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The Impact of the Japanese Quake on the GaAs Industry

by Asif Anwar | Apr 11, 2011

Japan is a leading player in the GaAs RF/microelectronics industry, accounting for 50 percent of bulk substrate supply, 18-20 percent of global SI GaAs epitaxial substrate production and up to one-fifth of the global GaAs device market.

The impact of the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, as well as the on-going issues with the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, are affecting the equipment and materials suppliers, consumer electronics companies, automotive, test and measurement companies in Japan.

We believe the primary factors that will impact GaAs device supply out of Japan relate to more generic issues which have an impact on the whole electronics industry. These include disruption to utilities, logistics and concerns around the availability of materials used in chip packaging and assembly.

Strategy Analytics assessment of the situation indicates that there is no danger of immediate disruption to the supply of gallium and arsenide raw materials. The supply of SI (semi-insulating) bulk substrates will be sustained and GaAs device manufacturing facilities were also largely unaffected.

There is the possibility, however, that any significant ramp in demand for GaAs epitaxial substrates over the next three to six weeks may lead to end-users being placed on allocation. Strategy Analytics analysis shows that the Japanese epitaxial substrate suppliers were running at full production rates with little to no excess inventory in the supply chain.

The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service report, "Japanese Quake Impact on the GaAs Industry," provides a preliminary assessment of the impact of the tragedy on the global GaAs industry in Japan and throughout the world.

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