April 2019
April 2019
Asia Electronics Industry
April 2019 Volume 24, Serial No. 271
ASIA ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY (ISSN 1342-422X) is published monthly by Dempa Publications, Inc., 1-11-15 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-8715, Japan Tel: +81-3-3445-6111 Fax: +81-3-3445-6890. Editorial e-mail:; Subscription e-mail: The magazine is distributed free to qualified subscribers in ASEAN countries (Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos), as well as Korea,Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Cover | Story

n 1939, OKAYA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES CO., LTD. started with the development of vacuum tubes and radios, and has since expanded its businesses to encompass noise countermeasure products, surge countermeasure products, display and lighting products, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and sensor products for more than 70 years. These products are used in diverse fields ranging from industrial equipment to home electric appliances.

In Japan, the company has development bases in Nagano Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture and production plants in Saitama Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, and Fukushima Prefecture. Overseas, it has production bases in Dongguan in China, and Sri Lanka, and three sales bases in China, and one each in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

The environment surrounding electronic components manufacturers has been becoming increasingly uncertain since the beginning of this year.

OKAYA LANKA (PRIVATE) held a ceremony to celebrate its 10th founding anniversary in Dec. 2018

This month’s front cover was taken at OKAYA LANKA (PRIVATE), which held a ceremony to celebrate its 10th founding anniversary in Dec. 2018. At the ceremony, about 50 guests were invited from companies with close relationships with OKAYA LANKA (PRIVATE), and about 600 employees attended. Magnificent performance of traditional dances was a highlight at the ceremony, which ended with a feast of Sri Lankan curry.(Front row, from left) Takeshi Misuo, President, OKAYA LANKA (PRIVATE) LIMITED and Naoto Yamada, President, Representative Director, and Operating Officer, OKAYA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.

“In the first half of 2018, orders for components for air conditioners and industrial equipment increased more than 10 percent over the previous year. However, starting August, orders from the industrial equipment field have lost steam. This is as usual for air conditioners. After the turn of the year when production in countries in Asia picks up, production volume of air conditioners with inverters increases, reflecting continued popularity of energy-saving models. However, the outlook of the industrial equipment field is uncertain,” notes OKAYA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES.

AEI News
Mitsubishi Electric Expands Philippine FA Business
PHILIPPINES and JAPAN – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has formed MELCO Factory Automation Philippines Inc. (MELAP) in the Philippines and will be jointly established with Setsuyo Astec Corporation (STC) and Integrated Factory Automation Inc. (IFA), a factory automation (FA) distributor and long-time partner of Mitsubishi Electric in the country.

Mitsubishi Electric and IFA will have 40 percent stake each in the venture while STC will take the remaining 20 percent. The new company, which will start operation in June, will provide sales and technical service for FA products.

The country’s industrial automation market has been experiencing significant growth, particularly in the electronics and food and beverage industries, as well as the active investment in infrastructure. The company sees these an opportunity to expand further its FA business in the country.

Mitsubishi Electric has been providing sales and technical support for FA products to customers in the country through local distributors, such as IFA. MELAP is expected to improve customer satisfaction and enhance Mitsubishi Electric’s local FA business.;

In View | This Month
Connectivity, 3D Features Equip New PCB Inspection Systems

utting-edge printed circuit board (PCB) inspection systems from leading manufacturers are being released to the market one after another. New models of three-dimensional (3D) inspection systems and with machine-to-machine (M2M)-capability with mounters extend their existing portfolio of products. More recently, some manufacturers have entered the solder paste inspection (SPI) machines market as well.

Amid the shortage of skilled engineers, the needs to prevent human errors, and the requirements for high quality production, the demand for PCB inspection systems, as replacement to the conventional manual visual inspection, has been increasing worldwide particularly in Japan, China, and countries in Southeast Asia.

Classification of PCB Inspection Systems
PCB inspection systems are classified into SPI systems and automated optical inspection (AOI) systems.

SPI systems inspect whether an appropriate amount of solder is applied accurately in accordance with the wiring pattern. Meanwhile, AOI systems inspect whether components mounted on PCBs are accurately soldered in accordance with the wiring pattern.

Industry | Report
Industry Heightens Move to Magnify Smart Factories

anufacturing hubs that make use of internet of things (IoT) are on the rise. The concept of industrial IoT started to become more pronounced in 2016 and actual introduction to production sites happened in 2018.

From 2019 onwards, industry players believe industrial IoT will spread more intensely.

Production processes are diversifying because of the high-quality assembly for computerized vehicles, the continuing influx of mobile devices, increase in demand of industrial equipment for production automation, diversification of needs of consumers, among many others. For this reason, manufacturing techniques and devices need to be changed.

Surface mounter manufacturers connect devices on production lines through local area network (LAN) and digitize and exchange production data to visualize the state of operations. Then, they accumulate, analyze, and process the data by cloud or edge computing. IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) maximize production line performance, streamlining management ranging from production planning and process preparation to shipment arrangement.

Japan Unix
SLS: Smart Laser Soldering
Smart Laser Soldering
With the patented laser soldering system by Japan Unix Co., Ltd., manufacturers can perform advanced soldering, while decreasing consumables and waste. The optical system of non-contact soldering avoids icicle formation, prevents impurities from mixing with the solder, and enhances control of solder volumes and of fine soldering work. Its fiber-coupling laser diode offers a 30/45/75W output. Integrated vision system and pyrometer ensures the highest possible quality and productivity of manufacturers’ production.
UNIX-DF304S Desktop Soldering Robot
UNIX-DF304S Desktop Soldering Robot
Japan Unix has newly released the UNIX-DF Series, thus bolstering the lineup of soldering robots.

The company has strengthened the network function of the soldering robot setting its sights to connecting to Industry 4.0 system in the future. Through connection with a computer network in plants, it enables real-time monitoring of operation status, including temperature and error conditions, using exclusive monitoring software. Thus, the UNIX-DF304S enables data management to prevent faults, such as in temperature characteristics, movements and errors.

