In the wake of a massive three-day fire at the Nobeoka City factory of semiconductor producer Asahi Kasei Microsystems (AKM), pro-audio manufacturers around the globe are now facing anticipated shortages of crucial DAC and ADC chips used in their products." Top audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Anthem, Onkyo and Tascam use AKM DAC’s in their AV receivers and processors. - Production Expert Podcast Episode 407, ESI GIGAPORT eX And UGM192 Audio Interfaces Announced At NAMM 2020, Antelope Audio Zen Tour Synergy Core Interface And DSP Solution Announced At NAMM 2020, IK Multimedia AXE I/O Solo Interface Announced At NAMM 2020, Apogee Symphony Desktop Interface Amongst A Raft Of New Products Announced For NAMM 2020, Presonus Announce New Quantum 2626 Interface - High End Performance Without A High End Price. We are already aware that Millennia will be affected by the loss of the supply of chips made in the AKM plant. 2020 is playing out like the plot of a strange sci-fi/fantasy story. Last February, music’s analog realm was devastated by an explosive fire at the Apollo Masters vinyl lacquer plant. Many of your favorite consumer audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Anthem, Onkyo and Monoprice use AKM DAC's in their AV receivers and Processors. Same form factor. Impact on the audio-chip supply chain was immediate as companies using AKM parts began panic buying, increasing orders in an effort not to be caught short in the near future. 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. Now, fire has struck again in an inferno that raged for three straight days crippling the digital realm by claiming an AKG audio-semiconductor factory. 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. 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. Modi, Modius, Fulla, Hel are all pretty AKM-centric. 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. Fire Destroys AKM Audio Chip Factory: Can 2020 Get Any Worse? Damn you, FIRE! Millennia Media reported on their Facebook page…, “A shock to the professional and consumer audio industries -- the largest provider of audio ADC and DAC chips "AKM" has experienced a fire in their fab line. AKM’s audio D/A converters (DACs) provide solutions for high quality audio system with the … I personally prefer R2R DACs but AKM chips are found in everything from AV receivers to SPDIF interfaces. Jason also stated that Schiit has 6 months worth of AKM chip sets to tide them over. Most other DACs use a conversion architecture called Delta-Sigma modulation. While thankfully no one was hurt, reportedly 400 employees were evacuated when it began. Can 2020 get any worse? DACs: Do You Need an External Digital to Analog Converter for your Hifi System? The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. 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. Okay, I'll admit it, I love that flame gives us grilled meat and I need its warmth in the winter, but I love music and fine audio too. In late October, a massive fire completely destroyed the AKM parts factory in Japan. 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.”. La Grou is the CEO of Millennia Media, a large professional audio component manufacturer that makes equipment used by both record and film industries. To quote directly from the article " The Nobeoka plant of AKM is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for superior audio devices. We have the latest details…. Apparently AKM is a major supplier of ADC, DAC chips and other IC's for the audio industry. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad". 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 … Was going through some audio industry news and came across an article on potential supply chain distruption due to AKM factory fire. Aftermath of the fire at AKM factory Nobeoka City, Japan. We will be re-designing the ADC circuit in case AKM is not back by 4Q21, assuring no disruption in HV-316 shipments.”, We are also aware that Merging use chips made by AKM in their Horus, Hapi and Merging+Anibus products. How will these companies adapt with a potential parts shortage looming especially with product shipment delays and shortages due to COVID-19? The three-day fire broke out at the semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. Hand matched and hand soldered analog componentry. The Nobeoka plant is responsible for DAC … 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. 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. “Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”. Then the very next day, the news about the AKM fire hits. 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. The fire is reported to have burned for more than two days and caused extensive damage across multiple levels of the building. Senior VP of Product Development from Sound United told Audioholics. The podcast was speculating that it could take a year for the factory to come back online. Now Jason has said they'll keep the Modi MB in the line up, until AKM is back up and running. 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. And yep, we use a lot of AKM DACs and ADCs. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. Trusted content from independent music and post production experts. AKM DAC chip factory burns for more than two days. Here’s hoping that this cosmic war between the forces of fire and music can find peace, along with an end to this plague—the sooner the better! One niche in the consumer audio industry that will be particularly hard-hit by a temporary loss of AKM parts is the one that serves high-end headphone enthusiasts. All Rights Reserved. On Tuesday, October 20th, a fire broke out at the AKM Semiconductor factory in Nobeoka-shi, Japan. This factory mainly produces large-scale integrated circuits (LSI) used in audio equipment, home appliances, TCXO oscillator, and other products. 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. We will see…. The AKM fire will have a massive impact on the supply of high end audio devices. We have become aware of a fire at the Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka city in Japan on 20th October 2020. A good thing. While AKM produces many types of IC components at numerous factories, it's understood the Nobeoka plant is solely responsible for DAC and ADC products.. As a matter of fact this is the only DAC I can A/B against my other ones and I can actually hear a difference. 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 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. Begin designing new products around competitors chips, Expect uncertainty on what chips will be available in 12-18 montbs. Mike has worked with Pro Tools since the mid-90s recording, editing and mixing documentaries, comedy and drama for both radio and TV as well as doing the occasional music project. Continue with Facebook. About 400 employees were evacuated and there are no reports of any injuries. According to the report, the fire started on October 20 and burned uncontrolled for three days, effectively destroying the entire factory, which products various audio chip components used by ‘most Japanese camera makers.’ Inside Imaging stops short of stating what components in particular camera manufacturers source from AKM Semiconductor. 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. Continue with Google. Copyright (C) 2020, http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/default-image.jpg, Plug-in Subscription Plans - Free Calculator, Pro Tools Carbon - Hardware Product Of 2020 - Julian Rodgers' Choice, Audient EVO4 - Hardware Product Of 2020 - Audrey Martinovich's Choice, Avid MTRX - Hardware Product Of 2020 - James Richmond's Choice, AKM Factory Fire Could Affect Supply Of A to D And D to A Convertors For At Least 12 Months, Audio Interface - What Are The Important Things To Consider? AKM was one of the best manufacturers of audio ICs in the world, in particular, A/D and D/A converters. So if I'm reading this right, this will cause a shortage of AVR and other audio gear? 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. The Shanling M8 is a flagship digital audio player featuring a dual AKM AK4499EQ DAC, up to 840mW of power, and interchangeable headphone sockets. 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. This from their website…. The good news is we have the parts we need to ensure our dealer partners have products to sell during the holiday buying season this year, and into 2021. Luckily, we have enough stock to last us for roughly one year of demand. In researching the AKM fire, multiple sources told me in no uncertain terms that many key products faced shortages as a result of this fire. According to an eye witness… "White smoke is rising from the automatic door on the 4th floor." Firefighters battled the factory inferno that raged all the way to October 23rd. 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. The fire was devastating and the entire semiconductor facility is now shut down and all AKM production has come to a halt. Let's remember that after the 2011 Japanese earthquake there was significant damage to our Shirakawa factory, yet we bounced back from that in short order. But sadly, the music could not be saved. These aren't parts that can easily be swapped out for an alternative without a PWB level hardware change. What the Apollo Masters Fire Really Means for Vinyl, Prepare for AV Shipping Delays and Product Shortages Thanks To COVID-19. The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. 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. In dramatic news reports coming out of Japan, we learn that an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) factory based in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan has suffered a devastating Dante’s Inferno – a fire that burned uncontrolled in the factory for three days. The disruption to our industry will likely be massive, with possible re-designs to untold numbers of products.Millennia uses top-line AKM converters in the new HV-316 remote mic preamp. It is only a concern if you are in the market for new gear. Pro-audio manufacturers around the globe are now facing anticipated shortages of crucial DAC and ADC chips used in their products. 1 - 4 of 4 Posts. While no one was hurt, reportedly 400 employees were evacuated when it began. Part of the roof and walls collapsed after a fire broke out on the 5th floor of the building. 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