February 2020
Asia Electronics Industry
February 2020 Volume 25, Serial No. 281

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:

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Cover | Story

ori Art Museum, which opened in 2003 on the 53rd floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi Midtown in Tokyo, Japan, is a symbol of Roppongi Hills, which embodies the theme of “cultural urban center.” It is a very unique private museum established with the aim of playing a part in urban development.

As a contemporary museum opened to the world, Mori Art Museum has been introducing creative activities, including radical arts, architectures, and designs of diverse regions from its original standpoint, by pursuing contemporality and internationality.

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo, Japan.
This month’s cover was taken in Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo, Japan, where the Delta 8K Night took place.

From right: CH. Ko, Executive Director, Delta Electronics (Japan), Inc.; Jeff Fu, Head, Display Solution Business Unit, Delta Electronics, Inc.; Bruce Cheng, Founder and Honorary Chairman, Delta Group; Kengo Ka, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Projection Ltd.; Yancey Hai, Chairman, Delta Electronics, Inc.; and Shan-Shan Guo, Chief Brand Officer, Delta Electronics, Inc.

At the museum, FUTURE AND THE ARTS, with the subtitle, AI, ROBOTICS, CITIES, LIFE—HOW HUMANITY WILL LIVE TOMORROW, is being held from Nov. 2019 through the end of Mar. 2020.

Through cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, robotics, and augmented reality (AR), as well as examples of art, design, and architecture influenced by these technologies, this exhibition explores issues of cities, environmental problems, lifestyle, society, and humankind in the near future.

AEI News
ROHM, ST Enter Multi-Year SiC Wafer Supply Agreement

SWITZERLAND and JAPAN – ROHM Co., Ltd. and STMicroelectronics have signed a multi-year silicon carbide (SiC) wafers supply agreement to SiCrystal, a ROHM group company.

The agreement covers the supply of US$120 million of advanced 150mm SiC wafers by SiCrystal to STMicroelectronics during this period of ramp-up SiC power devices.

The long-term supply agreement comes on top of the external capacity STMicroelectronics have already secured and the internal capacity it is ramping up. It will enable the company to increase the volume and balance of the wafers it needs to meet the strong demand.

The adoption of power solutions with SiCs is accelerating in both the automotive and industrial markets. With this agreement, the two companies will contribute to the widespread use of SiC in these markets.;

In View | This Month
Global Development Race for TVs Advances to Next Stage

owadays, global competition among TV technologies is in high gear. High-definition 4K LCD TVs have become the norm, and at present, the commercialization of ultrahigh-definition 8K TVs has been accelerating. As panels, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are emerging, in addition to LCDs. As competing technologies of OLED displays, those that employ ultrasmall micro-LEDs and quantum dot technologies have begun to appear several years ago. Furthermore, over the past year, mini-LED displays have been attracting attention.

Latest TV Models Unveiled at CES
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States, in January, leading TV manufacturers premiered their latest TV technologies. This year, in addition to 4K and 8K LCDs and OLED TVs, TVs that adopt quantum dot, micro-LED, and mini-LED technologies, as post-OLED TVs, have increased dramatically. In particular, in Chinese manufacturers’ booths, 8K and mini-LED displays, were prominent.

Special | Report
SEMICON Korea typography
SEMICON Korea to Present Platform for Smarter Future

his year’s SEMICON Korea 2020 is set to unveil amid a bright semiconductor market as backdrop.

Manifesting the bubbly market is the growth in the number of booths this year. According to SEMI Korea, there will be about 2,200 booths set up at the show, up from 2,030 in 2019, which was the watershed year in terms of the number of exhibitors. The presence of more booths translates into the renewed optimism of semiconductor equipment makers toward the global chip market.

Around 2,200 booths
Around 2,200 booths will take part at this year’s show.
Around 2,200 booths will take part at this year’s show.

Out of the 2,200 booths this year, SEMI Korea said that about 500 will be semiconductor equipment and raw materials manufacturers.

The three-day trade show, set to happen from Feb. 5 to 7, will focus on designs for smarter future. Keynote speakers will delve into artificial intelligence, neuromorphic computing and technologies to make it happen.

