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Chip prices up as Japan quake shuts plants

Chip prices up as Japan quake shuts plants
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Prices of microchips and other key technology components have continued to rise in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Many plants remain closed and damage to infrastructure – power, roads, rails and ports – threatens to disrupt the global manufacturing chain for longer than had originally been expected.

Japan is still a dominant player in high-tech components and Research firm IHS iSuppli said there could be significant shortages of some electronic parts.

If the supply chain is broken for even a few weeks, the impact could be felt in higher prices or shortages of gadgets including computers and mobile phones for months to come.

Kingston Technology, one of largest suppliers of memory chips in world, said some market reaction had been “of a speculative nature,” but added, “there is a valid concern about the disruption to the logistics chain of some DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip manufacturers outside Japan.”