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Japan’s five major semiconductor chip makers plan to invest a record 954 billion yen this fiscal year to expand or improve manufacturing facilities, company officials said Thursday.

NEC Corp., Japan’s largest chip maker, said it is considering adding 20 billion yen to 30 billion yen to its initially planned outlay of 200 billion yen for the year ending March 31.

Toshiba Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. earlier announced plans to hike investment by between 40 billion yen and 50 billion yen from their initially projected outlays of between 100 billion yen and 160 billion yen.

Hitachi Ltd., which earlier announced plans to invest 204 billion yen, is considering raising the sum further, Hitachi officials said.

Should Hitachi add more than 50 billion yen to its investment budget, the total for the five makers could eclipse 1 trillion yen.

The planned hikes in investment reflect strong demand for information technology-related devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants, digital versatile disc equipment, video game consoles and personal computers, industry officials said.

Manufacturers of the products are suffering from an acute shortage of semiconductor chips, they said.

The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association, the world’s biggest trade body for chip makers, earlier said the combined value of computer chips shipped in July came to $17.32 billion (1.84 trillion yen ), up 50.3 percent from a year before.

The SIA earlier projected that the global chip market will be worth $195 billion (20.68 trillion yen) in calendar 2000, a 30.6 percent rise over the previous year.

The following is a table of the five’s initial and revised capital outlay projections for fiscal 2000 in billions of yen. Parentheses around figures indicate the sum is still under consideration.

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