Japanese earthquakes close Sony fab

April 20, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Sony Corp., the world's largest manufacturer of CMOS image sensors, has announced that a number of its manufacturing sites have been affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes and production remains suspended at one.

The Kumamoto region, in the south of Japan, was hit by a series of strong earthquakes on April 14 through 16 and the death toll has risen to 45 with approximately 1,500 people injured, according to local and news agency reports. Sony has confirmed the safety of all of its and its group companies' employees in the region affected by the earthquakes.

Sony said that operations at Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.'s Kumamoto Technology Center, located in Kikuchi Gun, which makes image sensors for digital cameras, security cameras and micro-display devices, were halted after the earthquake on April 14, and remain suspended.

Damage to the manufacturing lines and building is being evaluated but a time frame for the resumption of operations has not been determined.

At Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.'s Nagasaki Technology Center, located in Isahaya City, Sony's main facility for smartphone image sensor production, production was suspended but has been restarted. Similarly, at the Oita Technology Center production has been restarted.

The Kagoshima Technology Center, located in Kirishima City, has continued its production operations after the earthquakes, and there have been no major effects on its operations.

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