Brief Power Outage Threatens Toshiba Chip Shipments

A 0.07-second power disruption in central Japan has created a major headache for Toshiba Corp.’s chipmaking division, forcing the company to halt some operations at a critical plant and possibly causing a 20% drop in shipments to companies such as Apple Inc. over the next two months.

The electronics maker’s troubles started early Wednesday morning when, according to regional power supplier Chubu Electric Power Co., there was a sudden and very brief drop in voltage across three prefectures, which caused the power supply to stop at Toshiba’s Yokkaichi memory chip plant in Mie Prefecture.

Toshiba’s plant has a backup system to ensure power supply in the event of an outage. But part of that system did not work this time.

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