Japan quake could compromise Moore's Law

Written by Paul Goodhead

March 22, 2011 | 12:18

Tags: #earthquake #lithography #nikon #tsunami

Companies: #intel #japan

The tragic human cost of the recent Japanese earthquake has been well documented, but the disaster is also having profound effects on businesses, especially in the electronics and semiconductor industries.

Indeed Ars Technica currently reports that that the effects could extend further than just financial ramifications too; even Moore’s Law is under threat.

The cause for alarm is a Nomura Securities report, which details the current status of various hi-tech production facilities that were in or around the area affected by the disaster.

On this list are a number of production sites owned by camera and lens producer Nikon, which are currently listed as having operations suspended due to building damage.

Of these five sites, three produce the high-powered lithography lens systems that are used in semiconductor production, which could have a knock-on effect for chip makers.

At the top of the list of companies that could be affected is Intel, which uses Nikon-produced lenses in some of its 45nm fabs and all its 32nm facilities. This strong relationship between the two companies also suggests that Nikon would be producing the lenses for Intel’s forthcoming 22nm production lines, meaning any delay at its production facilities could affect the production of future Intel CPUs.

Intel has released a statement saying that it's 'continuing to monitor the situation in Japan,' but also notes that the majority of its key suppliers 'came through this event in reasonable shape.'

Do you think Intel is playing down its worries? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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