IHS: Korean war would be catastrophic to global electronics markets

IHS: Korean war would be catastrophic to global electronics markets

Summary: We live in an interconnected web of industry and markets.

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The market research firm IHS pointed out that South Korea is vital to global electronics markets because of its dominance in producing two-thirds of all DRAMs and 70 percent of all tablet display screens.

If war breaks out, the result would be "chaos".

… with the worldwide electronics supply chain grinding to a halt and stopping major market product segments in their tracks, including smartphones, media tablets, and PCs …

"It is important for companies to understand the magnitude of South Korea's role in the global electronics market — and to prepare for any contingencies," said Mike Howard, senior principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS.

South Korean electronics giants Samsung and Hynix are headquartered just 30 miles from the border of North Korea. And large manufacturing operations are within 30 miles of the capital.

War would severely limit production of most electronics and computing devices.

While some gadgets could have their amount of memory reduced — a smartphone with 32 gigabytes (GB) of NAND could be downsized to 8GB, or an 8GB laptop reduced to 4GB — other devices must have the memory for which they were originally designed, especially where DRAM is involved.

"A server with only half its intended DRAM is essentially half a server — and a smartphone cannot have its DRAM quantity changed, as it needs the original amount for which it was designed," Howard noted.

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6 comments
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  • The problem is...

    ...the individual with the most say over whether or not war breaks out is Kim Jong Un and I don't of any reason why he would care about disruptions in global electronics markets.

    It's not like North Korea is importing electronics from the South.
    John L. Ries
    • Maybe some day the US will wake up and stop

      getting played by North Korea and return to the verify part of trust but verify. And please no more nonsense about getting the chicoms to do anything about them. The chicoms are loving the idea of North Korea starting something. They'd take Taiwan in a heartbeat with sissypants Obama looking on without a clue and they wouldn't stop there.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Do you have any specific proposals?

        Just wondering.
        John L. Ries
        • Maybe

          If he does, I'm betting dollars to donuts they involve Chuck Norris.
          dsf3g
          • That's it

            We could send Chuck Norris on a commando raid with Sylvester Stallone as his backup. The North Koreans would naturally surrender instantly.
            John L. Ries
          • That's not it!

            Unless we send the guy who is Austrian and who is fit to lead a German contingent force unlike that other infamous and hated guy to success against North Koreans, the deal is not complete.

            Nothing is over until Arnie yells 'Stay here - I'll be back' after crossing the North Korean border back at Sylvester Stallone. I would assume Chuck Norris will slide or parachute (his favorite method) himself onto the northern side creating havoc from the skies while Arnie takes care of the ground. A one two punch that is undefeatable.

            It will be better for the North Koreans to surrender to the cigar smoking Arnie instead of to Sylvester. Chuck would be the 2nd option. We need a terminator just in case they play a trick.
            calahan