Sadly, following a massive three-day fire at Japan’s Nobeoka City factory of semiconductor producer Asahi Kasei Microsystems (AKM), we have lost one of the great audio houses. AKM was one of the best manufacturers of audio ICs in the world, in particular, A/D and D/A converters.
The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. While thankfully no one was hurt, reportedly 400 employees were evacuated when it began. Parts of the building structure, including sections of walls and the roof, collapsed on October 22 after another fire broke out on the factory’s fifth floor.
Ultimately, the blaze was extinguished around midnight on October 23, a full 82 hours after it began. According to IC industry news site SemiMedia, the entire factory is now offline and is expected to take a minimum of six months to a year to restore production.
Many, many high-end and pro audio manufacturers rely upon AKM parts to build their DACs.
We wish them a speedy recovery.