TOKYO -- Renesas Electronics is using a factory in Japan's western Ehime Prefecture to make automotive semiconductors after a fire at another of its plants, in Ibaraki Prefecture north of Tokyo, halted production there.
Renesas' Saijo factory in Ehime has 200 mm wafer fabrication lines and mainly makes chips for cars. The company has not disclosed the scale of the output at the alternate site. Renesas continues to shift production to other factories and place orders with overseas chipmakers to make up for the shortfall.
The N3 building at Renesas' Naka factory in Ibaraki, which turns out semiconductors for cars, was damaged in a fire on March 19. Parts of the fabrication lines were lost. It is expected to take a month to resume production at the plant, and around 100 days to return shipments to normal.
Renesas President and CEO Hidetoshi Shibata told reporters last week that "two-thirds of the products made in the N3 building can be produced elsewhere." The company also estimates that 90% of the products could be made at other locations, even if the Naka factory production lines were closed for two months.
It generally takes time to prepare production lines for semiconductors. It will take about 90 days from the time of the fire to begin shipments of chips from other plants.