Cutting-Edge Soldering Robots Suit Wide Applications
Providing a rich array of solutions for soldering automation, JAPAN UNIX has expanded its lineup of soldering robots with diverse optimum configurations to suit various applications and meet specific customer needs.

s a company offering wide range of soldering solutions, JAPAN UNIX CO., LTD.’s main products include various types of soldering robots, such as the semiconductor laser for non-contact soldering, ultrasonic soldering, and soldering iron robot.

Aside from its offices across Japan, the company also maintains offices in several cities throughout Asia, including Shanghai and Shenzhen in China; Seoul in Korea; Taipei in Taiwan; and Penang in Malaysia. It also maintains a representative office in Guadalajara in Mexico.

Soldering robots are primarily used in a wide range of applications, such as in smartphones, automotive printed circuit boards (PCBs), digital devices, medical equipment, and industrial equipment. JAPAN UNIX offers the UNIX-DF Series soldering robots with improved network function and the UNIX-GF Series four-axis orthogonal soldering robots, along with other soldering products equipped with new functions. The company is promoting these expansive product line to meet various applications.

FUJI Pitches Smart Factory, Brings Out New Product Concepts

n 2018, FUJI Corporation marked its 60th founding anniversary, and changed its name from FUJI Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. to FUJI Corporation targeting further globalization.

Nobuyuki Soga, President and Chief Executive Officer, FUJI Corporation, says, “It was a good timing that we could celebrate our 60th founding anniversary and change the company name to FUJI last year when the global economy was going strong. With fresh resolve, we will push forward with technological innovations to bring products that lead the world to the market and provide pioneering services.”

Business Emerging from Nexim
FUJI focuses in promoting FUJI Smart Factory based on Nexim, the integrated production system. It is also focused on machine tool business centering on DLFn, which adopts the modular method, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered SmartWing articulated robot.

Samsung Fabricates eMRAM Chips on FD-SOI Technology

amsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has fabricated embedded magnetic RAM (eMRAM) chips using 28nm Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) chip process technology.

MRAM is a non-volatile memory chip that can retain data even if the power is Off. It is a resistive memory chip whose data status is determined by the orientation of two ferromagnetic films separated by a thin barrier.

To fabricate MRAM chips, Samsung adopts 28nm FD-SOI process technology. The FD-SOI process is a chip-fabrication technology that forms and creates non-conductive layers of silicon dioxide or SiO2 and then fabricates transistors on top of that to reduce power leakages.

Samsung’s eMRAM controls data status by the direction of current through ferromagnetic films called magnetic tunnel junction. As the MRAM chip can process data as fast as DRAM chips, it can replace NAND flash memory chip as a mainstream embedded non-volatile memory chip solution for a wide range of tiny internet of things (IoT) devices.

Smart Factory Concept Takes Production up a Notch
FUJI Smart Factory

ith FUJI’s integrated production system – Nexim in place as the core system, the management area can be extended across entire production lines (horizontal integration), and this core system can also be connected to key user systems (vertical integration) for a factory, which can perform production autonomously purely based on data. In other words, a smart factory.

  • Automatic creation of production plans
    Creates production plans based on work order, which includes information such as product models, deadlines, and production volumes that consider which production models should be allocated to which line to implement the most efficient production considering changeover work as well.
  • Automatic part checkout
    Outputs required parts from automatic warehouses based on the production plan and production progress. The production line downtime, stagnation, and wasting of materials can be reduced by delivering the required volume when needed.
Electrical Drive Control Sits at Core of Yamaha’s Solutions Business

amaha Motor Co., Ltd. started a new medium-term management plan in FY2019, which is based on a long-term vision through 2030 and identifies the robotics business domain as one of the priority businesses. The Solution Business Operations headed by Hiroyuki Ota, Executive Officer and Chief General Manager of Solution Business Operations, oversees the Robotics Business Unit and the Smart Power Vehicle Business Unit. The Robotics Business Unit comprises the Surface Mount Technology Section, Factory Automation Section, and Unmanned System Section.

Reduces Burden on Labor
“The rationale behind robotics is the reduction of burden on human resources through the active use of internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), including the use of mounters and robots in a factory and the use of unmanned helicopters and drones in farming with electrical drive technology at the core. We would like to help people find their inherent possibilities by saving labor in various fields,” says Ota.

Robotics Business Unit, which mainly handles mounters, the core business of Solution Business Operations, promotes one-stop solutions.

Solutions Give Emphasis on Highly Reliable, Higher Quality Parts

ontinuing the business pitch it did in 2018, Tokyo Weld Co., Ltd. has marked 2019 as another year to meet the growing need for electronic components with lower profile, to meet demands such as those for smartphone applications, and higher quality and reliability, which are being demanded on the other hand in the automotive industry. In a recent interview with AEI, Koji Takahashi, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer at Tokyo Weld, improvements and enhancements have been introduced in the company’s growing portfolio of machines to meet the needs of the industry.

“We really intend to improve further the processing capacity of our inspection machines and taping machines in order to respond to the soaring demand from the electronic components industry,” said Takahashi.

Focuses on Core Technologies
As proliferation of devices that embrace internet of things (IoT) technologies becomes more advanced, further scaling down of electronics components has become more pronounced and intensified further in a more rapid pace. The 03015- and 0201-size packages, which are even smaller than the 0402 size, have been introduced for capacitors, including inductors and resistors.

Because of this, Tokyo Weld has moved forward since 2017 with the development of vision inspection machines, measuring/sorting machines, and measuring/taping machines that can handle such microminiaturized packages.

Inspection Machines Reach New Heights to Meet Demands
Tokyo Weld has started introducing cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to its wide range of inspection machine portfolio to meet evolving demands across industries toward higher quality and highly reliable electronic components.

imilar to the market trend in 2017, electronic components inspection made significant gains in 2018 because of the growing demand to scale down to suit mobile applications and to meet the reliability and quality requirements of the automotive industry. Industry players see this trend in parts inspection industry to continue further in 2019.

