It is only a concern if you are in the market for new gear. Was going through some audio industry news and came across an article on potential supply chain distruption due to AKM factory fire. 400 workers were evacuated in time and no one was injured. Most other DACs use a conversion architecture called Delta-Sigma modulation. I personally prefer R2R DACs but AKM chips are found in everything from AV receivers to SPDIF interfaces. The fire was devastating and the entire semiconductor facility is now shut down and all AKM production has come to a halt. Can 2020 get any worse? It took over 80 hours to totally extinguish the fire. Sections of the building collapsed on October 22 when the fire spread to the fifth floor Most critical is the shortage in AKM audio-to-digital circuits that take analog audio and converts it to a digital signal used when recording sound with video. But in the closing moments of Day 3, the firefighters had fully extinguished the blaze at around midnight of October 23rd, that’s a full 82 hours of war against a determined force of nature. But sadly, the music could not be saved. Further, we're in talks with multiple parties to better understand the longer-term effect on our product supply with an eye towards mitigating potential shortages in the future. Only a week ago a pro-audio equipment manufacturer out of Germany, SPL released a new line of monitor controllers featuring AKM semiconductors, the Control One and Marc One, let's hope they've got plenty of stock in the pipeline, because it may be awhile before they're making new units. After a major fire destroyed the Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, the company still has to provide a report on the disruption that this major disaster will cause to its business, particularly affecting the supply of critical DAC and ADC chips that are used by many high-end audio and studio equipment manufacturers. Millennia’s equipment is so widely embedded into the industries that make sound that the company’s unofficial motto says: “Millennia has likely played a role in some of the music you’ve listened to today.”. A good thing. Monolith is well-known among headphone aficionados for its accessories, like the legendary Monolith portable headphone DAC/Amp and is already warning customers about possible shipping delays for select products that feature AKM DACs. The big fire at AKM (which stands for Asahi Kasei Microdevices by the way) broke out on Tuesday 20 October in the semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, Japan. However, the fire will likely cause a ripple effect across the audio industry as it directly compromises the supply chain for pro-audio components and certain parts of consumer audio, especially in higher-end equipment. SemiMedia says that the fire completely devastated the site and it’s likely to remain completely offline for at least six months as AKM rebuilds. The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. Luckily, we have enough stock to last us for roughly one year of demand. Many of the audio chips made at that particular facility are made nowhere else for the company and includes AKM’s world-renowned DACs and ADCs used in pro-audio and many up-scale consumer audio components. On October 20, a fire began at the AKM manufacturing facility in Japan and grew out of control, ultimately burning for 82 hours before it was extinguished on October 23. Top audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Anthem, Onkyo and Tascam use AKM DAC’s in their AV receivers and processors. A press release issued by AKM puts the time of the fire around 4:45 p.m. on October 20. AKM’s audio D/A converters (DACs) provide solutions for high quality audio system with the … AKM is one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world thanks to its IC components, which are used by many hi-fi and cinema stereo system companies. The three-day fire broke out at the semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. Nobeoka City is a historic industrial town on the coast of Japan’s southwestern main island and home to one of Asahi Kasei Microsystem’s (AKM) most important chip manufacturing facilities. AKM Factory Fire—A Pro-Audio Industry Disaster “I still have close to zero information as far as the AKM prognosis is concerned,” said Chris Hollebone, sales and marketing manager at … We saw one $5 AKM part being offered at $110 each.”. Save Share. Last February, music’s analog realm was devastated by an explosive fire at the Apollo Masters vinyl lacquer plant. We believe that level of resiliency is shared among our friends and colleagues at AKM and we look forward to them being operational in the future. But…we’re also pretty paranoid about stocking. Hopefully like Millennia, brands have built up a stock of these specialist products, but with reports of a 12-month break in manufacturing, maybe other brands will follow Millennia’s lead and have to redesign products to get round their reliance on AKM chips. The only good news from this story is that all 400 factory employees were safely evacuated as the fire began, no casualties were reported among workers or firefighters. Disclaimer: The Shanling M8 sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. However, considering that the ICs produced by AKM are not common processors, flash memory, memory, etc., it will not affect the overall IC market, but there may be price increases and shortages in specific industries, including the pro-audio sector. Having been long-time partners and personal friends with the AKM team in North America and in Japan, we sympathize with AKM as they work through this challenge. While plague ravages the lands a cosmic war seems to have broken out between two of the ancient elements that humankind relies on most, for it is a battle of Fire vs. Music. Damn you, FIRE! Beloved brands like Schiit, JDS Labs, SMSL, Topping, Monoprice and Fiio are all well-known for making excellent products that use AKM chips to bring high-end sound to headphones at a variety of price ranges. Second big fire recently there was a record pressing plant that was destroyed a few months ago. And now the after-market brokers are selling AKM parts at horrific mark-ups. AKM Group has said that it will try to escalate outsourcing to meet some of the demand for its parts, but there will be shortages in the kinds of specialized audio chips the company made at the plant. I'm told they could be off-line for a year. Copyright © 1998–2020 Audioholics, LLC. "We were saddened to have heard the news of the fire at the AKM factory in Japan. Senior VP of Product Development from Sound United told Audioholics. On the home audio side of the market, few companies were as concerned about the effects of the fire in Nobeoka City as Sound United with both Marantz and Denon releasing new AV receivers just this year. This from their website…. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. Although there isn’t a detailed description of the specific impact on production and supply, according to the supply chain, the fire has caused panic in the supply chain. The podcast was speculating that it could take a year for the factory to come back online. AKM is one of the world’s largest suppliers of DACs and ADCs used in everything from recording, sampling and creating music by artists and DJs, recording albums and even creating digital sound-effects and soundtracks in film. Of course I was not happy with that – even for a $10 product. The whole industry may begin to see some shortages and price hikes. Trusted content from independent music and post production experts. Speaking about the devastation to his company’s supply chain in the wake of the AKG fire, Grou recently said: “Every AKM part we use—ADCs, DACs, ASRCs and Receivers—is made exclusively in the Nobeoka plant… Of course, all AKM audio parts immediately disappeared from front-line distributors [such as] Digikey, Mouser, etc. Aftermath of the fire at AKM factory Nobeoka City, Japan. We will see…. On Tuesday, October 20th, a fire broke out at the AKM Semiconductor factory in Nobeoka-shi, Japan. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. Same form factor. Reply. While a very different technology this report put us in mind of the Apollo Lacquer Factory Fire in February 2020 when a rather different kind of audio conversion was threatened as a result of a factory fire. We have become aware of a fire at the Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka city in Japan on 20th October 2020. We have the latest details…. On the second straight day of struggle, another fire ignited elsewhere in the building’s fifth floor as sections of the walls and roof collapsed into the factory. But according to semiconductor new source SemiMedia, the firefighters faced the worst chip factory fire seen in recent memory. Firefighters battled the factory inferno that raged all the way to October 23rd. 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