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Japanese Chip Shutdown Causing Shortages

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the cause-and-effect dept.

Iphone 121

An anonymous reader writes "Japan's natural disasters and nuclear crisis have already caused silicon wafer shortages that are rippling through the global supply chain of semiconductors for everything from your garden variety PC to the biggest Google server farm. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have shut down 25 percent of the global semiconductor raw materials production, threatening to cause shortages and price hikes in everything from smartphones to supercomputers. Intel and Qualcomm are countering that they have stockpiles and alternative manufacturing plants that can pick up the slack, but dozens of other electronics makers require critical components only manufactured in Japan."

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Yep, thats big problem (-1, Troll)

slashdotfan2 (2024588) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593440)

AMD recently announced [tinyurl.com] they aren't going to cut prices on last series of CPUs due to this

Re:Yep, thats big problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593502)

Goatse troll. Someone mod this troll down and ban his slashdot account please.

Re:Yep, thats big problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593536)

the game

Re:Yep, thats big problem (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593572)

the game

damn you!

Re:Yep, thats big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593790)

You can curse me, but that won't change the fact that you are now blinking manually.

Re:Yep, thats big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594332)

and breathing manually.

Re:Yep, thats big problem (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593836)

Haven't you learned?

The only way to win is not to play.

Re:Yep, thats big problem (0)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594252)

And to think, all this time I thought the only way to play was not to win!

Re:Yep, thats big problem (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594266)

And, in hindsight, I missed the obviously superior Soviet Russia joke. The preview button exists for a reason, kids!

Because This is Important (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593450)

People trapped and dying.
Let's worry about how much our next next motherboard will cost.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593468)

Let's worry about how much our next next motherboard will cost.

Just remember what you said in 6 months, when you need a new motherboard, because one of yours is damaged or something, and you go to a store for a new one, only to find the cheapest motherboards are priced starting at $9,999.

Re:Because This is Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593586)

Noooo
We find they sell no motherboards anymore.

Just buy an used entreprise PC for 80 euros then

Re:Because This is Important (1)

MichaelKristopeit336 (1967526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593802)

so... "they" don't sell motherboards anymore.... so you suggest someone who needs a motherboard "Just buy" one anyways...

you're an idiot.

Re:Because This is Important (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594406)

The hell with motherboards...I'm getting ready to buy a nice large LED LCD tv....better get one before those start to skyrocket in price...

Re:Because This is Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594282)

Yes, because all motherboards come from Japan.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593482)

I'd be surprised if anyone trapped during the earthquake or tsunami were still alive. It'll only be bodies we find from now on.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593854)

And we'll probably never find most of those.

Pictures I've seen have shown acres-wide piles of debris floating mid-ocean. Houses, crushed by the incoming water and swept away by the outgoing water.

Some shots of whole towns built in little canyons on the shore, nothing left but the occasional foundation or concrete building, and some litter.

If they didn't get out, they're gone.

Multitasking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593512)

You do that. The rest of us can think about more than one thing at a time.

Re:Because This is Important (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593532)

Yes, human life is valuable and its the first priority, but Its the entire economy of the civilized world we are talking about here, so its a bit more important then you are eluding to.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593830)

so its a bit more important then you are eluding to.

But you... and then... oh forget it.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593870)

It's a small part of a short period in the segment of the economy that is directly dependent on new equipment and parts beyond what is in inventory.

It may affect 1% of SKUs, total, directly or once-removed indirectly.

If this has a serious effect on the entire investment community, then capitalism is too friable to be allowed to continue without major and persistent regulation.

Although I would've thought that a few hedge funds going upside-down on their derivatives wagers on the American housing market precipitating a worldwide crash in all equities, the collapse of hundreds of banks, and the near dissolution of a quarter of the world's auto makers would have been enough proof of that.

Re:Because This is Important (4, Informative)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593962)

eluding to

alluding to

"ad" means "to" in Latin. "ex" means "from". You elude from something. You allude to it.

evade, escape, egress...
attack, admonish, advise...

Re:Because This is Important (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594132)

atypical ?

Re:Because This is Important (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594258)

atypical ?

Sounds Greek to me.