Given a boost by internet of things (IoT), miniaturized electronic components will continue to accelerate in the field of information technology (IT) and networking equipment markets. It is highly possible wireless connection will further spread, replacing the wired ones, and high-density mounting in TV equipment will further accelerate following the onset of 8K TV broadcasting in December 2018.

Demand for 0201-size components, which are even smaller than 0402 sizes, is increasing. This applies not only to capacitors, but also to inductors, resistors, among others. Anticipating this trend, Tokyo Weld Co., Ltd. has been developing since 2014 appearance inspection machines, measuring and sorting machines, and measuring and taping machines that are compatible with extremely scaled down component sizes.

JaNets Yields High-Efficiency Production of Networked Machines

UKI Corporation has been proposing JUKI Smart Solution, which is based on JaNets or JUKI Advanced Network system, globally. JaNets dramatically improves productivity by networking machines on the surface-mounting line.

JaNets integrated software enables unitary management of the production program on the mounting line, and dramatically enhances production efficiency through production assistance, linkage among machines, remote support, and artificial intelligence (AI)-based predictive maintenance.

Satohiro Hama, Executive Officer at JUKI Corp. and Director & Managing Executive Officer at JUKI Automation Systems Corp.
Satohiro Hama, Executive Officer at JUKI Corp. and Director & Managing Executive Officer at JUKI Automation Systems Corp.
JUKI has newly developed the PCB Production Optimization Solution, which optimizes variable-mix, variable-volume production, by connecting JaNets and Hitachi, Ltd.’s internet of things (IoT)-enabled high-efficiency production model, and has been making efforts to promote wide use of the solution.

Satohiro Hama, Executive Officer at JUKI Corp. and Director & Managing Executive Officer at JUKI Automation Systems Corp., says, “The RS-1 mounter released in Jan. 2017 has been selling well. Its feature without the need for head replacement, which is conducive to variable-mix, variable-volume production, has been highly evaluated by customers. Companies around the world have been increasingly adopting JaNets integrated software. To enable more efficient production activities by connecting machines to JaNets, we have been expanding the lineup of equipment encompassing pre- and post-processes of the mounting line through collaboration with other companies, and proposing total line solution.”

Fujitsu Smartphone Integrates Maxim’s Key Healthcare Sensor

ujitsu Connected Technologies Limited has integrated the heart rate sensor of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. into its F-01L Raku Raku smartphone. The smartphone can measure heart rate and sleep patterns and can be used for applications such as pedometers.

Maxim’s MAX30101 sensor enables the smartphone to also measure stress levels and ageing of blood vessels. The Raku Raku smartphone Series is popular among Japan’s senior citizens and is user-friendly even among first-time smartphone users.

Promotes Better Healthcare
The MAX30101 enables accurate measurements of vital signs using sophisticated algorithms produced by Fujitsu Connected Technologies. The sensor is part of Maxim’s portfolio of biosensors for health-related applications. By integrating various functions, the module provides a complete system solution to ease the design-in process for mobile and wearable devices. In addition, it operates on a single 1.8V power supply and a separate 5.0V power supply for the internal LEDs.

FUJI Smart Factory Flexibly Supports High-Mix, On-Demand Production
FUJI’s manufacturing solutions do not only provide optimal production equipment, but also offer solutions for profitable smart factories.

he advent of smartphones and the technologies and infrastructure that stemmed from their rapidly increasing usage, along with connection of things and services through the internet, have led to great improvements in convenience in day to day lives. For example, a car is a “thing” used to transport people from one place to another, but a number of these cars carry other functions, like providing beneficial information and services to drivers through computing. These cars are called connected cars. We are also seeing new value being created with the kinds of services provided by the smart speakers and communication robots that have come into the scene in recent years. Moreover, rapid innovation in delivery services is also taking place. Next-day delivery of goods, or even hours after an order is placed, is already possible.

Part of the reason why improvements have been seen in delivery is the satellite warehouses that have been established in the suburbs. Another big contributor to these improvements is logistics automation. In logistics automation, optimal management is performed through a system, and picking from shelves is performed automatically by a robot upon receiving a command. Operators only need to do minimal amount of processing before the goods are immediately shipped, for both effective and timely service.

Yamaha Pursues High-Efficiency Surface Mounting Lines with Intelligent Factory
Leveraging IoT, 1 STOP SOLUTION aims to save on labor while improving manufacturing quality.
Example of Yamaha’s 1 STOP SOLUTION surface-mount line
Fig. 1: Example of Yamaha’s 1 STOP SOLUTION surface-mount line

s demand for electronics has outpaced supply due to continued global economic boom in recent years, labor-saving activities including improvement in automation rates are gaining renewed attention as a measure to tackle labor shortages and rising labor costs.

Meanwhile, investments to streamline manufacturing process through the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on the internet of things (IoT) have been stimulated by developments in the internet, spread of high-speed communication infrastructures, and also cost reduction in large-scale data storage.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has been following this trend by proactively using IoT technologies. The company proposes its original 1 STOP SOLUTION concept (Figure 1) as an effort to reduce human labor while improving manufacturing quality. It has an industry-leading product line of major equipment for surface-mount lines, and can build all such equipment under the Yamaha brand. In the concept, these devices are linked to each other by the company’s state-of-the-art IoT/M2M (machine-to-machine) integration system, intelligent factory (Figure 2), to achieve high efficiency through synergy effects.

JUKI Smart Solutions Leading to Manufacturing Innovation for the Future
JUKI Smart Solutions
At NEPCON China 2019, JUKI Corporation will propose the latest innovative solutions that will turn a manufacturing plant into a smart factory adopting advanced technologies, such as robots, internet of things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), with the theme, “JUKI Smart Solutions — Leading to Manufacturing Innovation for the Future”.
JUKI Smart Solutions
JUKI Smart Solutions
Smart Manufacturing Process
SMT system solution
By visualizing the progress in production and the status of facility operation through linking the production line and integrated mounting system JaNets, the company proposes the latest production line that will improve the total productivity including cooperation between facilities. The proposed production setup is a mounting line that demonstrates high throughput in variable product, variable production. It combines the ultimate all-in-one mounter RS-1R equipped with the new “Takumi Head” that achieves both versatility and high speed; high-speed machine RX-7R; and 3D inspection machine RV-2-3DH.

