AKM Production Shutdown: Devastating Fire in 2021

To our customers, readers in the community, and fellow audiophiles, we unfortunately have some bad news regarding the high-end Japanese chipmaker Asahi Kasei Microsystems, or as we all know them, “AKM.”

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. The fire was devastating and the entire semiconductor facility is now shut down and all AKM production has come to a halt. To simply say that this is bad news for the audiophile community would be putting it mildly. AKM is one of the most popular chips used in many high-end DACs and Amps, many of which Apos sells. This news is par for the course when it comes to calamitous events in 2020, but we are glad to hear that there were no reported fatalities from the approximate 400 employees who were working inside the AKM facility at the time the fire broke out.

Source: Production Expert News

AKM states that it will take them six months until production is online again for their chips, putting the restart date for manufacturing at the end of April 2021 (presuming that this estimate holds and is not further delayed). As a result of this production shortage, the prices for the existing global inventory of AKM chips is skyrocketing. We are expecting shortages of products that carry AKM chips as our vendors’ cost-of-production may be too high for them to make large quantities of product. 

At the time of writing, the following 16 products Apos carries that feature AKM chips are:

  1. SMSL M9 DAC/Amp
  3. Shanling M2X DAP
  4. SMSL M400 MQA DAC
  5. xDuoo TA-10 Tube DAC/Amp
  6. Gustard A18 DAC
  7. SMSL M200 DAC
  8. SMSL A6 Amp 
  9. Gustard A20H DAC/Amp
  10. Shanling M6 DAP
  11. FiiO Q3 THX Portable Balanced DAC/Amp
  13. xDuoo XD-05 DAC/Amp
  14. Apos TOPPING-90 Ensemble
  15. FiiO M15 DAP
  16. FiiO K5PRO Desktop DAC/Amp

If you have had your eye on any of the products listed above and are mulling over a purchase decision, please do keep in mind that time is of the essence. While we do have existing inventories for these products, the supply won’t be replenished until spring 2021, or more likely, the middle of next year. We certainly don’t want to pressure you into a financial decision, but do know that once the current inventory is gone, it likely will be for several months.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak with us now via live chat or you can send an email to “support@apos.audio” and we will get back to you. All of us at Apos wish AKM a speedy (and safe) rebuild of their facility and are eagerly awaiting news that they are producing chips again.