Japan: Bismaleimide Shortage Lurks, Says FBR

Published on March 15, 2011
by Tiernan Ray

FBR Capital’s Craig Berger today reiterated his positive view on several semiconductor makers, despite what he sees as a likely hit to the electronics supply chain from the disaster in Japan, including a potential shortage of image sensors, NAND flash memory chips, and touch-screen displays that could be bad enough to slow production of Apple’s iPad 2.

But the most intriguing part of Berger’s note is his report that Asian sources indicate a compound called “Bismaleimide Triazine Resin,” which is used in the packaging of many chips, could be constrained given that most of the supply comes from Japan’s Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. A shortage of BT resin would hurt Xilinx, which is “50 percent exposed,” he writes, Altera, which has 40 percent exposure, and Qualcomm which has 30 percent exposure.

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