In addition, advanced surface-mounting process and advanced surface-mounted technology (SMT) line solution for smart manufacturing will be introduced, including an auto loading feeder and a nozzle traceability function using RS-1R, which adopts RFID tags for the first time in industry.

RS-1R Fast Smart Modular Mounter
RS-1R Fast Smart Modular Mounter
Screw Tightening Robot
Screw Tightening Robot
Special | Report
Smart Factory
Smart Factory Starts to Roll in Manufacturing Field
Major equipment companies have installed their smart factory systems and started operation as industrial internet of things and machine-to-machine production goes mainstream.

owadays, industries are undergoing major innovations. Starting with Industry 4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution advocated by Germany, the manufacturing industry’s interest in internet of things (IoT)- and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled production system has been increasing. Smart factory, which has been advocated by mounter and manufacturing equipment manufacturers, are being installed widely. Most industry professional recognize this year as the first year of the proliferation of smart factory.

Consumers’ preferences have become increasingly diversified, and the life cycle of consumer products has become shorter, necessitating immediate start of low-volume production of variable product items. In addition, with the increasing integration of electronic components in vehicles and the advancement of autonomous driving technology, further advancement of production technology is required. Moreover, labor shortage is also becoming an issue as the surge of manpower of conventional production has become difficult.

Samsung Electronics Implements On-Device AI on Own NPU Core
The NPU was embedded into Samsung’s Exynos 9820 CPU that powers Galaxy S10 smartphone, making it the first zero-skipping NPU.

ttempts to implement artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm into a wide array of devices are creating new demand for a novel breed of chip architectures called neural processing units (NPUs), which promise to dramatically change the legacy von Neumann computing architecture where CPUs and DRAM continuously shuttle back and forth data to process and store data.

The moves to implement AI on devices are necessitated by strong requirements for real-time, human-like object recognition and data processing. There are many compelling reasons why AI algorithm must be sit on devices in what is called on-chip AI, or on-device AI.

What Makes On-Device AI Important?

Data latency is one challenging issue as real-time applications, like voice-recognition, image recognition, and self-driving cars require fast enough response time across hardware systems to process data on the spot with as little latency as possible.

Canon’s Stepper Portfolio Supports Latest Packaging Trends
As profiles of semiconductor continue to scale down, the latest high-resolution HR Option Stepper from Canon enhances detection of alignment marks in chips for enhanced back-end semiconductor lithography process.

s mobile devices become increasingly compact and energy efficient, suppliers need to produce semiconductor chips that are thinner with a larger surface area. The market for semiconductor lithography equipment with greater Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP) functionality continues to expand, reflecting increased demand for high-density redistribution layer wiring that requires high-resolution lithography.

To meet the evolving requirement of packaging trends, Canon Inc. has introduced the FPA-5520iV HR Option, a high-resolution addition to the existing Canon FPA-5520iV i-line stepper, a semiconductor lithography system that employs a 365nm wavelength mercury lamp as the light source. HR Option steppers also inherit such features as enhanced functionality for and increased productivity for semiconductor manufacturing processes.

FPA-5520iV HR Option
FPA-5520iV HR Option
Component | Materials
Ultralight Laminate Radiator Fits EV Battery Modules
The new heat radiator from SDK Group is composed of a laminate film and can be manufactured in relatively lower temperature.

howa Denko K.K. (SDK) and its subsidiary Showa Denko Packaging Co., Ltd. (SPA) have jointly developed a next-generation laminate heat radiator designed for application to lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

In recent years, sales of EVs are rapidly increasing because of the rise in environmental awareness among car owners. Lithium ion batteries used in EVs have large capacity and generates much heat. Therefore, those batteries require efficient heat radiation. Nowadays, square-shaped lithium ion batteries for use in EVs are equipped with heat radiators composed of extruded aluminum parts and aluminum boards. In the manufacturing process of these radiators, aluminum parts are welded or brazed. These welding or brazing processes require temperature of 600°C or higher. On the other hand, the next-generation laminate heat radiator the companies developed this time uses a laminate film, which is composed of aluminum foil and resin films, as structural material. The heat sealing method to manufacture this next-generation radiator can connect laminate films under relatively low temperature of about 200°C. Moreover, combination of materials to compose these laminate films is easy to be customized. Laminate films can be used in various sizes and suitable for fine presswork. Therefore, this new radiator for lithium ion battery enables car manufacturers to have the highest-ever degree of freedom in designing and sizing of lithium ion-related modules and their surroundings.

Component | Materials
Glass Substrate for AR/MR Glasses Displays Vivid Images
The developed glass substrate features high refractive index and high transparency, which are suitable characteristics for AR/MR glasses.

sahi Glass Co., Ltd. has developed a high-transparency, high-refractive-index glass substrate for use in augmented reality (AR)/mixed reality (MR) glasses.

AR and MR glasses, particularly those that are eyeglass-shaped wearables, are expected to become popular as they virtually augment images or scenes on display. The market for these AR/MR glasses is expected to expand as the next-generation device following smartphones.

For these glasses, Asahi Glass has been developing and proposing glass substrates for semiconductor packages and optical electronic components with a wide range of characteristics. This has led to the development of a high-transparency, high-refractive-index glass substrate ideal for use in AR/MR glasses, which the company has started researching and developing few years ago.

Glass substrate for AR/MR glasses
Glass substrate for AR/MR glasses
Mounter Companies Enter Chip Manufacturing Equipment Market
Through M&A and partnership, mounter makers integrate their technologies with bonder manufacturers and release turnkey solutions.

ounter manufacturers have begun to foray into the semiconductor field. Through mergers and acquisition, they are making bonder manufacturers as their subsidiaries, thus expanding their businesses through vertical startup.

Semiconductor back-end process (assembly process) and electronic components mounting process have been becoming increasingly seamless. For example, wafer-level packages (WLPs) are chip-size packages (CSPs) that are processed in wafer level throughout the final process of packaging, using surface mounters for the mounting of WLPs. Mounting of bare dies is also carried out by using flip chip bonders, applying mounter technology.

