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Japanese Chip Shutdown Causing Shortages 121

An anonymous reader writes "Japan's natural disasters and nuclear crisis have already caused silicon wafer shortages that are rippling through the global supply chain of semiconductors for everything from your garden variety PC to the biggest Google server farm. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have shut down 25 percent of the global semiconductor raw materials production, threatening to cause shortages and price hikes in everything from smartphones to supercomputers. Intel and Qualcomm are countering that they have stockpiles and alternative manufacturing plants that can pick up the slack, but dozens of other electronics makers require critical components only manufactured in Japan."
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Japanese Chip Shutdown Causing Shortages

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  • An opportunity... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @06:32PM (#35593526)

    ...but dozens of other electronics makers require critical components only manufactured in Japan."

    What could these critical components be really? Just want to know. With this datum, can someone convince me that Japan is manufacturing these components because it's cheaper than to manufacture them in the USA?

    US based venture capitalists, step in and do something here. You will be handsomely rewarded.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @06:32PM (#35593532) Homepage Journal

    Yes, human life is valuable and its the first priority, but Its the entire economy of the civilized world we are talking about here, so its a bit more important then you are eluding to.

  • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @06:33PM (#35593552)

    Japan has been known to disaster-prone for how long exactly? And you don't have reliable alternate streams for your critical components? Cry me a fucking river - I'll sing you a sad song.

  • by dswensen (252552) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @07:40PM (#35594046) Homepage
    Because not discussing the economic impact of a disaster on a technology website will totally help those people. Much in the same way that not discussing other, more trivial stories will cure cancer or address world hunger.
  • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @07:56PM (#35594162)

    MANUFACTURED means MADE. This isn't a natural resource; if they can make it, so can we. The fact that you allowed yourself to become dependent on a sole source goes back to - wait for it - BAD PLANNING.
    Remember how AMD got into the x86 biz? No? Go look it up.

  • by EvilIdler (21087) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:10AM (#35596028)

    Japan isn't a third-world nation, though. Wages there are actually pretty high: []

    I would think chip factory workers are in the $2000-$3000 per month range, but I have no data on that. Seems right when you compare all the sectors, though. Japan is about as expensive as a North European country, with wages to match. $20 per month would be unsustainable and illegal ;)

    Maybe it's because Japan is in the middle of the world? About as far east and west, and close to China/Taiwan, where they take chips and make motherboards and other things from them. Also centrally located for distribution (and incidentally much cheaper, not adding so much overhead once final products are built).

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson