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Camera companies facing new shortage issues
A fire last week at AKM Semiconductor audio chip factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, has created some problems for the camera companies.
According to an eyewitness "White smoke is rising from the automatic door on the 4th floor.". Approximately 400 employees were evacuated and there are no reports of any injuries. Portions of the roof and walls collapsed after a fire broke out on the 5th floor of the building. It took over 80 hours to extinguish the fire.
AKM Semiconductor makes specifically chips that convert sound to digital to be recorded as part of the video recording taking specifically microphone input sources. They also supply chips that take that digital information and turning it back into analog audio - needed for when you play back and want to hear the recorded audio as well.
InsideImaging claims to have been told by a source that Canon, Nikon, and Sony ‘pulled back support for Black Friday promotions’ due to a shortage of supply.
According to some reports AKM is stating that they will make up for the shortfall by outsourcing more production to meet demand. This of course is certainly possible as they could get a third-party fabrication plant to start churning out their chips.
Since these chips take microphone input specifically, it could very well be that most cameras actually use AKM's ADC's as their audio conversion. Where this is a huge problem - is for professional audio equipment. Apparently there is quite the scramble happening in that industry.
I think we can file this one under "what else can go wrong with 2020".
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