M&A of Die Bonder Manufacturers

FUJI Corporation acquired Fasford Technology Co., Ltd. (FFT), a semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturer based in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in an all-share transaction valued at ¥21.8 billion, and made it a subsidiary in Aug. 2018. FFT has a high market share for die bonding equipment used in the assembly process of memory devices, such as DRAMs and NANDs.

FUJI Co-Develops Platform for Robot System Integrators
The new e-Sys platform works by linking e-Sys Market and e-Sys Digital Twin, which is based on XVL Vmech Simulator by Lattice Semiconductor.

UJI Corporation pursues the joint development of e-Sys platform, which supports operations of robot system integrators, with Lattice Technology Co., Ltd., a vendor of 3D data solutions.

When introducing automated equipment using robots, a robot system integrator intervenes between the user installing equipment and an industrial robot maker. It then carries out holistic design of the automation equipment from the selection of robots, in accordance with the user’s requirements, to the design of peripheral equipment.

However, there are inefficient aspects involved in the design of automated equipment. Specifically, it is necessary to design peripheral equipment for robots for each user, however, returning it back for rework is possible due to misunderstanding of system specifications between the user and the robot SI.

JUKI’s Mounting Solution Yields Robust Sales
The company also promotes its automated warehouse and 3D inspection systems to other business fields for sustainability.
Akira Kiyohara, President, JUKI Corporation
Photo 1: Akira Kiyohara, President, JUKI Corporation

UKI Corporation has seen brisk sales of its mounters in the last fiscal year. In FY2018 ending December, the company recorded strong sales of new mounter models, particularly mounters without the need for head replacement and three-dimensional (3D) printed circuit board inspection systems, thus driving its mounter business. Moreover, robust capital investments in China and countries in Southeast Asia contributed to the business growth. While making a cautious forecast, the company expects continued increase in revenue for FY2019.

For the term ending Dec. 2018, JUKI posted consolidated sales of ¥112.06 billion, an annual increase of 8.1 percent; operating profit of ¥9.148 billion, an annual increase of 12.2 percent; recurring profit of ¥8.385 billion, an annual increase of 7.05 percent; and current net profit of ¥6.64 billion, an annual increase of 17.7 percent.

Union Tool Posts Record Sales of PCB Drills
In FY2018, the company sold 347 million drills, 31 percent of which are high-value-added drills.

n its printed circuit board (PCB) drills business, Union Tool Co. has expanded the lineup of high-value-added products leveraging its coating technology. Brisk sales of these products have been driving the company’s business performance.

Hiroshi Odaira, President and Chief Operating Officer, Union Tool, says, “Demand for PCB drills has been expanding on the global market, particularly China. Against this backdrop, our company has focused on the sales of high-value-added products that feature our company’s original coating technology, which has contributed to improved business performance. Semiconductor packages with increasingly many layers, data centers, and PCBs have driven the demand for high-value-added drills.”

High-Value-Added Drills
As high-value-added drills, Union Tool has brought to the market ULF1 coated drills coated with an amorphous carbon film with properties close to those of diamond to ensure long life. It has also released double-edge flute drills, which are being positioned as second-generation drills.

The ULF1 coated drill’s coated surface features enhanced lubricating property (low friction coefficient), and hardness, and improves chip discharging efficiency. Hence, chips do not remain on the entry boards and on the substrates. They guarantee long life about five-fold that of drills without coating.

Hiroshi Odaira
Photo 1: Hiroshi Odaira, President and Chief Operating Officer, Union Tool Co.
EVG, Panasonic Deliver Resist Processing Solution for Plasma Dicing
EVG’s resist processing system was installed in Panasonic’s Plasma Dicing Demonstration Center using its APX300 Dicer Module.

ustria-based EV Group (EVG) and Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. have teamed up to provide a novel resist processing solution for plasma dicing developed for emerging applications, such as sensors for internet of things (IoT), micro electro mechanical sensors (MEMS), radio frequency ID (RFID), CMOS image sensors, and thinned memories. The newly developed advanced solution incorporates the EVG100 Series of resist processing systems and Panasonic’s APX300 Dicer Module plasma dicer.

EVG 150 automated resist processing system
Photo 1: EVG 150 automated resist processing system
Plasma dicing enables highly parallel and high-throughput die singulation for small devices, such as sensors, MEMS and RFID chips. It also provides debris- and particle-free die singulation to enable high process yields for CMOS image sensors, as well as damage-free and high-quality chip sidewalls for thinned memories.

Plasma dicing brings new pre-process requirements, including the need for thick resist coating (several dozen microns in thickness) on the wafer’s surface prior to lithography or laser patterning processes to open up the dicing lanes. However, uniform protective coating of structures on the surface, such as multilayer interconnections and bumps, is critical with traditional spin-coating techniques.

FUJI to Enter 3D Printer Market with All-in-One System
The new printer system conducts 3D resin fabrication, printing of electronic circuits, and mounting of components.

UJI Corporation is entering the three-dimensional (3D) printer market to further expand its business coverage.

FUJI has been deploying total mounting solutions encompassing components warehouses in the pre-process and automated inserters in the post-process of the surface mounting line, with mounters as its main products.

The company has also commercialized industrial robots and surface reform equipment for bonding application by applying plasma, and has been expanding its portfolio of products involving manufacturing.

Concerning 3D printers, FUJI notes that diverse electronic devices meeting different applications are required. The company sets sights on the future of digital fabrication of individually different products, and has been developing equipment that should enable anybody to easily produce electronic devices. 3D printers are part of the company’s efforts in this endeavor.

One-Head Mounter Meets Variable-Mix, Variable-Volume Production
The improved version of RS-IR features 12 percent higher mounting speed reaching 47,000cph, the fastest to date.

UKI Corporation has started offering on the global market an improved version of the RS-1R modular mounter, which requires no head replacement.

