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Coronavirus Crisis: The IT Industry Prepares For The Worst

While the spread of COVID-19, a.k.a. the coronavirus disease 2019, appears to be slowing, the IT industry is hoping to mitigate risks to their employees and their businesses, with many canceling conference participation or warning of financial risks.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing Slowdown

TrendForce, a Taiwan-based provider of technology industry market intelligence, reported on Monday that while China's semiconductor fabrication facilities have a high degree of automation, full fab utilization will take time because of labor shortages and traffic restrictions. That could lead to a drop in component shipments for at least the first quarter of 2020.

Memory supplies are less likely to be impacted, TrendForce said, because of existing shortages of supply starting well before the coronavirus crisis started and because the DRAM manufacturers have special licenses from China's government to ship products throughout the country, including to areas under quarantine.

Wafer production for display panels are not impacted by the coronavirus, but the module makers and display panel makers are impacted by personnel shortages and domestic traffic issues caused by the crisis.

About 25 percent of the world's fiber optics supply chain is in and around Wuhan, the center of the crisis, a situation which will likely indirectly impact China's 5G development. IoT development is not likely to be impacted by the coronavirus unless the outbreak persists, TrendForce said.

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