Charred equipment in the Renesas semiconductor factory after a fire on 19th March 2021. Photo: Renesas Electronics Corp.
Charred equipment in the Renesas semiconductor factory after a fire on 19th March 2021. Photo: Renesas Electronics Corp.

A serious fire at the semiconductor manufacturing factory of Renesas Electronics Corporation in Naka, north east Japan, on 19th March has added to problems of component supply for the electronics industry.

The fire, which began at 2.47 am and was caused by an electrical fault, destroyed a large clean room in which the chips were made. It took nearly six hours to extinguish – fortunately no one was injured.

“Being a proactive supplier, OSIE UK is constantly monitoring for supply chain issues as part of our service to all our customers,” says John Harley, OSI Electronics UK’s Director Business Development UK & EMEA.

“While this fire is not nearly as devastating as the one which destroyed the Asahi Kasei Microsystems‘ (AKM) semiconductor plant last November, it once again highlights the need to work closely with your EMS provider to ensure continuity of supply, not just for current orders but throughout 2021 and into 2022.”

Renesas is a key supplier of automotive semiconductors – the fire, in its N3 building, has temporarily halted production of its 300 mm wafers.

“Approximately two-thirds of the products manufactured within N3 can be alternatively produced in-house or in foundries,” said a spokesman. “But due to the recent increase in demand for semiconductors, the situation does not allow for all products to be immediately produced.”

As we highlighted in our Snap shot reports for February and March, many OEMs are already struggling with a global chip shortage due to the COVID-19-driven boom in consumer electronics and unexpected strong rebound in car sales.


OSI Electronics UK is a subsidiary of Californian based OSI Electronics.

Posted 22nd March 2021