The company has further improved the functions of the RS-1 all-in-one mounter, which it has been offering since Jan. 2017. Its laser sensor has been brought closer to printed circuit boards to minimize the time required for the head to move from the suction of components to mounting, thereby improving mounting speed by 12 percent. Thus, RS-1R has achieved the fastest mounting speed of 47,000cph for a one-head mounter.

Mounter Features in Details
RS-1R inherits “Takumi head” with a recognition sensor, the height of which changes in accordance to the components. JUKI has added 3mm to previous heights of 1, 6, 12, 20, and 25mm, thus dividing variable height into six stages. This enables the mounter to change the height of the recognition sensor to the optimum height, thus dramatically improving effective tact time.
Solder Paste for SMT Exhibits High Void Reduction Effect
With high void reduction, KOKI’s S3X58-G803 solder paste promotes stable performance of automotive and power semiconductor devices.

OKI Co., Ltd. has been expanding its global business by offering unique solder products. As part of its efforts, the company has released the S3X58-G803 solder paste, which exhibits high void reduction effect for various mounting materials and components, for surface-mounting technology (SMT).

Voids are air bubbles that remain in solder after mounting. They affect bonding quality such that they contribute to impaired heat dissipation of components and to the progress of cracks. Further reduction of voids is required for power semiconductor components that are widely used in automotive devices and power supply devices.

Significant Void Reduction
KOKI’s S3X58-G803 solder paste enables drastic reduction of voids with the removal of metal oxide film at the early stage of preheating. It also achieves swift wetting to the electrode section and discharge of flux components outside the solder.

As flux remains less in the solder, the growth of voids is suppressed. S3X58-G803 exhibits excellent level of continuous printing and intermittent printing performance that ensures stable low voids, and supports the mounting of 0603 chips as well.

S3X58-G803 solder paste for SMT
S3X58-G803 solder paste for SMT
Choosing Right 5G Spectrum Ensures Economic Benefits

nlocking spectrum for the mobile industry to deliver innovative 5G services across different industry sectors could add US$565 billion to global gross domestic product (GDP) and US$152 billion in tax revenue from 2020 to 2034, according to a new report by GSMA. Next-generation 5G services will improve access to healthcare, education and mobility whilst reducing pollution and increasing safety. However, these outcomes rely on government support for the identification of sufficient millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum for the mobile industry at the next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19).

The report, “Socio-Economic Benefits of 5G Services Provided in mmWave Bands,” is the first to examine and quantify the impact of mmWave spectrum on the overall contribution of 5G networks to society. mmWave spectrum will carry the highest-capacity 5G services. It has the ideal characteristics to support very high data transfer rates and ultra-reliable, low latency capabilities, which will support new use cases and deliver the benefits of 5G to consumers and businesses around the world.

TMG, a consulting firm specialising in the information and communication technologies sector, conducted the study on behalf of the GSMA.

Test | Measurement
Anritsu Benefits from Brisk Sales of Measuring Instruments for 5G
As the adoption of its base station simulator from global chipset makers, terminal manufacturers, and operations start to kick in, sales also climb up.

nritsu Corporation has seen steady increase in sales of its measuring instruments for the fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system. The company posted an increase in income and a substantial increase in profit of its consolidated performance in Q3 of the fiscal year ending Mar. 2019, and has revised upward its predicted performance for the entire fiscal year.

As of the third quarter, Anritsu posted consolidated sales of ¥71.1 billion, an increase of 14 percent on the year; operating profit of ¥7.7 billion, an increase of 189 percent on the year; and profit in the current term of ¥6.3 billion, a significant increase of 326 percent on the year.

Moves toward Commercialization Accelerate
Hirokazu Hamada, President of Anritsu Corporation, says, “I see there is a clear demand for 5G. Moves toward commercialization have been accelerating and plans have been implemented ahead of schedule. Against this backdrop, we have also been expediting the development of products, from the development of 5G chipsets and terminals to conformance tests and mass-production tests. Anticipating that 5G will be widely used not only for smartphones but also for automobiles and internet of things (IoT), the market scale of 5G will become much bigger than those of 3G and 4G.”
CEVA Completes Trial of NB-IoT IP Solution

EVA, Inc., a licensor of signal processing platforms and artificial intelligence platforms, has completed the first test trials of its CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 silicon at the IoT future Lab of Vodafone AG in Dusseldorf, Germany. Using Vodafone’s open lab facilities, CEVA connected to the Vodafone Narrowband-internet of things (NB-IoT) network and demonstrated end-to-end IP connectivity with the CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 test chip running a 3GPP NB-IoT Rel.14 compliant software stack.

The CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 IP solution is a modular technology, composed of the CEVA-X1 IoT processor, an integrated radio frequency transceiver, baseband, and a protocol stack to offer a complete Release 14 Cat-NB2 modem IP solution that significantly reduces time-to-market and lowers entry barriers. It is a fully software-configurable solution and can be extended with multi-constellation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and sensor fusion functionality. The IP includes a reference silicon of the complete modem design, including an embedded CMOS RF transceiver and PA, an advanced digital front-end, physical layer firmware, and a protocol stack.

Technology | Highlight
Cuttable Power Transfer Sheet Makes Novel Contactless Charging

esearchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a new wireless charging system for electronic devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches. The method involves a cuttable, flexible power transfer sheet that charges devices wirelessly and can be molded or even cut with scissors to fit surfaces and objects with different shapes.

Aside from convenience brought about by wireless charging technology, Ryo Takahashi of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, believed the usefulness of the technology in emerging fields, like robotics.

Takahashi’s previous study of robotics inspired him to pioneer ways to power devices, such as robots or smartphones, simply and easily. This path led him towards the creation of the first-ever cuttable wireless power transfer sheet. The idea behind this development is for users to be able to reshape the sheet to fit whatever surface upon which they wish to charge devices.

Technology | Highlight
Study Yields Electric-Field-Induced Layer Formation Method

ational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has elucidated the separation mechanism of metallic and semiconducting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the electric-field-induced layer formation method (ELF method), which is the core technology for manufacturing high-purity semiconducting CNTs indispensable for the application of CNTs in semiconductors, and details of which were not known. As a result, a guiding principle for producing high-purity CNTs using the ELF method has been obtained, and higher efficiency CNT separation has been achieved. Compared to the conventional method, the separation cost has been reduced more than 90 percent and the separation time has been shortened by half.

Separating Metallic, Semiconducting CNTs
Printed electronics has been attracting attention as an energy-saving and resources-saving manufacturing process. This technology enables the production of flexible and large-area devices at low costs. However, for practical use, high-functional inks, in which semiconductor materials and metal materials are dispersed, are indispensable. CNTs have excellent mechanical strength, chemical stability, and electric characteristics, and hence, they are expected as materials of next-generation high-functional inks.

Product | Highlight
ROHM Develops High-Accuracy Coulomb Counter IC for Industrial Devices

OHM Co., Ltd. has developed the BD7220FV large-current measurement coulomb counter IC that can estimate, with high accuracy, the remaining battery level of robots and other industrial equipment, such as drones, storage devices, and backup power supplies.

This coulomb counter IC, which is used to count the inflow and outflow of electric charge, improves the conventional ±5 percent accuracy of electric current calculation to ±1 percent. With this development, ROHM has attained the first high-accuracy coulomb counter IC that is capable of measuring large current from ±10 to ± 2,000A.

BD7220FV is fabricated using a cutting-edge 0.13-micron bipolar-complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (BiCDMOS) process and is supplied in 20-pin shrink small-outline package (SSOP) chips.

BD7220FV estimates the remaining battery level with high accuracy and meets the requirements for effective utilization of the battery capacity. In the initial stage, ROHM plans to supply this new IC for lithium ion batteries of industrial equipment. The company intends to expand its application to electric vehicles in the future.

BD7220FV coulomb counter IC
Photo 1: BD7220FV coulomb counter IC
Product | Highlight
In-Vehicle ICT Hinges on JAE’s High-Speed Transmission Connectors

apan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited (JAE) has developed the miniaturized MX79A Series connectors for high-speed transmission between in-vehicle information and communication technology (ICT) units, like electronic control units (ECUs) of cameras.

Recently, multi-function and high-performance ICT in the automotive market has been progressing rapidly. A greater number of installed camera units is expected to be required to support new technologies, such as advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. These advances have resulted in an increase in the volume of information and digitalization. Therefore, there are demands for space-saving high-speed transmission compatible connectors, to help connect the increasing number of installed units.

JAE has designed the MX79A Series connectors for high-speed transmission to cater to these trending requirements.

The MX79A Series is ideal for use in combination with JAE’s recent automotive camera connector MX55J Series, as it supports connections on the ECU side. It achieves 30 percent reduction of mounting space compared to the company’s existing MX49A Series while meeting the high speed and reliability requirements for in-vehicle units.

MX79A Series connectors
MX79A Series connectors
Business | Strategy
Rexxam Strengthens Business Core, Adds EMS Capability

uilding up further its printed circuit board (PCB) inspection systems business, Rexxam Co., Ltd. has entered the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and semiconductor-related equipment businesses. For its EMS business, the company has built a production plant in Thailand that is set to open in May.

Rationalizing the establishment of the Thai plant, Hiroyuki Sumida, Vice President at Rexxam says, “Air conditioning equipment, centering on board assembly that is our company’s main domain, has been steadily growing. Temperature conditioning devices for semiconductor manufacturing equipment have also seen steady growth with sales in FY2018 expected to increase 5 percent over the previous year.”

On its EMS business, Sumida says, “Production requires various elements, including design, manufacturing technology, design change, component procurement, and quality control. We have noted higher orders for our EMS services equipped with these capabilities.”

Top | Interview
NICHICON Ups the Ante of Energy Storage Device Business

ower storage devices generate a lot of attention because of their role in advanced automobiles, which are expected to become mainstream in the future. In this interview with AEI, Shigeo Yoshida, President, NICHICON CORPORATION, details the present performance of their energy storage device business amid the developments in the automotive industry, and the company’s plan to meet the demand for power supplies in an automated environment.

AEI: How has the expansion of power electronics spur the company’s business?

Yoshida: We have seen the demand grew for capacitors, which is our company’s main business, amid the increasing use of electronic components and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in automobiles. In the Nichicon Energy-Control System Technology (NECST) Business, demand mainly for electric vehicle (EV)-related products, such as energy storage systems and vehicle-to-home (V2H) systems, has been increasing. Although the tone of the market has changed since last fall, the integration of electronic components and ADAS in automobiles continues to advance, accelerating the proliferation of EVs. The trends toward the automation of equipment, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and power storage at households also remained unchanged. However, we are bent on doing more.

Industry Insight
Foundry Giants Race for Leadership in Chip Packaging Technology

s scaling down of chip sizes is facing its limit at 10nm node and below, the next logical step is to channel innovations in the chip packaging technologies, particularly in wafer level packaging (WLP).

The rapid emergence of heterogeneous computing architecture has also been driving innovations in the chip packaging technologies, giving birth to system in package (SiP) technology that allows chip makers to pack multiple dies into a single-package solution.

The chip making industry’s rapid ramp up to these advanced chip packaging technologies aims to keep up with the industry’s growing aspiration to embed more functionalities in the chip- or package-level without compromising power consumption and form factors. That aspiration, in turn, aims to keep up with the growing convergence of computing and communications, software, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, and even vision and speech sensing technologies on a system level, as makers try to put everything into their devices to make them as intelligent as humans.

Zoom In
Chip Design Hub to Heighten Japan’s AI Competency

dvanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and The University of Tokyo have established AI Chip Design Hub at Takeda Building, Asano Section in Hongo Campus of The University of Tokyo, leveraging partnership to accelerate the development of innovative artificial intelligence (AI) chips in Japan.

AI Chip Design Hub will make use of “Subsidies to Realize Development of Industrial Technologies” (Project on constructing verification environment for accelerating the development of AI chips), which was jointly proposed by AIST and The University of Tokyo and adopted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and “Project for Accelerating Innovative AI Chip Development of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)”.

