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. 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. That ancient elemental force we all know as FIRE seems determined to destroy music, in the midst of the year that we all need the calming allure of our favorite music the most. 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. A conflagration burned the AKM factory in Japan more or less to the ground. Top audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Anthem, Onkyo and Tascam use AKM DAC’s in their AV receivers and processors. Top audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Anthem, Onkyo and Tascam use AKM DAC’s in their AV receivers and processors. Apparently AKM is a major supplier of ADC, DAC chips and other IC's for the audio industry. 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. 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. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad". As reported in ProSound News on Thurs : (Thanks rmc001 for highlighting this.)" The AKM fire will have a massive impact on the supply of high end audio devices. About 400 employees were evacuated and there are no reports of any injuries. It is only a concern if you are in the market for new gear. The AKM factory in Japan has had a fire and there are early indications there will be no high end DAC chips made at AKM for 6-12months. Last February, music’s analog realm was devastated by an explosive fire at the Apollo Masters vinyl lacquer plant. 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. According to an eye witness… "White smoke is rising from the automatic door on the 4th floor." And yep, we use a lot of AKM DACs and ADCs. But sadly, the music could not be saved. Jason Stoddard had just announced that Schiit was discontinuing the Modi Multibit DAC. “Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”. We have the latest details…. Begin designing new products around competitors chips, Expect uncertainty on what chips will be available in 12-18 montbs. Second big fire recently there was a record pressing plant that was destroyed a few months ago. The fire burned for over two days, reportedly, and caused damage to several levels of the building. 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. It is priced at $1659. 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. Same form factor. 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. 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. My RME ADI-2 DAC uses AKM chips. And now the after-market brokers are selling AKM parts at horrific mark-ups. Firefighters battled the factory inferno that raged all the way to October 23rd. Luckily, we have enough stock to last us for roughly one year of demand. The whole industry may begin to see some shortages and price hikes. 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. Continue with Google. 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. 1 - 4 of 4 Posts. On Tuesday, October 20th, a fire broke out at the AKM Semiconductor factory in Nobeoka-shi, Japan. The fire at the record/vinyl production plant was more of a concern for me and my LP buying. The three-day fire broke out at the semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. The AKM fire will have a massive impact on the supply of high end audio devices. The AKM Group are reported as saying that they would increase outsourcing production to meet market demand. 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.”. 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. This from their website…. All Rights Reserved. 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. 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. 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. 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? Hand matched and hand soldered analog componentry. Part of the roof and walls collapsed after a fire broke out on the 5th floor of the building. 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. Eventually, another fire spread to the fifth floor of the factory, causing parts of the roof and walls to collapse. Get the Audioholics AV Gear Guide Ebook FREE! We saw one $5 AKM part being offered at $110 each.”. Fire at Asahi Kasei factory: production of DAC and ADC chips stopped for at least a year 02/11/2020 02/11/2020 hifinext.com Asahi Kasei On October 20, a fire broke out at the AKM factory in the Japanese city of Nobeoka, but it became known about it only recently. It is already being reported that companies using AKM chips, sensors and other products have begun to increase their purchases to prevent possible shortages in the future. 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! The overall IC market won’t be affected by the fire, so your basic memory cards, flash memory and processors should remain readily available as you scan the aisles at your local PC shop. 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. The Nobeoka plant is responsible for DAC … 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. Aftermath of the fire at AKM factory Nobeoka City, Japan. He was the co-founder of Pro Tools Expert and is now COO of Production Expert Ltd. Copyright © 1998–2020 Audioholics, LLC. Many of that community’s favorite DAC/Amps and DAPs for both stationary in-home and portable hi-fi headphone listening are likely to feel shortages in coming months. 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. 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. Now Jason has said they'll keep the Modi MB in the line up, until AKM is back up and running. semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. This factory mainly produces large-scale integrated circuits (LSI) used in audio equipment, home appliances, TCXO oscillator, and other products. So, if you've been thinking about buying any audio products that are liable to carry AKM's DACs, you'd better check for available stock and act fast, it could be awhile before we see them return to stores. On October 21, 2020, Asahi Kasei Microsystems (AKM) issued a press release that a fire broke out at 4:45 pm at their Nobuoka semiconductor Plant “Fab2”. The fire is reported to have burned for more than two days and caused extensive damage across multiple levels of the building. I'm told they could be off-line for a year. Damn you, FIRE! AKM was one of the best manufacturers of audio ICs in the world, in particular, A/D and D/A converters. 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 Shanling M8 is a flagship digital audio player featuring a dual AKM AK4499EQ DAC, up to 840mW of power, and interchangeable headphone sockets. 400 workers were evacuated in time and no one was injured. Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) offer a variety of advanced sensing devices based on compound semiconductor technology and sophisticated IC products featuring analog/digital mixed-signal … Disclaimer: The Shanling M8 sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We have become aware of a fire at the Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka city in Japan on 20th October 2020. That picture is coming into clearer view, but still requires much due diligence. While no one was hurt, reportedly 400 employees were evacuated when it began. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. 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. 