It’s hard to believe, but yet another Japanese chip plant caught fire last week and some car audio suppliers are waiting to learn if their chip supplies are impacted.
Renesas Electronics reported a fire that broke out early Friday morning and took over 5 hours to bring under control. Nikkei Asia said a production line that manufactures “the latest 300mm wafers” was damaged.
Renesas makes chips that are used in head units and amplifiers, said one head unit supplier. Additionally, at least one car audio OEM integration company uses Renesas chips.
“I really don’t know the impact of this fire on our products at this time. We assume they will have to redistribute available chip sets once the dust settles. This is where we could be impacted but we really don’t know yet,” said one industry executive.
Another supplier said power management CPUs produced by Renesas are used by car audio makers.
A half dozen car audio suppliers said they are waiting to learn if their products are impacted by the fire.
It may take a month for Renesas to resume production, but three months for the automotive supply chain to return to normal, said Nikkei Asia. Approximately 2/3rds of the chips produced at the plant are used by the auto industry.
Nikkei Asia noted, that “Renesas’ fire could not come at a worse time for the auto industry.” Companies such as GM and Ford are already trimming or adjusting production due to chip shortages, especially after a Texas winter storm disrupted production at NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies, two of top three chip automotive chip makers. Renesas is ranked the number two automotive chip maker.
The fire could result in fewer new cars on the lot in the near term, reports said.
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Photo via Wall Street Journal