It will provide small- and medium-size companies and venture companies, which aim to develop AI chips, with an AI chip design environment, consisting of electronic design automation (EDA) tool and emulator; common foundation, such as design flow and reference designs; design assets and know-how accumulated at the hub; and an environment to nurture human resources who design AI chips. Through these activities, the hub aims to contribute to the acceleration of AI chip development of small- and medium-size companies and venture companies in Japan, and at the same time, accelerate the development of AI chips through industry-government-academia cooperation.

Zoom In

Mitsubishi Electric Sets up New FA Center in India


n an effort to expand its factory automation (FA) business in India, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has been expanding its FA centers in the area. In February, the company established Coimbatore FA Center, its sixth FA center in India, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu State, and commenced its operations.

To date, the company has established a total of 14 support bases in India, including in Delhi (Gurgaon), Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, and Coimbatore bases, and five FA centers in Delhi (Gurgaon), Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, and Ahmadabad.

India Coimbatore FA Center office of Mitsubishi Electric

India Coimbatore FA Center office of Mitsubishi Electric

Show | Preview
NEPCON China | 2019
NEPCON China to Unveil Smart Manufacturing, IoT Ecosystem


n recent years, NEPCON China 2019 has made efforts to be recognized as a smart manufacturing show that is highly anticipated by electronic professionals. This year, it will open its doors to its visitors at the Shanghai World EXPO & Convention Center from April 24 to 26, aiming to bring in a new display area for electronic micro-assembly and System in Package (SiP) technology to lead the industry’s development.

NEPCON China 2019 upholds the concept of "New Ecology of IoT, New Forces of Smart Manufacturing" and focuses on popular industries, such as 5G, automotive electronics, consumer electronics, security, medical treatment, rail transit, new energy and automation. This year’s edition has been comprehensively upgraded from the previous year’s show to bring together new surface-mount technology (SMT) equipment, new electronic technologies, new electronic materials and new packaging solutions, showcasing popular applications to industry professionals and helping improve productivity.

Show | Report
nano tech | 2019
Low-Power FPGA Integrates NanoBridge Switch Device

t the nano tech 2019, NEC Corporation showcased a new principle-based LSI, low-power field-programmable gate array (FPGA) that incorporates NanoBridge. The company has developed the NanoBridge-FPGA using the nanoelectronics platform by TIA, an open innovation hub operated by five institutions in Japan.

nano tech 2019 International Nanotechnology Exhibition & Conference was held at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.

The NanoBridge-FPGA employs NanoBridge, an ultrasmall non-volatile switch device, as a wiring for wiring switching, which is used for circuit reconfiguration of programmable logic devices, such as FPGAs. It features low power consumption, low voltage, and high performance. NEC plans to apply the NanoBridge-FPGA for artificial satellites and communication devices in the future.

Show | Report
NEPCON Japan | 2019
Cutting-Edge Electronics Systems Show Off at Japan Events

huge gathering of trade-related events showcasing electronics manufacturing were held at the same time at the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan from Jan. 16 to 18. At the center of the event was NEPCON Japan 2019, which includes Internepcon Japan; Electrotest Japan; IC & Sensor Packaging Technology Expo; Electronic Components & Materials Expo; PWB Expo; Fine Process Technology Expo; and LED & Laser Diode Technology Expo, and Automotive World 2019, which includes CAR-ELE JAPAN; EV JAPAN; Lightweight Technology Expo; Connected Car Japan; CAR-MECHA JAPAN; and Autonomous Driving Technology Expo. It also featured 3rd RoboDEX (Robot Development & Application Expo), 3rd Smart Factory Expo, and 5th WEARABLE EXPO (Wearable Device & Technology Expo) as concurrent events.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd., the events drew record 2,640 companies from 20 countries, mainly from Japan compared with 2,600 companies in 2018. Exhibitors showcased leading-edge electronics technologies and new products for 2019, including products for internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), smart factory, autonomous driving, robots, and fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technologies.

End-to-End Solutions Put ASM in Forefront of Industry 4.0

SM Assembly has been in the forefront of providing solutions that would drive them to the forefront of Industry 4.0 and this was highlighted at the recent NEPCON Japan 2019 held in Tokyo, Japan. It highlighted its strengths in complete hardware and software platforms.

ASM Pacific Technology Limited (ASMPT) is among the companies that put up the ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions (ADAMOS), a strategic alliance in the Industrial internet of things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 and aims to bring together the most up-to-date IT technology and industry knowledge. ASM has also made strategic investment in Portuguese software develop Critical Manufacturing S.A. to accelerate ASMPT’s efforts to build a portfolio of industrial Internet solutions.

Hardware, Software Solutions
“By optimizing workflows and integrating them into a fully networked Smart Factory, which is able to adapt to frequently changing products and processes, electronic manufacturers will reach a yet unrivalled level of productivity and flexibility,” said Yuzo Ishizaki, SMT Solutions General Manager, ASM Assembly Technology Co., Ltd. at the recent NEPCON Japan 2019 held in Tokyo Big Sight.

Product | News
Semiconductors, ICs & Modules
HRM1079 Bluetooth Module by Hosiden
HRM1079 Bluetooth Module by Hosiden

Hosiden Corporation has made available the HRM1079 Bluetooth Low Energy Module, which adopts the Nordic nRF 52832 WLCSP package for miniaturization requirements of beacon terminals. Its high-performance antenna has settings for optimum output power dictated by an application software, allowing it to achieve both wide communication range and low power consumption, and reduce the design load on the customer’s high-frequency circuitry. Moreover, it has a built-in 32kHz sub-clock and a DC/DC converter so that the IC can operate at low power. With support for the LE 2M PHY implementation added in Bluetooth 5.0, it is possible to communicate at twice the transmission speed of Bluetooth 4.2 or earlier modules. These features make HRM1079 applicable for general consumer products and wireless sensors and beacon terminals in the internet of things/internet of everything markets. HRM1079 has also received radio frequency certification under modular equipment conditions, based on the provisions of Japan, the United States and Canada, while for Europe, test reports can be provided.
Hosiden Corporation

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