whose families, friends and neighbors affected by the earthquake. There appears to be no major damage to the facility or impact to customers. There was a precautionary evacuation of the factory as standard procedure. The fab was back up and running within 6 hours, which is typical for any evacuation. Micron is working with our local site leadership to determine the best ways to support the earthquake victims in the long-term.

    About the Avezzano Fab
    The Avezzano facility came to Micron as a part of their acquisition of TI's DRAM business in the middle 1990s. It was Micron's first wafer fabrication plant outside of the United States. This 300mm facility, in the Italian countryside, is still used to manufacture DRAM.

    Objective Analysis estimates that less than 20% of Micron's total DRAM output comes from Avezzano, and Micron's share of the total DRAM market is about 13%, making Avezzano accountable for under 2.5% of world DRAM production. Since DRAM is significantly oversupplied today, even a long closure would not have been likely to turn today's overcapacity into a shortage. The fact that the fab was up and running within 6 hours indicates that there is little reason to expect this earthquake to impact DRAM availability or pricing.

    Like Micron, our sympathies go to those impacted by the quake.

    Jim Handy
    +1 (408) 356-2549
    OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS
    PO Box 440
    Los Gatos, CA 95031-0440
    USA
    www.Objective-Analysis.com

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  8. Interesting. The analyst seems to not be aware of image sensors produced at this fab. Also, to the best of my knowledge Avezzano is 200mm fab, rather than 300mm, like the analyst is saying.

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  9. Jim corrected himself this morning:

    The following Alert, sent yesterday, had an error. Micron's Avezzano fab no longer manufactures DRAM, only image sensors. We apologise for the error. The following version has been corrected.

    Magnitude 6.3 Quake Short Distance from Avezzano
    The powerful earthquake that struck central Italy on Monday was centered roughly 30Km (18 miles) from a Micron wafer fabrication plant in Avezzano. Objective Analysis contacted Micron for a report on the situation.

    Micron replied with the following statement:

    Fortunately, Micron's team members at its Avezzano fabrication facility are safe and our thoughts are with those whose families, friends and neighbors affected by the earthquake. There appears to be no major damage to the facility or impact to customers. There was a precautionary evacuation of the factory as standard procedure. The fab was back up and running within 6 hours, which is typical for any evacuation. Micron is working with our local site leadership to determine the best ways to support the earthquake victims in the long-term.

    About the Avezzano Fab
    The Avezzano facility came to Micron as a part of their acquisition of TI's DRAM business in the middle 1990s. It was Micron's first wafer fabrication plant outside of the United States. This facility, in the Italian countryside, is now used to manufacture CMOS image sensors for Micron's Aptina Imaging subsidiary.

    As with many other semiconductor markets, there is an oversupply in the CMOS image sensor market. The fact that the fab was up and running within 6 hours indicates that there is little reason to expect this earthquake to impact availability or pricing.

    Like Micron, our sympathies go to those impacted by the quake.

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  10. the micron fab issue brings up a question: who besides Micron builds image sensors on 300mm wafers?

    The implication in these stories about avezzao are that it is a 300mm line.

    I had believed that most CMOS sensors were built on 200mm wafers and most CCDs were on 150 or 125mm wafers (6" and 5" wafers).

    does any one know for sure?

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  11. Now Jim might want to send a correction to EETimes, quoting his analysis:

    http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=216500018

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  12. ST and Sony use 300mm wafers for image sensors. Samsung and Toshiba might have some 300mm production too, but I'm less sure in this.

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