Fire Halts Production for Chipmaker Renesas

By: SiliconExpert on March 24th, 2021

Renesas Electronics Corp., one of the biggest makers of automotive chips, reports a fire at its Naka factory has temporarily halted all production.  The fire occurred at the Renesas Naka factory (located in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture) on March 19, 2021, at 2:47 am in their N3 Building (300mm line) of Renesas Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd, a wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary of Renesas. The fire was extinguished by 8:12 am.

Renesas makes a variety of chips used in vehicles including sensors, components that manage power, batteries and parts that the power dashboard displays.  Renesas has production facilities at six sites in Japan. The N3 building is home to their 300mm wafer production which is one of the company’s more advanced lines. This incident will most definitely have an impact to supply and demand within the automotive industry, an industry already plagued with semiconductor shortages.


The Current Impact:

  • There is no damage to the actual building. There is, however, damage to some of the utility equipment including but not limited too the pure water supply, the air conditioning, and some of the manufacturing equipment.
  • Police and fire led site investigation has ended. The cause of the fire was determined to be caused by plating equipment which is one of the processes within the N3 building (300mm line). The casing of the equipment and the plating tank have a relatively low resistance to heat and due to overcurrent, the equipment ignited. The cause of the overcurrent and reason for ignition is still being investigated.
  • The burn area extended approximately 600m², or about 5% of the cleanroom area (12000m²) of the N3 Building (300mm line). There were 11 units of manufacturing equipment impacted by the fire. This equated to about 2% of the manufacturing equipment in the N3 Building (300mm line).
  • Production at the N3 Building (300mm line) has temporarily halted. An announcement will be made when production is to resume.
  • Production at their N2 Building (200mm line) and the WT Building (wafter testing) is operating as usual and will continue product shipment.
  • The impacts to manufacturing equipment, work-in-process, and the financial impacts to the company are undetermined and are currently under investigation.

Renesas aims to resume production within one month.  It is estimated that this one-month hiatus could result in a 17-billion-yen revenue loss. This accident is another blow to automakers that are already being forced to slow production due to a shortage of chips, equating to billions of dollars in sales loss.


How will this affect your supply chain?

SiliconExpert has the data and expertise to help you proactively identify the components at risk and gain an in-depth look into their lifecycle statuses, find alternatives, and available inventory from authorized distributors.

Also, in response to a need for insights and forecasted impacts, SiliconExpert quickly developed a support mechanism that can help customers identify risks in their supply chain. This service combines factors of geo-location and known risks in a proprietary formula to determine the overall supply chain risk score by the supplier and by part number.

Through SiliconExpert’s new supply chain module, you can get insights as it relates to this event as well as data that can help teams proactively mitigate impacts of future events.


For more details, please visit:

By Hala Mohamed

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