Monday, April 18, 2016

Sony Reports on Kumamoto Fab Status

Sony says that operations at its Kumamoto Technology Center, which manufactures image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras, were halted after the earthquake on April 14, and currently remain suspended. Damage to the site's building and manufacturing lines is currently being evaluated, and with aftershocks continuing, the timeframe for resuming operations has yet to be determined.

Although some of the manufacturing equipment at Nagasaki Technology Center, which is Sony's main facility for smartphone image sensor production, and Oita Technology Center, former Toshiba fab which commenced operations as a wholly-owned facility of Sony on April 1, had been temporarily halted, the affected equipment has been sequentially restarted from April 17, and production has resumed. Sony Kagoshima Technology Center (located in Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture) has continued its production operations after the earthquakes, and there have been no major effects on its operations.

Sony has confirmed the safety of all of its and its group companies' employees in the region affected by the earthquakes.

The impact of these events on Sony's consolidated results is currently being evaluated.

Digitimes publishes its speculations of the possible impact of the earthquake on the image sensor industry: "Because of Sony CIS solutions are highly customized, clients may have difficulties shifting orders to other suppliers in the short term. Switching orders to other suppliers will cause 2-3 month delays before they receive products.

With Apple's smartphone shipments expected to be impacted, Taiwan component suppliers that rely heavily on Apple's orders are also expected to see their performances influenced.

Sony's CIS shortage issue may benefit the second-largest CIS supplier worldwide, Samsung Electronics.

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