Japan's NAND industry on comeback trail following earthquake anniversary

Summary:The overall effect and aftermath of the earthquake in Japan last spring was actually short-lived as far as the NAND industry was concerned -- especially for Toshiba.

Following the one-year of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan last year, the country's NAND industry is on a comeback thanks to stronger demand, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli.

IHS memory analyst Dee Nguyen explained in the report that the overall effect and aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami last spring was actually short-lived as far as the NAND industry was concerned -- especially for Toshiba.

One factor was that although Toshiba accounted for 35 percent of global NAND capacity at the time of the disaster, its Yokkaichi facilities were far enough from the epicenter to avoid significant damage.

Furthermore, there were enough wafers in the supply chain for Toshiba to sustain its factories while wafer suppliers worked to restore production levels. Finally, throughout 2011, the NAND demand engine continued to chug along, propelled by rising sales to storage-intensive applications such as tablets, smartphones, and solid state drives (SSDs).

Toshiba, Japan's only NAND flash maker, took significant hit during the second quarter of 2011, but signs of rebound started as soon as the third quarter.

This can be attributed to a number of factors. For one, both of Toshiba's NAND chip fabrication facilities in Japan -- located only 500 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake -- suffered little to no damage and were only shut down for a week.

Furthermore, wafer suppliers were able to both restore and increase production within a month at other sites to minimize any shortage issues to major customers.

Graph via IHS iSuppli

Related:

Topics: Toshiba, Intel, Web development

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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