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Will Droid Bionic, BlackBerry PlayBook Cost More as Result of Japan Quake?

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Update 3/23/2011: Despite Motorola reps telling us at CES 2011 that the Droid Bionic for Verizon Wireless will be utilizing a Texas Instruments–that information was used and referenced in this article–NVIDIA reps at CTIA 2011 had informed us that the device actually uses the dual-core Tegra 2 mobile applications processor. As such, the Droid Bionic would not be subjected to Texas Instruments’ Japan quake-related factory closures.

Texas Instruments, a company whose chips will be found on popular consumer electronics devices such as the Motorola Droid Bionic and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, has said that several of its manufacturing plant in Japan have been damaged and are now closed temporarily as a result of the 8.9 magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami that had hit the island-nation.

The company warns that sales will be hurt in the first and second quarter. The company’s Miho manufacturing plant, responsible for ten percent of its chip output by revenue, was hit and won’t be able to return to full capacity until September.

Semiconductor manufacturing requires a lot of power and is sensitive to disruptions, such as the vibrations from earthquakes. TI’s chips spans various industries, from smartphones and tablets, to washing machines and military equipment. It’s unclear how the Miho plant’s closure will affect prices of consumer devices.

According to Bloomberg, manufacturers of consumer products may increase their demand in the short term to ensure they have enough supply: “Disruptions to manufacturing in Japan may spur higher prices and more orders as electronics makers increase stockpiles to hedge against possible shortages in the future, Freedman said.” The publication did not say what types of chips were made at the Miho, Japan plant. For its mobile chipset, Texas Instruments develop an OMAP chip based on the ARM reference design. It’s dual-core CPU is said to be coming to the PlayBook and Droid Bionic.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

7 Comments

  1. Poopymagee

    03/17/2011 at 5:07 pm

    hey whoa whoa get your facts straight. the CPU in droid bionic will be the Nvidia Tegra not TI…

    • Chuong Nguyen

      03/17/2011 at 6:57 pm

      Unless there are changes recently, Motorola had stated at CES that the Droid Bionic will utilize a dual-core TI CPU; the Atrix 4G has the Tegra 2 from NVIDIA.

      • agrsk8r

        03/18/2011 at 3:50 am

        I’ve been keeping up with news on the Droid Bionic since it was announced. This is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say anything about the processor coming from anywhere other than nVidia. That’s a detail I would’ve noticed since I’ve been a fan on nVidia’s video cards for years so that’s a huge selling point in the Bionic for me. With that said, here’s a quote from reviewsofelectronics.com written on March 10, 2011:

        “The Droid Bionic is a dual processor handset; it utilizes the Nvidia Tegra 2, with 1 GHz per core and 512 MB of RAM.” – http://www.reviewsofelectronics.com/the-droid-bionic-sneak-peak/227586/

        And another quote from news.yahoo.com written January 6, 2011 reporting on CES:

        “The Atrix and the bionic will both contain the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core CPU, which makes them powerful enough to run a 4G/LTE network service.” – http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110106/tc_ac/7547668_motorola_mobility_at_2011_ces_droid_bionic_atrix_cliq_2_and_xoom_tablet_pc

        So unless TI manufactures the processors for nVidia, there is an error in this report.

        I got yo back Poopymagee… despite the disturbing name you chose.

      • Raj Bhatt

        03/18/2011 at 10:09 pm

        Here’s the fact sheet straight from Moto:

        http://developer.motorola.com/products/droid-bionic/

        PROCESSOR NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core

  2. Valerie

    03/22/2011 at 12:16 pm

    Such companies as these ones incur losses, but they should be tactful. It’s not Japanese fault, everything happened unexpectedly. We should take it into account. After watching unique video from http://www.torrentoff.com I can’t blame these people I wish I could help, but Im not in a position to do anything but pray.

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