Re:Because This is Important (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593544)

Liz Taylor died this morning and you're posting this shit?

Have some priorities, man!

Re:Because This is Important (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593702)

This is /. not oxfam. What aspect of it do you think we are going to talk about?

Re:Because This is Important (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593752)

People trapped and dying.
Let's worry about how much our next next motherboard will cost.

Yeah, let's stop supporting them economically and chew on our nails instead;.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593898)

It is quite possible that the failed ability to get shit built kills people too you know.

Not saying it's happened yet, but ,ere things are capable of saving lives, and their absence can cause endings to life.

I know a few people that couldn't of survived without silicone wafers.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595070)

I know a few people that couldn't of survived without silicone wafers.

Most slashdotters, for instance.

Re:Because This is Important (4, Insightful)

dswensen (252552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594046)

Because not discussing the economic impact of a disaster on a technology website will totally help those people. Much in the same way that not discussing other, more trivial stories will cure cancer or address world hunger.

Re:Because This is Important (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595316)

Just the same way bitching about it helps those in need.

Re:Because This is Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594118)

I will, thanks. And I don't need condescending douches like you to tell me that I'm a bad person for not feeling bad about all those trapped people dying. Meh.

Re:Because This is Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594340)

I bet your the same douche who comes in here and bitches about... "this isn't news for nerds"

Cars ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593490)

Don't forget : Cars

An opportunity... (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593526)

...but dozens of other electronics makers require critical components only manufactured in Japan."

What could these critical components be really? Just want to know. With this datum, can someone convince me that Japan is manufacturing these components because it's cheaper than to manufacture them in the USA?

US based venture capitalists, step in and do something here. You will be handsomely rewarded.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593568)

I think some manufacturing processes are kept secret and not shared with outside factories, letting those in Japan have superior methods/tech to foreign competitors.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593690)

No there was a big fire in the only factory that made the right glue for computer memory in 1993. Prices skyrocketed for the glue but the market was soon glutted. Not enough time.

Re:An opportunity... (1, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594338)

Yeah, but for that short period of time, a bunch of manufacturers found themselves in a sticky situation.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594650)

gong, gong.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594660)

Yeah that was a lot of fun, knowing that people were selling the stock of chips *they already had* at outrageously high prices. I understand about replacement cost and all that, but it really was *nuts* for a while, and that time happened to coincide with a local maximum for my own individual need for memory chips. I basically learned how to do more with less RAM and infrequent upgrades. When the bottom fell out of the chip market it kind of caught me by surprise... I needed, I guess, 128M simms or something, and the first place I checked had them for maybe 1/4 the price I was expecting. A bit of a revolution started that for me, marks the transition between the time that mostly nerds had computers to where *everybody and their dog* had one.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594902)

I remember. I had a 386-40 (AMD) that I bought with 8m ram and had upgraded to 20m.
I replaced it with a Pentium-60 (1st gen) with 16m.
I think that's that was the only memory downgrade in my life in terms of systems I personally owned included when I switched to laptops.

Re:An opportunity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593772)

US based venture capitalists, step in and do something here. You will be handsomely rewarded.

Then they'll outsource it to China like everything else.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593880)

Who do you think caused the earthquake?

Re:An opportunity... (-1, Troll)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593828)

The nips probably own and designed some of those most critical chips, not EVERYTHING is designed in the US you know. And Japan is not some shitty 3rd-world country where you can pay children a nickel a day to inhale sulfur; I doubt that it is any cheaper than producing them in the US. Then, new designed aren't interchangeable with the old ones, so it would take a huge amount of time and money to redesign all the produces to work with the new chips. It would be easier and cheaper just to wait for Japan come back on line.

Re:An opportunity... (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594308)

A lovely thought and perfectly logical, unfortunately US companies don't see any point to making actual goods here because some reason our workers actually think the people who actually do work are worth almost 1% of those who manage and market. Thus we have to export manufacturing to the countries that will pay their workers $5 a week or less.

Re:An opportunity... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595180)

What could these critical components be really? Just want to know. With this datum, can someone convince me that Japan is manufacturing these components because it's cheaper than to manufacture them in the USA?