MediaTek Runs Ahead of 5G Race with Dimensity Chipset Family

ediaTek Inc. has unveiled Dimensity, its family of powerful 5G system-on-chips (SoCs) that offer an unrivaled combination of connectivity, multimedia, artificial intelligence (AI), and imaging innovations for premium and flagship smartphones.

The MediaTek Dimensity 5G chipset family brings smart and fast together to power the most-capable 5G devices. Dimensity represents a step toward a new era of mobility – the fifth dimension – to spur industry innovation and let consumers unlock the possibilities of 5G connectivity.

Dimensity 1000 is MediaTek’s first 5G mobile SoC in its 5G family of chipsets. The single 5G chip solution, with its integrated 5G modem, is a brilliant combination of advanced technologies packed into a 7nm chip and tuned for 5G performance.

“Our Dimensity Series is the culmination of MediaTek’s investment in 5G, and positions us as a leader driving 5G development and innovation. Our 5G technology goes head-to-head with anyone in the industry,” said Joe Chen, President of MediaTek.

Special | Report
SEMICON Korea typography
THVPE Creates Low-Cost GaN Crystal Manufacturing Device
The improved process allows the development of a high-quality GaN crystal suitable for mainstream power devices.

he Japan Science and Technology has developed a high-quality bulk gallium nitride (GaN) growth device based on the tri-halide vapor phase epitaxy (THVPE) method, a development topic of the newly extended Technology transfer Program (NexTEP). Development towards its commercial applicability was carried out by the Innovation and R&D Division of Taiyo Nippon Sanso from August 2013 to March 2019, based on the research of Professor Akinori Koukitsu of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. The research team has developed a GaN crystal manufacturing device that achieves high speed, high quality, and continuous growth.

Special | Report
SEMICON Korea typography
HORIBA STEC Bolsters Business Activities in Korea
Cutting-edge semiconductor system equipment will take center stage in a bid to secure the company’s hold in the global chip manufacturing process market, particularly in Korea where active investments are seen growing from this year onwards.

ORIBA STEC, Co., Ltd. of the HORIBA Group has been developing various semiconductor system equipment indispensable for the semiconductor manufacturing process, including fluid measurement and control equipment and mass flow controllers (MFCs), which the company supplies globally. The company secures over 60 percent share of the global market for MFCs.

HORIBA will showcase these state-of-the-art analysis and control equipment under one roof at SEMICON Korea. Main products on show will include the new ultrathin DZ-100 MFC, which comes with a thickness of 10mm.

Power-Saving Soft Display Innovates Visual Art

he National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), in collaboration with Waseda University and Tama Art University, has developed a soft display that does not require power to maintain image, can be shaped freely, and can express analog colors. As a trial of its artistic expression, the research group has developed a device in the shape of a fallen leaf, which turns red with a supply of electricity.

A small amount of electric current is passed through a naturally shaped leaf display with seemingly worm holes. The color of the leaf display changes lightly like natural leaves in autumn. When the switch is turned Off, the color remains the same. By flowing current in the opposite direction, the color of the leaf returns to green.

Functional Devices Increase Role in Important Industries

ensors have been regarded as key devices that support performance enhancement of various electronic devices and equipment. New sensor products for various applications have been developed and introduced onto the market one after another. Aside from consumer applications, the use of image recognition technologies have expanded to automated production lines in factories, social infrastructure monitoring, and in-vehicle sensing. Through integration with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, these devices have becoming increasingly advanced. Meanwhile, electronic components manufacturers have been accelerating technological development of millimeter wave (mmWave)-related devices that support full-scale implementation of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications services. Recently, in addition to the development of devices targeted at 5G’s mmWave bands, the development and market introduction of devices that support frequencies exceeding 100GHz has also been advancing for special applications.

AI-Powered Image Sensors to Process Data on Edge

he field in which image sensors play essential roles is expanding year by year. It widely spreads from the field of the machine inspection, such as inspection processes and robot vision to road traffic systems, cinematography, surveillance systems, medical care, scientific measurement, and space engineering. In recent years, device performance has been improved and the system development based on edge computing has become more and more popular. As a result, the market for edge terminals equipped with machine vision is growing steadily at an average annual growth rate of 14 percent.

Image sensors can be used for various purposes. The most widely used area is industrial vision. The characteristics required for industrial vision are quite diverse. Image sensor companies are developing the most suitable sensors for such applications. