Toshiba, the leading maker of NAND flash memory, announced Monday (March 14) that it would close down manufacturing and business sites in response to a request from the Tokyo Electricity and Power Company. However as Toshiba’s Yokkaichi fabs are a considerable distance south of Tokyo and even further from the parts of the country worst-affected by the earthquake it is not clear whether these plants will be affected by shutdowns.
In the DRAM spot market most suppliers stopped offering chips due to the uncertainty over the impact of the Japan earthquake. As a result the overall price rose more than 5 percent from early day trading.
While supplies could be constrained, particularly as some fabs may be subject to loss of electricity, so could demand at Japanese consumer electronics companies that use memory chips. As such the dynamic effect on supply and demand is not yet clear, although with so much equipment manufacturing now in China the overall effect is expected to see supply fall behind demand.