Renesas resumes production at fire-hit chip plant

April 18, 2021 Technology
Japanese chip manufacturer Renesas on Saturday restarted production in regards to a month after a factory fire that threatens to worsen a global chip shortage, local media said.

The fire on March 19 at its plant near Tokyo was included with car makers already battling semiconductor supply problems, partly because of increased demand for chips from manufacturers of laptops, tablets and gaming devices.

Renesas Electronics, a key supplier of automotive semiconductors, saw 600 square meters of factory floor damaged in the blaze.

The business said on April 10 it completed repairs in the fire-hit rooms plus they came online for initial output.

Jiji Press and other news reports said the firm partially commenced production Saturday morning, with plans to ship initial products in in regards to a month.

Immediate confirmation of the reports had not been available.

Renesas has up to now hoped to restart businesses at the factory unit generating 300 mm wafers -- an integral piece of tech for modern cars -- in around per month.

But the plant will not return to completely capacity for "between 90 days to 120 days", CEO Hidetoshi Shibata said late last month.

Company officials were tight-lipped about which of their customers would get early supplies of semiconductors, and in addition said it could take more time to pinpoint the reason for the fire.

With the blaze sparking concern about the impact on the world's chip supply, Japan's government and some of Renesas's own customers, including auto giant Toyota, have offered help.

During a summit on Friday in Washington, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Joe Biden decided to "partner on sensitive supply chains, including on semiconductors, promoting and protecting the critical technologies that are crucial to our security and prosperity," according to their joint statement.

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