It's a few years since I worked for a company that made chips, but from what I remember every chip mask we used was made in Japan because they were the only country with the technology to do so. That wouldn't affect existing chips but would prevent you from making new ones.

Re:An opportunity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35595618)

Usually Japan has quality. Which is kinda funny because the one guy who is responsible for todays quality of Japan was an American.

So maybe we should build some factories elsewhere. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593528)

Say Detroit. Some redundancy would be beneficial, don't you think?

I bet there's plenty of available buildings too.

Re:So maybe we should build some factories elsewhe (1)

theguru (70699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593808)

No, then the unions will cause the chips to cost 4X as much..

Re:So maybe we should build some factories elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594036)

That's ok, it's better than the patent lawsuits. I'd rather union workers have the money than lawyers.

Hmm, bad planning much? (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593552)

Japan has been known to disaster-prone for how long exactly? And you don't have reliable alternate streams for your critical components? Cry me a fucking river - I'll sing you a sad song.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (2)

camcorder (759720) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593620)

Well, they won't actually whine but just increase the prices. At the end of the day, it's the consumers who will get affected, not the vendors. They don't need mercy of yours at all, better prepare to pay more.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (2)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593848)

Well, they won't actually whine but just increase the prices. At the end of the day, it's the consumers who will get affected, not the vendors. They don't need mercy of yours at all, better prepare to pay more.

Actually, both consumers and vendors are affected. If your customers can no longer afford to buy your product, you'll soon be without customers.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35595086)

I get that point, but someone always wins when gravity crushes "everyone but one" into the ground. For every mass of closing stores there's a rich conglomerate jumping up in joy since customers *them now* at monopoly pricing.

Millionaires don't care if they lost their temp gigs (the kind that doesn't indebt himself like a Wallstreet gambler^W trader anyway). Those mega-platinum contracts, audiophile cables, Mercedes Benz's, thousand dollar suits, alienware PC's and diamond plated laptops [yahoo.com] don't buy themselves and have been fine for years or decades, and if some died during a recession, someone else continued their trade with their stolen know-how or something.

Only the masses suffer and adapt during a true recession, but the rich find something else to sell them for cheap if trends change.

Captain Oblivious strikes again! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593868)

> dozens of other electronics makers require critical components only manufactured in Japan.

Where exactly were they supposed to source these, again?

Re:Captain Oblivious strikes again! (3, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594162)

MANUFACTURED means MADE. This isn't a natural resource; if they can make it, so can we. The fact that you allowed yourself to become dependent on a sole source goes back to - wait for it - BAD PLANNING.
Remember how AMD got into the x86 biz? No? Go look it up.

Re:Captain Oblivious strikes again! (5, Informative)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594512)

Remember how AMD got into the x86 biz? No? Go look it up.

Excellent suggestion, link for anyone interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amd#Processor_market_history [wikipedia.org]

Relevant quote for those not interested. Seems like good planning on IBMs part.

IBM wanted to use the Intel 8088 in its IBM PC, but IBM's policy at the time was to require at least two sources for its chips.

Thanks for posting the relevant link (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594532)

I really should have done that myself. +1 Informative to you.

Re:Thanks for posting the relevant link (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594788)

No prob, your suggestion got me to learn something new today.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (1)

kdsible (2019794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594062)

I second this common sense - and your quote!!

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594230)

Yup, all those dumb consumers should have paid more for electronics to preserve diversity among producers, what were they thinking?

Seriously, defense is probably the only industry critical enough and rich enough to even attempt [aviationweek.com] such a thing, but even they get criticized for the inefficiencies inherent in the approach, such as giving preferential treatment to small businesses, subsidizing Boeing, and so on.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594402)

It wasn't the consumers who made the decision. We were buying stuff even when it cost much more than it does now. I remember when VCRs cost over $2000 in today's dollars. People still bought them ( just not one for each room of the house )

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594704)

Japan has been known to disaster-prone for how long exactly? And you don't have reliable alternate streams for your critical components? Cry me a fucking river - I'll sing you a sad song.

Keeping multiple streams is inefficient. Efficiency is everything these days. We expect you to work continuously at 110 per cent.

