Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Japan, radiation, silicon wafers and what a little birdy told me...

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:00 AM
Original message
Japan, radiation, silicon wafers and what a little birdy told me...
I have a very good friend that works in the high tech industry. His particular company deals exclusively with various silicon chips that are used in phones, computers, and any other high tech gadgets that requires them. His clients include, apple, intel and freescale to name a few. So he deals in high end products with huge corps.

This past Saturday night my gf and I had our bi-weekly, "game night", cards, board games, etc.

Prior to playing we all got on to talking about Japan, the nuke plants and radiation.

He told me something very interesting.

Japan is the largest manufacturer of two very particular components of the various silicon chips in our electronic gizmos. One is a high tech version of a copper foil and the other is a very high tech version of a spun glass "foil".

Now, don't get me wrong, other nations manufacturer these same products. But, and this is a big but, Japan manufactures the lions share of these particular items.

First, I will state that my friend told me that the other nations, such as, South Korea, China and Malaysia are trying like hell to ramp up production of these two particular items. but until they are up to speed there will be a significant lag.

These Japanese corps that make these two items are trying like crazy to tell their buyers that everything is okay and they are still able to produce product.

A couple of things first. Sundai (sic), the area of Japan that was hit hardest by the tsunami, had one of the largest of these manufacturing plants in the world. It is no longer operationable. In fact, my friend stated, they don't think that the actual building still exists.

Then about a week ago, he started getting calls from his various clients, Apple, Intel, etc, as to whether or not his company had radiation detecting devices for these products!

Basically, my friend said, "no one does".

Now, I asked, "what does this all mean?"

Well, he took a deep breath, (I might add at this point, this guy is a very optimistic guy, a silver lining type guy, certainly very far from a doomer and gloomer type), "well, we will know for sure in about 6 to 8 weeks current inventory ends. After that it's anyones guess, because if the other plants aren't able to ramp up in time to fill the need, there will be a serious gap in product. What this means is, companies like apple won't put out ipads without these chips, they can't. However, the other part is, they could put out products with substandard chips that basically didn't pass their various inspections, which means, that what ever product they put out with these various substandard chips can't be guarenteed to work as advertised".

So it's a damned if they do, damned if they don't sort of thing.

His boss has a masters in economics from Harvard, he told my friend that, if things don't ramp up in time, expect some serious economic fall out in the tech industry, not just in the manufacturing, but the end product base. He had a company wide meeting last week and he braced his employees (my friend included) that their stock, which had been doing very well, might be worth as much as half what it is 8 weeks from now.

Things are going to get very interesting.

My friend told me I could forward this info to all of you with the exception, that 1) I don't mention his name and 2) don't mention the name of his company.

Take it for what it is worth. I have known this guy for a long time, and I don't know him to speak in hyperbole.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. there`s a shortage of fuel airflow chips from japan
if i remember correctly it`s close to 70% of these chips are used in most cars assembled in japan,usa,and other countries. other shortages of sub assembly parts is already effecting assembly production in the usa. as with the high tech industry auto assemblers will be wary of using parts made in china or india because of their quality control issues.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. So now Fords are going to be selling more Focuses?
FOCUS. (fuck off cuz you stupid) :7 and I won't be able to get that part I need and stock in the Japaneze stuff is subzero and jobs are blowing in the wind or is this an opportunistic moment for American workers? What we can't make the copper foil and spun glass "foil" chips?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. Something similar happened...
..a few years ago when the plant making most of the world's supply of resin used to encapsulate small thingies -- chips, e.g. into electronics devices -- the plastic that makes an IC its familiar bug-shaped self, or SMD's the little black boxes they are -- burned down.

We managed. I'm not saying no one got their hair mussed....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. Gee ...does anyone want to start building shit here now?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. +1 million and I brought my shovel to help, L0oniX!
Indeed!

PB
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
5. and the ones who use the crap chips will, hopefully,
go out of business. it's the times like these that separate the responsible from the greedy. it would be nice to see the greedy lose for a change.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. It would also be nice for corporations to be HONEST about things.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. bwahahahaha
that's the funniest thing i have read all morning. ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
7. Get ready for a few years of flaky, glitchy electronics.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 10:26 AM by backscatter712
Oh, you thought we'd all gotten past the capacitor plague. Now we've got a new plague - the radiation plague.

Radiation flips bits and screws with electronics, and if you've got electronic components with tiny bits of radioactive materials in them, they'll act up.

True story - in the 80's, back in the days of the original IBM PC and the Apple IIe, there were a lot of memory chips and CPUs that were constantly flaking out. It turns out the reason was because they were using a certain type of ceramic in the chip housings that contained tiny traces of radioactive material. Not from some nuclear accident, but just natural radioactivity from the minerals that the ceramic was made from. Every once in a while, some atom of a radioactive isotope would decay, fling an electron or a neutron, which would hit a memory cell, or a transistor on the chip, and flip it's state, causing the device the chip was in to freak out, resulting in a crash, or corrupted data. Once the manufacturers figured this out and switched to a different ceramic that didn't have traces of radioactive isotopes, the malfunctions stopped.

If the chip manufacturers cheap out like they did in the years of the capacitor plague and start buying slightly radioactive components from Japan, chances are that those components will be harmless to human health, but you'll get a lot of computers that crash for no reason, iPods that intermittently malfunction, etc. etc. etc.

Well, it'll create lots of busy-work for computer techs...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. that was an interesting post too! Thanks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Chips are even more sensitive today
With line widths approaching wavelengths of light and memory cells operating with minuscule charges, it doesn't take much to set things going in a bad way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
8. Cascade effect is going to hit big time and really show the "value" of globalization.
Remember "don't put all your eggs in one basket"?

What other critical things do we need from Japan, besides our COQ10?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. after all these years, I do trust you and the post sounds totally reasonable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 02:35 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC