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November 2020
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Asia Electronics Industry
November 2020 Volume 25, Serial No. 290

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: may@dempa.co.jp; Subscription e-mail: circulationmanila@dempa.co.jp.

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Cover | Story
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EMICON Taiwan concluded its three-day event in September and held for the first time simultaneous physical and virtual events. Taiyo Nippon Sanso Taiwan (TNST) took part in SEMICON Taiwan to promote its portfolio to global supply chain players in the semiconductor industry who used the event’s platforms to take advantage of the potentials of the semiconductor industry in the midst of the pandemic.

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Taiwan is within the big family of Nippon Sanso Holdings Corp. (NSHD), which supplies industrial gases and electronics material gases, as well as other total solutions relevant to the global electronics industry. TNST, meanwhile, supplies electronic specialty gases (ESGs), purifier, scrubber and cylinder cabinets, which are widely used in semiconductor, thin-film transistor (TFT)-LCD, LED, laser diodes (LD), solar cell, as well as in microwave communication. TNST’s Electronic Specialty Gas division exhibited at SEMICON Taiwan and met with vital industry players and keep up with the latest technology developments.

AEI News
SK hynix Acquires Intel’s NAND Flash Chip Business
SK hynix’s wafer fabrication hub in Incheon, Korea aerial view
SK hynix’s wafer fabrication hub in Incheon, Korea
KOREA and UNITED STATES – SK hynix has acquired the NAND flash memory chip and storage business of Intel Corporation for US$9 billion. The two companies have signed an agreement that will pave way for the Korean conglomerate to take over the U.S.-headquartered chipmaker’s non-volatile memory chip and data storage business.

In the agreement, SK hynix will take over Intel’s NAND SSD business, NAND component and wafer businesses as well as Intel’s NAND memory chip manufacturing facility in Dalian, China. Meanwhile, Intel will retain its core Optane memory chip business.

SK hynix has been eager to beef up its strength and market position in NAND flash and SSD data storage business, as internet of things (IoT), 5G , Big Data Analytics are driving demand for massive amount of data storage spaces across all computing devices. The deal, pending approval of regulatory authorities in both Korea and United States, is expected to be finalized late next year.

www.skhynix.com; www.intel.com

In View | This Month
High-Precision Sensors Emerge for Industrial, Service Robots

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eading components and semiconductor manufacturers have been introducing new sensors for robots one after another. On top of the needs for automation to cope with serious labor shortage and automation of simple and heavy works, the needs to avoid three Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections have emerged, thus accelerating the demand for robots.

Collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are highly demanded at manufacturing sites and physical warehouses, and service robots at sites where services are provided. Manufacturers support the installation and proliferation of robots by providing a wide range of sensors for robots, such as high-precision, compact, thin, and low-priced sensors.

Special | Report
5G and Edge Computing Platform typography
Open Source Collaboration to Shape Future of 5G
An open source arena gives telecom players an effective platform where they can share their experiences and learning to create a more effective 5G deployment and optimize its benefits. Edge computing ideally suits this model as networks become more decentralized.
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he deployment of 5G starts with New Radio, a unique air interface specifically designed for 5G. New Radio is important as it enables to add edge computing at RAN sites and address the challenges of low latency communications. Edge computing is a distributed network architecture that brings computing power closer to the people producing the data, improving latency and localizing data aggregation. Organizations are using edge computing to create new innovations including analyzing data for predictive maintenance, quality control, deployment of augmented systems for remote operation, and identifying new revenue streams and new personalized experienced.

With the early deployments of 5G and edge computing, pressures on communication systems, like decentralized distributed computing with the explosion of data and expanded remote workforce are being eased.

Players Chart Values of Open RAN Environment
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he inevitable deployment of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications standard presents opportunities to operators and providers. However, with the transition to 5G technology and the ongoing growth and competition in existing 4G networks require operators to become more efficient and put more pressure for the need to build capacity with greater flexiblity and agility in order to dramatically improve services.

In the recent Open5GCon telecom virtual event, one of the sought-after sessions was the Open RAN track moderated by Azhar Sayeed, Chief Architect at Red Hat. The panelists include Dr. Chin Lee, Senior Research Scientist, China Mobile; Pål Grønsund, Chief Scientist, Wireless Technologies at Telenor; Thomas Sennhauser, Chief Technologist and Business Lead, Network and Communication Business APJ at Intel; Antti Romppanen, Head of 5G Cloud RAN Solution R&D at Nokia; and Amit Ghadge, Director Product Manager, at Parallel Wireless.

Open RAN emerges as among the important issues hounding the telecom industry of late because of the supposed ability of RAN to be more cost efficient by moving from proprietary technology stacks to more flexible, multi-vendor kit.

Special | Report
Capacitor Market Trends text
New Demand Trends to Boost Slack Capacitor Market
Despite the temporary slump due to CHALLENGING global economic conditions, the capacitor market is expected to pick up again from 2021, riding on the demand spur for products related to 5G communications systems and automotive electronics.

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he demand for capacitors has been gradually recovering. Aside from the economic slowdown due to the trade tension between the United States and China, the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to paralyze global economic activities.

In the first half of this year, global economy stagnated beyond initial projections. The demand for capacitors also slowed down and continued to be lower than actual results in the same period of the previous year. Recently, however, economic activities around the world have started anew.

Although the production and sales of automobiles remain slow, the demand for consumer equipment has been increasing, especially because many have been either working or studying at home as precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the demand for fifth-generation (5G) communication systems-related semiconductor devices has begun to recover. In the future, sales of electrified vehicles (xEVs) are expected to grow in the automotive field, as demand for environment-friendly and energy-saving systems emerge. The demand for capacitors is expected to increase in 2021.

STMicroelectronics Pioneers Creation of Smaller, Faster Chargers

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TMicroelectronics has unveiled MasterGaN, the first platform embedding a half-bridge driver based on silicon technology along with a pair of gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors. The combination will accelerate the creation of next-generation compact and efficient chargers and power adapters for consumer and industrial applications up to 400W.

Today’s GaN market is typically served by discrete power transistors and driver ICs that require designers to learn how to make them work together for best performance. ST’s MasterGaN approach bypasses that challenge, resulting in faster time to market and assured performance, together with a smaller footprint, simplified assembly, and increased reliability with fewer components. With GaN technology and the advantages of ST’s integrated products, chargers and adapters can cut 80 percent of the size and 70 percent of the weight of ordinary silicon-based solutions.

Special | Report
Lithography Technology text
IC Process Materials Makers Invest Actively in EUV
Manufacturers of semiconductor process materials advance the technological development of next-generation photoresists. Investments mostly relate to the establishment of clean rooms to improve production system and quality of photoresists and mask blanks.

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apanese semiconductor process materials manufacturers have been stepping up investments eyeing full-fledged adoption of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology, the next-generation lithography technology. They aim to contribute to the development of the semiconductor industry by bankrolling investments to bolster production capacities for EUV-related materials and through other strategic investments.

With the full-fledged emergence of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and and the start of the commercial services of fifth-generation communications standard, semiconductor chips are required to provide faster computing, larger data capacities and higher integration. In order to meet these requirements, it is necessary to achieve finer semiconductor circuit patterns. However, the conventional photolithography technology using excimer laser has its own limitations, and EUV lithography technology attracts attention as a cutting-edge microfabrication technology replacing excimer laser lithography.

Special | Report
Intelligent Vehicle Solution text
Continental Sets Off NVIDIA-Powered Supercomputer for Vehicle AI System
The supercomputer system gives Continental an edge to pursue technological systems that will enable intelligent vehicles leading to autonomous driving. The system is built with NVIDIA architecture to ensure not only full performance and functionality but also future scalability.

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o complement the rapid development cycles in the automotive industry, Continental has started its own supercomputer that is expected to raise the benchmark for the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which is crucial in setting into motion advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), smarter and safer mobility, and the development of systems for autonomous driving.

TECH | FOCUS
Nichicon Levels up Heat Resistance of In-Vehicle Capacitors

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n recent years, efforts to jointly promote the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles (HVs) through the collaboration of industry, academia, and government have intensified with the aim of reducing environment loads and improving fuel efficiency. In addition, the development of automobiles equipped with safety-related technologies and autonomous driving functions has been accelerating, and the development of automatic brakes, image recognition, and sensor-related devices that are indispensable for those functions has also been advancing. Furthermore, with the improvement of comfort of in-vehicle environment, installation of electronic circuits in the engine compartment, and space savings and performance enhancement of incorporated components have also been making progress. Accordingly, capacitors used in automobiles are required to achieve downsizing, higher capacitance, and lower equivalent series resistance (ESR), in addition to resistance to severely high-temperature environment. These properties are also required for capacitors used in fields other than automotive-related field, like industrial equipment-related field. They will also be needed in high-density mounting and advanced information communication-related field, such as fifth-generation (5G)-related devices and 5G base stations.

TE Connectivity Releases New Wi-Fi 6E Antennas
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rom TE Connectivity comes new antenna product portfolio for Wi-Fi 6E that supports triple bands, including the new 6GHz band. TE’s antenna solutions and integration expertise have released the power of the extensive additional spectrum from Wi-Fi 6E, enabling new applications and services, greater network flexibility, and faster speeds with reduced latency in end devices and applications.

“Wireless networks have impacted our lives in many ways: enabling mobility at home and at work and enabling new solutions in safety and security; smart homes, cities and factories; medical and health devices; and a wide range of emerging IoT devices,” said Han Sang Cheol, Product Manager at TE’s Data and Devices business unit.

TECH | FOCUS
Makers Amplify Parts Features to Reinforce Role of Inverters
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lectronic components manufacturers have been focusing on the expansion of businesses that adapt energy savings features and are friendly to the environment. They have been accelerating product development of power devices to complement the demand for inverters and earth-friendly electronic components that do not use environmental load substances.

To achieve energy savings, inverters are used in a wide range of fields from industrial equipment to electrified vehicles (xEVs) in the automotive field, to home electric appliances, such as air conditioners, and demand growth is expected to continue in the medium to long term. Components manufacturers bolster new product development and sales expansion of high-reliability and high-performance components for power devices.

Resistors, Capacitors
Power resistors for inverters adopt winding wire, metal oxide film, or other material as resistance element, and are incorporated in a high-reliability outer covering, such as insulation coating and cement. To further enhance reliability, the fuse built-in type is also supplied. Resistor manufacturers especially focus on shunt resistors for current sensing application. New product development of metal plate resistors with sufficient rated power and have achieved low resistance, and support high current advances.

TECH | FOCUS
Technology Makes Accurate Circuit Simulation for SiC-MOSFETs
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itsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a highly accurate Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE) model to analyze the electronic circuitry of discrete power semiconductors. The technology is deployed in the company’s N Series 1200V SiC-MOSFET or silicon-carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (Fig. 1).

The model simulates high-speed switching waveforms as well as actual measurements, on a level of accuracy believed to be unmatched in the industry at present. This development is expected to lead to more efficient circuit designs for power converters.

Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric expects to add several temperature-dependent parameters to enable its SPICE model to work at high temperature.

NEDO Approves Research on CO2 Capture, Utilization
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ollowing the application to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for the project “Moonshot Research and Development Program/Realization of Sustainable Resource Circulation to Recover the Global Environment by 2050”, the University of Tokyo, Osaka University, RIKEN, Ube Industries, Ltd., Shimizu Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation, and Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. have announced that their project “Integrated Electrochemical Systems for Scalable CO2 Conversion to Chemical Feedstocks” has been accepted.

Conceptual diagram
Conceptual diagram of the system to be developed
Under the project, the group will develop an integrated system to capture dilute carbon dioxide (CO2) before being released into the atmosphere and convert it electrochemically into useful chemical raw materials using renewable energy as a driving force, thereby establish a foundation for carbon recycling.
TECH | FOCUS
Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors Evolve with Market Demand
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luminum electrolytic capacitors use aluminum for the electrodes. As the anodized film has high relative permittivity, aluminum electrolytic capacitors can obtain large capacitance. Among valve metals, aluminum is easily available and its price is relatively low. Therefore, aluminum electrolytic capacitors can be produced at lower costs compared with other types of capacitors.

An aluminum electrolytic capacitor is constructed by using an anode aluminum electrode foil, a cathode aluminum electrode foil, and a separator in between. These are then wound into a cylindrical form (hereinafter called an element). However, an element does not function as a capacitor by simply being wound into a cylindrical form, and the required capacitance value cannot be obtained. By impregnating the element with an electrolytic solution with electric conductivity, it becomes possible to obtain the required capacitance value for the first time. Then, the terminal plates for extracting electrodes are attached to the element impregnated with electrolytic solution, which is then enclosed into an aluminum case and hermetically sealed. Lastly, the element is covered with an outer sleeve.

SMTs | IN REVIEW
New Bearings Boost Lineup of Linear Guide Companies
The new bearings released feature high rigidity, higher speed, smaller size and high precision to meet various industrial and manufacturing needs.
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anufacturers of linear guides have been expanding their lineups of new bearings. They have been bringing to the market various new products that feature high rigidity, higher speed, and smaller size responding to diverse needs in new fields, such as manufacturing equipment and industrial robots.

THK’s Ball Screws and Ball Splines
THK Co., Ltd. has expanded its lineup of Type SDA-V compact-type precision ball screws that are compatible with high speed operation. The company has released Type LF-X, a new series of compact ball spline, and started accepting orders for Type HBN-P high-load ball screw for press machines, introducing new models to the market one after another.

THK has added SDA10VZ (all ball type) to Type SDA-V. With the addition of screw shaft diameter of 10mm and ball screw lead of 4mm, 5mm, and 10mm, the lineup of Type SDA-V has expanded to 62 items through the combination of screw shaft diameter of 10 to 50mm and lead of 4 to 50mm.

SMTs | IN REVIEW
Hanwha Precision Develops New Die Bonders With SK hynix
The new die bonding machine features an airlift pick up technology, which reduces die replacement time and lessens stress-induced damages, and individually controlled multi-heads and gantry.
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anwha Precision Machinery Co. of Korea has developed a new breed of semiconductor packaging equipment in joint effort with memory chip chipmaker SK hynix Inc.

The Korean surface-mount technology (SMT) machine and chip packaging equipment maker said that that it has been working together with SK hynix to localize a die bonder in an effort to replace a Japan-made die bonder machine.

Korea depends on Japanese companies for 90 percent of its demand for die bonders.

The die bonding machine combines the expertise of Hanwha and SK hynix in the chip-packaging process and industrial machinery.

SMTs | IN REVIEW
ASM’s High-Volume Solder Paste Printer Brings Out New Possibilities
The new printer was designed for optimal performance, and includes additional hardware and software options that allow more functionalities to support a smart factory.
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SM has updated its DEK TQ high-volume printer, which sets new records in terms of speed, floor space performance, and wet-printing accuracy. A synchronized combination of print head, paste dispenser and innovative understencil cleaning system enables DEK TQ to operate for up to 8 hours without operator assistance. With its new hardware and software options, the printer features even more capabilities. The innovations comprise its offline programming, the DEK TQ V1 operating software, the High Flow Vacuum board support system, and the intelligent and flexible verification and traceability functions.

Hardware and Software Options
With new options and software enhancements, ASM further improves the operability and capabilities of its DEK TQ stencil printer. The High Flow Vacuum function, for example, provides an affordable and highly efficient board support solution for the high-volume production of small and highly complex printed circuit boards (PCBs).

SMTs | IN REVIEW

THK Starts Supply of Pick & Place Robot

The new PPR robot is designed for assembly of electronic components, and simultaneously promotes fast assembly process and reduction of work damage.

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s part of efforts to bolster its robot business, THK Co., Ltd. has started accepting orders for the PPR pick and place robot for assembling electronic components. With the continued scaling down of electronic components, PPR contributes to the reduction of work damage during the transfer of components.

As miniaturization of electronic components gains progress, manufacturers are faced with the reduction of work damage during components transfer and the reduction of cycle time. PPR packs fine works that form the electronic components and speedily and accurately transfer and assemble them onto the base. THK has developed PPR, whose patent is still pending, as a robot optimum for the production process, and allows the simultaneously increase of the speed of electronic components assembly process and reduction of work damage, the first of its kind.

AI Technology Helps in Early Detection of Defects in Chip Production

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oshiba Corporation has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) for the early detection of serious defects that commonly occur in different types of products in the low-volume, wide-variety production of semiconductor devices. With this technology, even when the data of individual products cannot be sufficiently obtained, machine learning is performed and defects can be classified with high accuracy by integrating the data of different products for analysis.

The company introduced this AI to the semiconductor factory of TOSHIBA Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation. The AI succeeded in reducing the defect monitoring work to 30 minutes per person per day, which is about 1/8 of the previous 4.2 hours.

Classifies Low-Volume, Wide Variety of ICs
In recent years, efforts are being made to improve productivity using AI in the field of semiconductor manufacturing. For example, by classifying quality data, such as the types of defects and the locations of occurrences obtained in product quality inspections with AI, the occurrence of various defects can be detected at an early stage, improving the productivity.

Component | Materials

Thinner Design Makes Thermistor Sensor More Flexible

Aside from higher measurement accuracy, the DCF Series from Mitsubishi Materials has a chip thermistor that is mounted on the surface of the substrate, reducing thickness to 0.5mm relative to 4mm of previous product.

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itsubishi Materials Corporation has developed the DCF Series flexible thermistor sensor, a thinner sensor than its previous product and features higher response, higher accuracy, and operates even when it is bent.

Thermistors are electronic devices that detect temperatures. They are used in various everyday products, such as automobiles, motorcycles, air conditioners, and refrigerators, as well as smartphones and personal computers. Thermistors not only measure temperatures, but also prevent troubles resulting from abnormal heat generation in electronic devices.

Thinner than Previous Product

In 2019, Mitsubishi Materials developed a high-speed response thermistor sensor for automotive battery modules. The new thermistor sensor features about seven times higher response speed and has achieved about twice the heat measurement accuracy compared with the previous product.

Component | Materials

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Partners with South 8 in Novel Energy Solutions

With the partnership, TNSC’s gas supply control and liquefied gas technologies will be combined with South 8’s LiGas technology to grow deep in the energy market.

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aiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) has entered into a strategic technology and business alliance with U.S-based company South 8 Technologies, Inc., a novel Liquefied Gas Electrolytes (LiGas) venture company.

TNSC is aiming to expand its technological portfolio and penetrate newly emerging and growing markets. In line with its medium-term management plan “Ortus Stage 2”, TNSC is very actively pursuing open innovation through collaboration in business and technological development with leading-edge venture companies. By combining the company’s gas supply control and liquefied gas technology, its partnership with South 8 technologies will enable TNSC to penetrate more deeply into the lithium battery market, which is one of the most focused segments in energy storage market.

Component | Materials

Materials for 5G Communications Feature Low Loss Tangent

These products from Nippon Electric Glass contribute in reducing communication transmission loss for effective communication in high frequencies.
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ippon Electric Glass Co., Ltd. has developed materials or low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) with low loss tangent suitable for components and devices used for 5G communications, expanding its product lineup.

5G has gained the spotlight as a next-generation communication technology that allows high-speed, large-capacity, low-delay communication and multiple simultaneous connection, highlighting the need to promptly construct its system. In 5G communication, high frequencies of 28 to 40GHz called millimeter waves are used, and various LTCC substrates are used for components and devices that process signals, like circuit boards and filters. In these components and devices, since signals are attenuated and communication quality deteriorates in proportion to frequency and loss tangent, it is necessary to reduce the attenuation of signals by using materials with a low loss tangent, in order to achieve more efficient communication.

TECHNOLOGY | HIGHLIGHT
Testing Coronavirus Antigens Taps Quartz Crystal Equipment
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ihon Dempa Kogyo Co., Ltd. has developed the NAPiCOS Series laboratory instruments based on the Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) method, which uses quartz crystals as sensors. The company has been continuing the device’s development since its market release in 2010. The NAPiCOS laboratory instrument is now being developed for testing new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) antigens.

The QCM method is based on mass loading effect in which the frequency decreases proportionally to the mass when the material adheres to the electrodes of the quartz resonator.

Simple, Highly Accurate Test Method
As of August, there are more than 20 million people worldwide infected with the new coronavirus, and there is no indication of flattening out the infections. In Japan, tests using the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) method that amplifies genes are commonly performed, but the process of amplifying genes may result in longer testing time, thus delaying the appropriate treatment. Therefore, there is an increasing need for simple and rapid test methods in clinical practice.

TECHNOLOGY | HIGHLIGHT
Fluororesin-Based FPC Stands out in High Frequency
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yeing 5G communications and beyond, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has commenced mass production of FLUOROCUIT, a fluororesin-based flexible printed circuits (FPCs) that demonstrate high flexibility and low transmission loss in the millimeter-wave (mmWave) band.

In wireless communication, 5G mobile communication has started to be used on a commercial basis. Nowadays, the sub-6 band, like 3.5GHz and 4.7GHz, is being used for 5G communication in various parts of the world. To increase the transmission speed, it is expected that the frequency used will be increased to the mmWave band, like 26GHz and 28GHz. Also, even higher frequencies in the mmWave band will be used on a full scale with the planned launch of 6G mobile communications and the practical use of radars and sensors.

Against this backdrop, Sumitomo Electric has mass produced flexible fluororesin-based FPCs, which are characterized by a low transmission loss in the mmWave-wave band.

TECHNOLOGY | HIGHLIGHT
Novel Fabrication to Improve Performance of SiC Power Transistors
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he research group of the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University has reduced the interfacial defect density (total amount) down to 2.5×10-10 cm-2 by performing nitridation of the interface between SiO2 oxide film and SiC with nitrogen (N2) gas processing. This amount of interfacial defects is one-fifth of those achieved by the conventional method using nitric oxide (NO). Using this method, the group has made prototype SiC transistors, and achieved an improvement of the performance of n-type transistors by twice and that of p-type transistors by 1.5 times compared with that of conventional transistors. It is expected that this will accelerate the progress toward higher performance and further cost reduction of SiC power transistors.

This method eliminates the need for special equipment, such as of NO gas processing and special gas and/or chemicals, which have been essential for fabricating SiC transistors. Therefore, it can easily be adopted by semiconductor device manufacturers without barriers.

PRODUCT | HIGHLIGHT
OMRON’s New ToF Sensor Module Enables 3D Distance Depth
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MRON Corporation has released to the market the B5L Series embedded three-dimensional (3D) time of flight (ToF) sensor module. The B5L Series makes use of unique optical design technology for the stable measurement of distance information across a wide area even under sunlight. In addition, B5L also features specifications optimized for long periods of continuous operation to allow it to be used as an embedded sensor in various instruments. This design results in a mechanical eye that is capable of accurately detecting the surrounding environment, which will contribute to autonomous robots being used more frequently in everyday life as well as automation of various other machinery and equipment.

The need for manpower-saving solutions has increased in recent times due to dwindling labor force and the need to avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Because of this, autonomous robots are being used not only in industrial applications such as transportation in factories and distribution warehouses, but also in public facilities, hospitals, train stations, and commercial complexes.

NITTOKU Ventures in Lithium Ion Battery-Applied Products
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ITTOKU Co., Ltd. is making foray into the lithium ion battery-applied products market. The company has released onto the market the LiBE Series portable energy storage system equipped with a lithium ion rechargeable battery. NITTOKU has developed the LiBE Series jointly with Tohoku University.

The energy storage system has been commercialized through collaborative research with a research team at Tohoku University. It incorporates a lithium ion rechargeable battery that adopts cathode material developed by the team at Tohoku University and spinel-type lithium manganese with a stable structure.

The lithium ion battery has very low possibility of heat generation or ignition. In addition, it can retain charge voltage even when it is not charged and used for a long period time, and hence it is effective for an emergency. It can be fully charged in about 30 minutes at the fastest. As an option, it also supports the storage of energy using renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic power generation systems.

PRODUCT | HIGHLIGHT
Compact, High-Functional Sensors Eye Popular Markets
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okuriku Electric Industry Co., Ltd. has been expanding its lineup of compact, high-functional sensors that employ microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The company has been proposing sensing solutions targeting priority markets, including fifth-generation (5G) communications standard-compliant infrastructure and devices, internet of things (IoT)-related devices, automobiles, medical and healthcare equipment, home electric appliances, and industrial equipment.

In its product strategy for sensors, Hokuriku Electric Industry builds up cooperation with its module business that uses high-density mounting technology, which is the company’s main technology. The company also strengthens its partnership with the academe in joint product development. The company has been stepping up its proposal for solutions by developing modules with built-in software, and composite sensors that incorporate multiple elements, while continuing the supply of sensors.

Show | Preview
International Electronics Circuit Exhibition | 2020
5G-Driven PCB Opportunities to Draw Manufacturers

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ighlighting the opportunities under a 5G era, the 2020 International Electronics Circuit Exhibition (Shenzhen) is all set for Dec. 2 to 4 at Halls 1, 2 and 4 of the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center in China under the theme of “5G Era.Smart Future”. Jointly organized by Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA) and China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA), the Fair will serve as a one-stop platform to showcase the latest products, technology and solutions from the whole supply chain in the industry.

Influential Platform in Asia
Despite the global health situation triggered by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the organizers received an overwhelming response from exhibitors with 410 enterprises confirming their participation, thus showing a high level of confidence towards industry development. This represents 2,850 booths to sprawl on the show floor, with a total floor area of 52,500sq.m, covering Halls 1, 2 and 4 of the venue.

In Focus
In Focus
Optimistic Semiconductor Industry Braces for More Challenges
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he COVID-19 virus proves a mixed blessing for the global semiconductor chip fabrication ecosystem. As the pandemic spreads across the world and forced people to stay on the internet for longer hours for work or leisure, the sudden jump in online activities has been encouraging demand for computing power and data storage, helping make up for relative setbacks in consumer demand.

“We are proud of the semiconductor industry’s resilience, despite the pandemic, economic constraints, and geopolitical tension. Financial result reflects this and shows the industry’s strong fundamental and multiple technology growth levels such as AI, quantum computing, AR/VR, 5G and 6G, among many more,” said Ajit Manocha, Chief Executive Officer and President with SEMI at the opening ceremony of SEMICON Taiwan, which was held from Sept. 23 to 25.

Optimistic Semiconductor Industry Braces for More Challenges
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he COVID-19 virus proves a mixed blessing for the global semiconductor chip fabrication ecosystem. As the pandemic spreads across the world and forced people to stay on the internet for longer hours for work or leisure, the sudden jump in online activities has been encouraging demand for computing power and data storage, helping make up for relative setbacks in consumer demand.

“We are proud of the semiconductor industry’s resilience, despite the pandemic, economic constraints, and geopolitical tension. Financial result reflects this and shows the industry’s strong fundamental and multiple technology growth levels such as AI, quantum computing, AR/VR, 5G and 6G, among many more,” said Ajit Manocha, Chief Executive Officer and President with SEMI at the opening ceremony of SEMICON Taiwan, which was held from Sept. 23 to 25.

Digi-Key Electronics Adds in NI Products in Portfolio

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est engineers worldwide can now have access to NI’s software-connected test and measurement products through Digi-Key Electronics, following the products’ inclusion to its expanded portfolio. This initiative greatly expands Digi-Key’s overall offerings in automated test.

“Connecting engineers to the right tools when and how they need them accelerates productivity,” said Jim Ramsey, Vice President of the Global Partner program at NI. “Offering our products through Digi-Key allows us to meet their customers where they are through the processes they’re accustomed to and gives us new avenues to equip more engineers with the tools they need.”

In Focus
In Focus
Advanced System-in-Package Solution Drives Heterogeneous Integration
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s IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishana puts it, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will dramatically accelerate adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, as more people maximize the potentials of online platforms from shopping, to meeting, learning, and even on movie and live video streaming service sites for work, learning, and even leisure.

Adding to that metrics, the rapid penetration of 5G communications services and smart manufacturing are also clamoring for more compute power, more storage spaces, wider data transmission bandwidth, and other low data latency input-output (I/O) solutions to keep up with the rising demand in data traffic.

These strong system requirements are calling for chip makers to innovate on their chip making technologies, including chip design, processing and even packaging solutions, as they face a daunting task to pack all different functional silicon elements together on a single die or a circuit board in heterogeneous integration or computing.

Advanced System-in-Package Solution Drives Heterogeneous Integration
A

s IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishana puts it, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will dramatically accelerate adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, as more people maximize the potentials of online platforms from shopping, to meeting, learning, and even on movie and live video streaming service sites for work, learning, and even leisure.

Adding to that metrics, the rapid penetration of 5G communications services and smart manufacturing are also clamoring for more compute power, more storage spaces, wider data transmission bandwidth, and other low data latency input-output (I/O) solutions to keep up with the rising demand in data traffic.

These strong system requirements are calling for chip makers to innovate on their chip making technologies, including chip design, processing and even packaging solutions, as they face a daunting task to pack all different functional silicon elements together on a single die or a circuit board in heterogeneous integration or computing.

In Focus
In Focus
Service-Oriented Platforms to Drive Digital, Connected Cars
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ar digitalization is now becoming an on-the-go service platform to drive fresh, new demand for semiconductor chips; this, aside from cars going digital, is also rapidly becoming a service-oriented gateway for various online, mobile services.

In-Vehicle Chip Trends
At the Smart Mobility Forum of SEMICON Taiwan held from Sept. 23 to 25, the world’s two largest automotive semiconductor makers—STMicroelectronics and NXP Semiconductors— painted a rosy picture on how global semiconductor chip market will ride on the irreversible trend in the car market to new highs.

“In 2019, more or less 92 million units of cars were shipped across the world, creating US$35.3 billion worth of total available market for semiconductor chips. That is the starting point. Of the total, about 65 percent, or US$22 billion, came from traditional automotive core electronics, like engine control units and tire pressure sensors. Meanwhile, more than one-third, or 35 percent, are derived from electrification and digitalization of cars,” say Benedetto Vigna, President of Analog, MEMS & Sensor Group with STMicroelectronics.

Service-Oriented Platforms to Drive Digital, Connected Cars
C

ar digitalization is now becoming an on-the-go service platform to drive fresh, new demand for semiconductor chips; this, aside from cars going digital, is also rapidly becoming a service-oriented gateway for various online, mobile services.

In-Vehicle Chip Trends
At the Smart Mobility Forum of SEMICON Taiwan held from Sept. 23 to 25, the world’s two largest automotive semiconductor makers—STMicroelectronics and NXP Semiconductors— painted a rosy picture on how global semiconductor chip market will ride on the irreversible trend in the car market to new highs.

“In 2019, more or less 92 million units of cars were shipped across the world, creating US$35.3 billion worth of total available market for semiconductor chips. That is the starting point. Of the total, about 65 percent, or US$22 billion, came from traditional automotive core electronics, like engine control units and tire pressure sensors. Meanwhile, more than one-third, or 35 percent, are derived from electrification and digitalization of cars,” say Benedetto Vigna, President of Analog, MEMS & Sensor Group with STMicroelectronics.

Show | REPORT
SID2020
Large 4K OLED Display Touts Rollable Feature
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t the Display Week 2020 Symposium, Sharp Corporation and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) gave a presentation titled “30-inch 4K Rollable OLED Display” (paper No. 84.1).(1) The contents of the presentation are introduced in this article.

Backplane Technology
To obtain a uniform TFT threshold voltage (Vth) on a large substrate, Sharp and NHK have adopted an IGZO-TFT with a top gate structure. The TFT was fabricated after forming polyimide on a glass substrate, thereby achieving rollability. While high On current (Ion) is required in the gate driver part, the space is limited in the pixel, and therefore, channel length (L) and width (W) optimal for respective purposes of TFTs were adopted.

zoomin
Japan, Taiwan to Strengthen Collaboration in Digital Transformation

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he Taiwan-Japan Industrial Collaboration Promotion Office (TJPO) held on September 15 a blended seminar among industry players titled “With Corona-Era Japan, Taiwan Pioneers New Business Opportunities,” in a bid to seek new business opportunities using new technologies.

The seminar was organized by TJPO in cooperation with Dempa Publications, Inc. As a precaution to the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, attendees to the physical seminar was limited to 40 people while over a hundred people from both Taiwan and Japan attended the online streaming.

Susumu Minegishi, President of TJPO Tokyo Office, and Chou Li, Director of Economic Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, gave the opening address at the seminar. Minegishi said, “It is very significant that Taiwan and Japan exchange information in the COVID-19 era. I expect that exchanges of information (between the two countries) lead to the creation of new businesses.”

zoomin
Korea Takes Huge Step to Lead AI Chip Market

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orea sets out on an ambitious journey to commission artificial intelligence (AI) chips as the next economic growth engine of the country, which has been struggling to shore up its strength in the non-memory or system LSI business. It envisions AI chips to be quintessential part of the country’s system LSI industry build-up strategy.

To Leap Frog as Global AI Chip Leader
Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy recently unveiled its grandiose plan to help create 20 AI chip makers and a talented crop of 3,000 AI chip designers and engineers by 2030, aiming to grab 20 percent of the global AI chip market.

The ministry’s vision is for the country to take a leap and become a global leader in the AI chip market by 2030. This would position the country for a second takeoff in global semiconductor chip market nearly 25 years after it conquered the global memory chip market in mid-1990s.

INDUSTRY | REPORT
General-Purpose Inverters Level up Energy Savings of Equipment
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eneral-purpose inverters, when combined with industrial motors (three-phase induction motors), become energy-saving components. Meanwhile, industrial motors are used as a power source of various industrial equipment, including air conditioning equipment in buildings and factories, transportation equipment, machine tools, manufacturing equipment, construction machines, and elevators. According to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, about 100 million industrial motors are used in Japan, accounting for about 55 percent of the total power consumption.

The demand for industrial motors in Japan alone amounts to about 10 million units per year. Based on the data of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, by application, industrial motors are used in pumps, which account for 38 percent; compressors, which account for 23 percent; air blowers, which account for 13 percent; power transmission systems, which account for 9 percent; metal machine tools, which account for 7 percent; agricultural machinery and implements, which account for 4 percent; and transporting machines and industrial robots, which account for 3 percent.

Business | Strategy
Nichicon Reinforces Production to Meet Demand of EVs, HVs
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ichicon Corporation increases the production of inverter smoothing film capacitors in Japan and China, to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), which have been advancing as the market for environment-friendly vehicles and hybrid vehicles (HVs) continues to expand.

Shigeo Yoshida, President, Nichicon Corporation said, “The automotive industry usually has this once-in-a-century transformation so we can only expect the trend towards EVs and HVs to amplify further in the future. The demand for film capacitors continues to increase as smoothing capacitors for inverter systems that play core role in driving EVs and HVs as main systems.”

Shigeo Yoshida, President, Nichicon Corporation
Shigeo Yoshida, President, Nichicon Corporation
Analog Devices Move to Acquire Maxim Integrated
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nalog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. have entered into an agreement that will lead to ADI acquiring Maxim in an all-stock transaction that values the combined enterprise at over US$68 billion. The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, will strengthen ADI as an analog semiconductor leader with increased breadth and scale across multiple attractive end markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Maxim stockholders will receive 0.630 of a share of ADI common stock for each share of Maxim common stock they hold at the closing of the transaction. Upon closing, existing ADI stockholders will own approximately 69 percent of the combined company, while Maxim stockholders will own approximately 31 percent. The transaction is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for United States federal income tax purposes.

TOP | INTERVIEW
Lelon Taps Growth Fields to Cushion Pandemic Impacts
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hile most manufacturers feel the brunt of the corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in their businesses, Lelon Electronics Corp. has been fortunate to experience year-on-year revenue growth at least for the first eight months of this year. The growth has been stirred by fifth-generation (5G) communications standard as well as the medical equipment markets. Expansion of sales from telecommunications and network fields also contributed to this growth amid the increasing usage of internet bandwidth as more people has to work and study from home in this time of pandemic.

In an interview with AEI, Jimmy Wu, Chief Executive Officer at Lelon said the company initially thought the impact of the pandemic will already be bad for the business at the onset, but their factories have been operating normally and the decreases in some traditional growth fields, such as automotive and energy fields, have been offset by the growth of the telecom and information technology (IT). However, Wu said they expect sales might still slightly reduce for the last quarter as an offshoot of a weakened global economy, which he said might linger until the first half of next year.

Jimmy Wu heashot
Jimmy Wu, Chief Executive Officer, Lelon Electronics Corp.

MANUFACTURING | FRONT

OTAX Thai Facility Charts Recovery Path, Boosts Capacity

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tax Co., Ltd. has been actively reinforcing production activities of its Thai facility, Otax Electronics (Thailand) Co., Ltd. The production of terminal blocks for air conditioners, the company’s main products, has been steadily recovering, and the company was supposed to increase further its production from September.

Established in 2013, the Thai Plant expanded the global production system of the Otax Group and started operation in 2014. The plant was built to produce and sell goods that meet customers’ needs and to provide a business management closely attuned to local culture.

Eyes Additional Investments
The Thai Plant is in the Kabin High-Tech Industrial Estate in Prachinburi Province in the suburbs of Bangkok. It produces mainly terminal blocks for air conditioners, and this year it also started the production of switches for home electric appliances. In addition, the Thai Plant also imports and sells DIP switches and operation switches from other Group plants.
Product | News
COMPONENTS and DEVICES
MHF1608 Series Filters by TDK
MHF1608 Series Filters  by TDK closeup
TDK Corporation has started mass production of the MHF1608 Series of HF band noise suppression filters for automobiles. It employs a newly developed high-loss, highly permeable ferrite material, which results in high impedance from 300kHz to 30MHz, while minimizing and controlling noise. Replacing conventional chip beads with this product enables manufacturers to reduce the number of parts used. It works in wide temperature range from -55 to +125℃ and is also qualified in accordance with AEC-Q200. The noise suppression component will be inserted in signal lines for electronic control circuits in automotive applications including car audio, navigation, and battery monitoring systems.
TDK Corporation
www.tdk.com
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