Re:Hmm, bad planning much? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594822)

Which is fine, I suppose, until disaster strikes. Did the efficiency experts think that "Ring of Fire" is hyperbole?

Ah yes, been waiting for the ole SHORTAGE panic... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593642)

Like the 95 Kobe quake they had when all monitor guys, including those outside of Japan, suddenly started complaining about the shortage of glass. Later turned out that there was only one fab that was affected and it was Ikegami and they were only doing one type of consumer TV tube. Keep in mind, the earthquake shut down not only supply but a great bit of demand... Cui Bono, eh?!

Re:Ah yes, been waiting for the ole SHORTAGE panic (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593670)

Agreed.
In fact, wasn't there a post on Slashdot regarding the affected industry? Or maybe I heard it on the news.
Only 4% of Japans economy was affected by the Earthquake, the rest of the country kept right on working.
So 4% = 25% of the worlds chip makers?

Re:Ah yes, been waiting for the ole SHORTAGE panic (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593894)

If that 4% included one of four silicon wafer manufacturers, then yes. Chip makers buy their wafers from companies that refine the sand and grow the ingots and saw the wafers from them. It's a very specialized business to make the wafers at the tolerances needed for modern chipmaking. Totally not unreasonable for a quarter of the world's capacity to be in one small area.

Re:Ah yes, been waiting for the ole SHORTAGE panic (4, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594078)

So far the only major tech companies really known to be affected are:

Sony's camera division which has halted its assembly lines due to the rolling blackouts, it is concidering shifting production to other facilities temporarily.

Toshiba's LSI plant is offline they hope to be back up and running in about 3 weeks, they are offline due to damaged equipment. They have switched to alternate facitiles for its small screen manufacturing and do not expect shortages.

Canon's domestic camera production is offline due to a shortage of on hand parts but hopes to be back up and running by the end of this week.

Nikon has 4 plants that are offline but they are for its precision equipment division its camera and consumer products plants are in Taiwan.

Panasonic has several plants that handle optical sensors and camera gear offline in northern Japan there is no major damage but say they are waiting on infrastructure repair before resuming production.

Renesas Electronics, has resumed operations at their biggest plant of the seven affected but another six are offline, 15 of their other plants in japan are still up and running and were not affected by the Tsunami.

Shin-Etsu Chemical, the silicon wafer manufacturer that everyone is talking about has 2 of their plants offline but are trying to boost production at other plants to make up for any shortfalls.

Re:Ah yes, been waiting for the ole SHORTAGE panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594326)

Bear in mind some of those plants are required to supply other wafer plants. notably Intel's Ivy Bridge (22nm) plans are believed to be affected by Nikon's issues. There are some domino effects to consider.

Bullshit (-1, Troll)

slashdotfan3 (2024590) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593656)

This is very very wrong. Japan just supplies about 10% [blog.com] of wafer. (China supplies about 40% itself). I think thats a work of someone that wants to play on a dropped stock price...., so watch out.

Re:Bullshit (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593908)

Another fucking goatse troll.

Radio-Action? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593672)

Hello, I'm no nuculear specialist or anything, so I want to know if there is any chance of PC parts with japanese components (capacitors and stuff) shipping with radioactive particles on them from now on.

I want all those extra FPS's...but i don't want my PC to be something to DIE for!

Re:Radio-Action? (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593918)

>>>Hello, I'm no nuculear specialist or anything, so I want to know if there is any chance of PC parts with japanese components (capacitors and stuff) shipping with radioactive particles on them from now on.
>>I want all those extra FPS's...but i don't want my PC to be something to DIE for!

But... gamma particles are all the latest craze in overclocking! Why be lame with those commodity blue LED lights on your box when you could have the "real" soothing blue of Cherenkov radiation?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Advanced_Test_Reactor.jpg [wikimedia.org] (Hmm, actually looks like a lot of cases I've seen...)

Need to find old manufacturing consultant (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593680)

Specifically, the one who pushed "Just In Time" for the manufacturer where I worked way back when.

Me: "But what about catastrophic incidents with a supplier or entire region?"

