The 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, on Wednesday 16 March led to shutdowns at manufacturing plants, including those used by chip and component makers.

Among those impacted were Fujitsu, Murata, Renesas, and Kioxia.

– Kioxia

Memory manufacturer Kioxia's K1 Fab in Kitakami was damaged, impacting its wafer supply. The K1 fab accounts for around eight percent of the company's 2022 production capacity.

A Fujitsu factory was damaged, requiring operations to be suspended as safety checks take place.

Ceramic capacitor supplier Murata has shut down operations at four factories. Two facilities are expected to be restarted March 18, while the other two will require more time. One, the factory in Tome in Miyagi prefecture, was damaged by a fire.

Renesas, which last year saw a chip fab get decimated by a fire, was also impacted by the earthquake.

The company operates a 300mm Naka Factory in Ibaraki Prefecture, the Takasaki Factory in Gunma Prefecture, and Yonezawa Factory in Yamagata Prefecture.

All three were suspended due to the earthquake, with Yonezawa the only one to partially return.

"Most of northeastern Japan is a production center for global upstream semiconductor raw materials," analyst group Trendforce said.

The semiconductor industry has struggled to meet demand, with a pronounced chip shortage exacerbated by black swan events.

In addition to the earthquake and earlier Renesas fire, the storm in Texas took out Samsung, NXP, and Infineon fabs; a fire tore through an ASML plant; power cuts and droughts impacted production in Taiwan; and a wayward balloon took out fabs in Germany. In January, earthquakes shut down two Toshiba chip fabs.

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