Renesas chip production partially halted by fire

Japanese semiconductor maker Renesas Electronics says chip manufacturing at a key factory north of Tokyo has been partially suspended following a fire. It hopes to restart the damaged production line within a month.

Some equipment at the factory was damaged in the fire on Friday, forcing Renesas to halt part of its production of semiconductors for automobiles.

President and CEO Shibata Hidetoshi held an online news conference on Sunday. He said the plant was running at full capacity at the time of the incident, with auto chips accounting for two-thirds of its output.

Shibata said the damage also affected what is known as the clean room, a dust-free environment considered the heart of chip production.

Shibata said the aim is to resume output within a month, and Renesas will try to find alternative production facilities to minimize the impact from the stoppage.

However, the company's other factories and third-party chip foundries have limited capacity to boost output amid a global shortage of computer chips.