Consultant: "It doesn't happen like that. If one supplier goes down, we get from another. Entire sectors don't go down at once."

After 10 years I can now call him up and say "Ha! I told you so!"

nakedcapitalism.com had a story on this (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593754)

the entire business system of the world has been moving to 'just in time' / outsourcing, from airplanes to electronics to finance itself (mortgages).

the claim is 'higher efficiences' and 'lower costs' (arbitrage im guessing is in there somewhere).

when people talk about risks, they dont get listened to becasue they are basically saying 'we need to cut fewer costs' i.e. 'we need to make less short term profit'.

in some industries, failure to be number 1 or 2 = complete and total failure, at least amongst certain types of people who see things that way.

Re:nakedcapitalism.com had a story on this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594296)

Well, depending on the context, 'just-in-time' often is a good idea and does save money. Before shipping got reliable (and before http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_research figured out the math in WW2 and beyond), you had to maintain a fairly large stockpile of input and output at every site involved in the entire chain from raw material harvesting all the way to the storefront. Gradually we've figured out how much of a supply each location really needs on hand, so we only keep that (plus maybe a few percent more as wiggle room), thus saving the cost of the extra storage space and employees. So for example, the storefront gets one truckload a week and puts most of that directly on the shelves, instead of getting four trucks at the start of every month and putting all that in a huge back room and then gradually moving it again onto shelves over the month. Plus, the shorter storage lengths are, of course, better for things that have expiration dates, like food that spoils, or high storage costs like food that needs to be refrigerated.

In the case to the quake/tsunami, being oldschool wouldn't have really been any better; stockpiles within japan would still have been damaged, and there would still be exactly the same supply problem once the stockpiles elsewhere were used up. (Or to reword it: the gap in the supply pipeline would still be the same size, even if the pipe was longer). Note that for this tech stuff, the stockpiles are also constrained on both ends: they can't be too small, because the shipment takes a long time to arrive from japan; but they can't be too large because the tech changes quickly, so having a large stockpile would mean starting your own production late, and then been stuck holding obsolete parts when it's time to start making the next new thing. (Or another reword: when the tech moves fast, any stockpile's value depreciates very quickly).

right but the pipline would keep flowing (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595212)

it's like the difference between having unbuffered video stream and a buffered video stream on your youtube video.

if its unbuffered, you might get interruptions and hiccups in delivery, which destroy the experience.

if you have buffering, it costs more resources, more memory, more code, etc, but you are guaranteed less interruption.

now we are talking about big industries instead of a video on youtube, so people feel the impact harder, and if it is the food pipleine, people will start rioting in the street.

many oil producers keep strategic reserves on hand, am i right? its like inventory, its wasteful but they do it to smooth out the bumps in the road.

Re:Need to find old manufacturing consultant (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593776)

Specifically, the one who pushed "Just In Time" for the manufacturer where I worked way back when.

I believe the originator of the JIT system is... Japan!

I'm not sure exactly how they compensate for the disasters in the model, but many modern business methods have come out of there, including the Toyota system...

Re:Need to find old manufacturing consultant (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594158)

When you are dealing with products that face planned obsolescence in one year or less like cars and consumer electronics you need to plan for just in time unless you want to send huge swats of your production directly to the landfill.

Re:Need to find old manufacturing consultant (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594490)

Yeah. JIT works for screws and bolts but not for non-commodities.

Re:Need to find old manufacturing consultant (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594802)

Yeah. JIT works for screws and bolts but not for non-commodities.

Naa, that's JIS.

Re:Need to find old manufacturing consultant (3, Interesting)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594562)

And he will point out that the cost savings from the past ten years of Just In Time offset any losses due to the situation in Japan and other catastrophies many times over.

Posted under apple really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35593706)

Its clearly a HARDWARE story

The US comes out on top (5, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#35593716)

See, this shows how the US has things figured out. If we have a catastrophic natural disaster in the US, we won't run into this problem, because we were smart enough to make sure that we don't manufacture anything here.

Re:The US comes out on top (1)

Dunark (621237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593812)

If we have a catastrophic natural disaster in the US, we won't run into this problem

That doesn't work because we have catastrophic artificial problems.

