The Renesas facility fire couldnt have come at a worse time...

The Renesas facility fire couldn't have come at a worse time...

Automotive companies are scrambling to assess the consequences of a fire at a Renesas semiconductor manufacturing facility in Japan.

Renesas Electronics has said a fire occured on March 19 at part of the processes in the N3 Building (300mm line) of Naka Factory (located in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture) of Renesas Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd, a wholly-owned manufacturing subsidiary of Renesas.

Renesas said in a statement that although approximately two-thirds of the products manufactured within N3 Building can be alternatively produced in-house or in foundries, due to the recent increase in demand for semiconductors, the "situation does not allow for all products to be immediately produced alternatively". The semiconductors manufactured at the plant are used extensively in automotive applications such as engine management and in managing sensors for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

The company also said the financial impact from halting the N3 Building production is approximately 17 billion yen per month.

Reuters reported that the global semiconductor shortage could be aggravated further by the Renesas fire. Toyota, Nissan and Honda manufacturing in Japan could be vulnerable over the next few months, reports suggest - though the impact will be potentially felt via the interrupted supply of major component systems.