Slow package resin restart weighs on tablets

March 28, 2011 // By Peter Clarke
Slow package resin restart weighs on tablets
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc., thought to be a near monopoly maker of a key material for the packaging of ICs used in tablet computers, has said it plans to get back to 25 percent of former production capacity at its Electrotechno Co. Ltd. electronic materials production subsidiary during April.

This relatively low level and protracted restart of production looks likely to affect the manufacture of tablet computers and some smartphones. There has been speculation that Apple Inc., may try to secure all of the limited resin production for use in chips for its iPhone and iPad products. This would be cause for concern for other smartphone and tablet vendors.

Electrotechno (Nishishirakawa-gun, Fukushima), which makes the bismaleimide triazine (BT) resin used in semiconductor package substrate for mobile devices, will start partial production early in April with a goal of achieving one-quarter of pre-earthquake levels during a first phase of recovery, Mitsubishi said in a status update.

Electrotechno makes a variety of materials but Mitsubishi said that Electrotechno would focus on materials used for semiconductor package substrates for mobile devices, during this first phase.

The details of a second phase of recovery is under consideration and will be announced at the end of March, Mitsubishi said.

The company said that recovery work at Electrotechno has not been adversely affected by the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant but added that problems with logistics or the purchase of raw materials may force changes to its plans.

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