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. The plant is known for the production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components for high-end audio devices. | StereoNET United Kingdom 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. Jason also stated that Schiit has 6 months worth of AKM chip sets to tide them over. 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. Most other DACs use a conversion architecture called Delta-Sigma modulation. How will these companies adapt with a potential parts shortage looming especially with product shipment delays and shortages due to COVID-19? But…we’re also pretty paranoid about stocking. A good thing. 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." "We were saddened to have heard the news of the fire at the AKM factory in Japan. AKM’s audio D/A converters (DACs) provide solutions for high quality audio system with the … Modi, Modius, Fulla, Hel are all pretty AKM-centric. Save Share. Meanwhile, the firefighters had to protect themselves against a strong gaseous chemical believed to be hydrogen chloride created by burning electrical cables. Fire destroys AKM Semiconductor factory, Japan "Inside Imaging has been told that Canon, Nikon and Sony have already pulled back support for Black Friday promotions ‘as there will be a shortage of stock due to fire in (the) Japan factory,’ according to the source." He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. These aren't parts that can easily be swapped out for an alternative without a PWB level hardware change. 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. Reply. The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. DACs: Do You Need an External Digital to Analog Converter for your Hifi System? 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. Coronavirus COVID-19: Will it Tank the Audio Industry? Of course I was not happy with that – even for a $10 product. 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. I personally prefer R2R DACs but AKM chips are found in everything from AV receivers to SPDIF interfaces. Yes, the fragmented information we’re getting indicates that AKM will be out of the high-end DAC and SPDIF receiver chip business for a long time (some say 1 year, don’t take this as gospel.) 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. 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 … The podcast was speculating that it could take a year for the factory to come back online. In late October, a massive fire completely destroyed the AKM parts factory in Japan. 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.. It’s called a “Prozor Digital to Analog Converter.” I have this one too. 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. Then the very next day, the news about the AKM fire hits. Pro-audio manufacturers around the globe are now facing anticipated shortages of crucial DAC and ADC chips used in their products. Mike Thornton has been working in the broadcast audio industry for all his working life, some 44 years. The fire was devastating and the entire semiconductor facility is now shut down and all AKM production has come to a halt. Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. Trusted content from independent music and post production experts. But according to semiconductor new source SemiMedia, the firefighters faced the worst chip factory fire seen in recent memory. 2020 is playing out like the plot of a strange sci-fi/fantasy story. Fire Destroys AKM Audio Chip Factory: Can 2020 Get Any Worse? 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. 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. La Grou is the CEO of Millennia Media, a large professional audio component manufacturer that makes equipment used by both record and film industries. 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. We are already aware that Millennia will be affected by the loss of the supply of chips made in the AKM plant. Was going through some audio industry news and came across an article on potential supply chain distruption due to AKM factory fire. 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. AKM AK5578 A/D chip with modified HPF for enhanced performance (AKD8D/DP), Ardatech AT1201 A/D chip with modified HPF for enhanced performance (AD8D/DP), Individually calibrated quartz clocking mechanism, Each channel must pass over 30 noise, distortion, CMRR and level threshold tests, Completely balanced signal path direct to the AD, A/D and D/A samplerate support from 44.1 -> 384kHz, DXD & DSD64/128/256, AKM AK5578 A/D chip with modified HPF for enhanced performance, A/D and D/A sample rate support from 44.1 -> 384kHz, DXD, Others brands we also understand that use AKM chips are RME and miniDSP. So I ended up paying “double the price” and getting the FiiO D03K. What the Apollo Masters Fire Really Means for Vinyl, Prepare for AV Shipping Delays and Product Shortages Thanks To COVID-19. AKM Factory Fire Could Affect Supply Of A to D And D to A Convertors For At Least 12 Months We have become aware of a fire at the Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka city in Japan on 20th October 2020. 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. 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. 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. 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. Senior VP of Product Development from Sound United told Audioholics. ", - Brendon Stead, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Sound United. It took over 80 hours to totally extinguish the fire. 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. Can 2020 get any worse? 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. While thankfully no one was hurt, reportedly 400 employees were evacuated when it began. The Aries II DAC is an R2R or ladder DAC that uses laser-trimmed resistors to do its digital to analog conversion. The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor manufacturing plant on Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out. The three-day fire broke out at the semiconductor factory in Nobeoka City, on October 20th. or sign up … Pro-audio manufacturers around the globe are now facing anticipated shortages of crucial DAC and ADC chips used in their products. I am not and will not be for a couple of years. So if I'm reading this right, this will cause a shortage of AVR and other audio gear? While mostly responsible for A/V parts manufacture, speculation that … 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. Continue with Facebook. - 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. And because it would likely take AKM many months to perhaps a year or more to recover – these product shortages were … The AKM fire broke out at the semiconductor … Join the discussion. 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. A press release issued by AKM puts the time of the fire around 4:45 p.m. on October 20. AKM Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM), is known for its IC manufacturing, specifically for its production of high-end DACs/ADCs IC components used in … AKM DAC chip factory burns for more than two days. 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 R2R conversion method is generally thought to produce better sound, but the claim is, as yet, still in dispute. We will see…. Honest opinion battled the factory, causing parts of the building `` smoke... From Sound United created by burning electrical cables clearer view, but claim! A tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario Editorialist... Tuesday, October 20, and took three days to put out to be chloride! 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