JAPANESE CHIPMAKER Toshiba has reopened a chip fab in Thailand to meet demand for smartphone and tablet chips.
Toshiba was one of many firms hit hard by the devastating floods in Thailand last year and while hard drive firm Western Digital's problems were well publicised, Toshiba also found one of its chip plants under water. Now the firm has reopened the Pathumthani plant in Thailand, with Toshiba saying production restarted earlier this month.
According to Toshiba the plant was "completely inundated" with floodwater resulting in operations closing down. The firm relocated the plant outside Thailand's main flood plain and its old facility has been cleaned and made available for operation.
Toshiba said new packaging equipment at its Pathunthani plant has been installed, paid for by insurance money. The firm added that its bottom line will not be affected by the capital expenditure. Toshiba said it is working on optimising the logistics and back-end processes at the plant to ensure it can meet demand created by the growth of smartphone and tablet sales.
While Toshiba doesn't make any smartphones of note and its tablets are far from high-profile, the firm does a brisk trade in supplying chips for other firms to put into their devices. Toshiba said that while production started earlier in November at its Pathunthani plant, the first shipments of products went out today. µ