Brief power outage disrupts Toshiba memory-chip shipments – The Globe and Mail

Electronics Dec 10, 2010 No Comments

A power outage that lasted no longer than the blink of an eye has disrupted the world’s supply of a flash-memory chip used in everything from laptops to iPhones.

The problem occurred early Wednesday morning at a thermal-electric station in central Japan. It’s not clear what caused the disruption, but it led to a voltage drop that lasted 0.07 seconds. As a result, a Toshiba Corp. facility that makes NAND flash-memory chips was forced to shut down.

As a result, Toshiba said it expects its chip shipments to fall by as much as 20 per cent over the next two months. The incident spotlights the unforgiving nature of high-technology manufacturing, and the lack of slack built into supply chains for the most popular consumer electronic devices.

Any delay will be a blow to companies such as Apple Inc., which uses these chips in its iPhones and iPads. Toshiba is the world’s second-largest producer, behind Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and it accounts for more than one-third of the market. Analysts said the company’s production problems could send chip prices up by 10 per cent because supplies are already tight.

via Brief power outage disrupts Toshiba memory-chip shipments – The Globe and Mail.

Rod Sherkin

Rod is a former senior executive, responsible for Purchasing, for both Pillsbury and Ball Packaging back in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, he has continued to work in the Purchasing field as both a consultant and founder of the website Propurchaser.com.

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