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IHS iSuppli thinks that high IC inventories in the supply chain limit impact of Japan disaster

18 March 2011 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Market research firm IHS iSuppli believes that the semiconductor supply disruptions caused by the natural disaster in Japan and the infrastructure problems that are ongoing are bad, they could have been worse if wasn’t for the fact that global semiconductor inventories were at high levels before the events of last Friday.

IHS iSuppli noted in February that global semiconductor inventory levels had risen to high levels, surging to a two–and-a-half year high in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Excessive inventories therefore may provide some cushion for global semiconductor industry, according to the market research firm.

However, it is still not clear how long power disruptions will continue. TEPCO is the largest utility in Japan and the one most affected by the disaster has been criticised for poor handling of rolling blackouts as well as the looming nuclear power disaster at the Fukushima's Dai-ichi nuclear power station, having had its status raised to Level 5 out of 7.

TEPCO has said power problems would continue through the end of April but have given a date without details of how that problem will be solved by that time.

Inventories maybe high but as yet know one knows if those inventory levels will be sufficient to counter a prolonged disruption to power, limiting the IC manufacturers and supply chain to resume operations.

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