Re:The US comes out on top (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593820)

Lean Manufacturing Secrets of the Secret Haitian Masters!

Re:The US comes out on top (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593856)

This is a funny comment. But I think some of these funny comments that are modded up would help one get you elected into a political office. I think the best BSers on Slashdot should run for office.

Re:The US comes out on top (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594010)

Actually, if say California was hit by a massive 9.0 earth quake, the RIAA and MPAA would suddenly be without any new productions, and they'd have to settle for compilations, reruns and rereleases ....

Wait ...

Re:The US comes out on top (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594460)

I promise you and this will sound cruel, there would be people willing to die to ensure no RIAA people escape the building as it collapses. Thats how bad its gotten.

Re:The US comes out on top (2)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594682)

Joke's on you: both are headquartered in DC!

Re:The US comes out on top (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594884)

so now you have me thinking about a tsunami giving D.C. an enema while the rest of the country blocks the highways to make sure no one escapes. win / win, no downside!

DRAM shortage after 1998 Taiwan earthquake (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593860)

Taiwan manufactured some crucial part of DRAM then. So when factories closed for four months after a large 1998 quake, DRAM prices actually increased the following two years.

Re:DRAM shortage after 1998 Taiwan earthquake (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593970)

Didn't that also result in a bunch of lawsuits over collusion though? Thats where the whole RAMBUS debacle started if I remember correctly.

Re:DRAM shortage after 1998 Taiwan earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594170)

Correct and DRAM then became a commodity with pricing and imports governed by Uncle Sam. A supplier of mine used to smuggle suitcases of DRAM and remarked CPUs back in those days. Many got rich off once Uncle Sam got involved and curtailed the competition and created a black market for such items. Government can do many things very well; running a business is not one of them.

Re:DRAM shortage after 1998 Taiwan earthquake (3, Informative)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595082)

No, RAMBUS was a patent protected monopoly. They didn't license the technology cheaply (or broadly enough) and so prices were high for it due to low supply and high demand (it was Intel's only memory platform for a couple years). Rambus failed because they sucked at basic economics.

The DRAM collusion investigations involved Hynix, Infineon, Samsung, Micron, and Elpida. Rambus actually has lawsuits against those companies alleging that they colluded to drive the price of Synchronous DRAM down and thus drive Intel back to SDRAM. I'm not sure how that works, because the US DoJ fined the above companies ~$700 million for colluding to keep prices high.

Post (-1, Redundant)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593956)

Posing to unmoderate

Re:Post (1)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595522)

Try Moderatrix [userscripts.org] , It works for me.

No shortage of Democrat KKK members though! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594350)

First Robert Byrd, now this guy:

Anyone who thinks Democrats aren't racists should look at the vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 along party lines. VERY enlightening. Also, need I remind you liberal assholes that Lincoln was a Republican, and the south during the Civil War was overwhelmingly Democrat.

As if those facts aren't damning enough, perhaps the worst thing about Democrats (they like to call themselves Progressives whenever the Democrat brand is wearing thin) was their embrace of the bogus science of eugenics in the early 20th century. Adolf Hitler is on-record crediting American Progressives for inspiring him. Go ahead. Do some googling on the history of the eugenics movement in America. I dare you.

Apple in the tags?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35595062)

Why do the tags for this article include a company that was not mentioned? Could it be that tomorrow we will find out that Apple Tablets have one of these critical components being manufactured there? Why would you not include this info in the article if so? Wonder where the stock options are going on that, :P

Read similar stories with these tags
  tsunami japan apple

like gulf-oil-spill fake reason for raising gas$$ (1)

lpq (583377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595462)

Is this similar to the bogus announcements of oil shortages caused by the gulf spill to raise prices at the pump (when it wasn't true -- shortly
after a oil&media induced buying spree on a price run-up, prices dropped severely as there there was no shortage, and everyone had run on gas to buy it up before it 'ran out' -- it did (at the high prices), was replaced by gas costing 30% less...*cough*...

Chips, made in Japan? How many US suppliers get them from Japan and not China or such? I'm sure there are some, but how much is being 'pumped up' as a way to push up profits?

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