A report by market research firm IC Insights found that 63 percent of semiconductor manufacturing capacity is located in earthquake prone areas, including more than 90 percent of world's foundry capacity.
The report notes that since the early days of chip production in Silicon Valley, the semiconductor industry has always had the bulk of its manufacturing located in seismically active regions. "It appears that, over time, the IC producers and their customers have just come to accept this situation as a fact of life," said the report.
IC Insights issued its report in light of the fact that more than 15 chip fabs experienced production interruptions associated the earthquake in Japan on March 11. Most of those fabs have by now ramped or are ramping toward at least partial production, but several sustained heavy damage and will remain offline for at least a few weeks. One fab, a 150-mm Freescale fab that is located just 80 miles from the epicenter of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake.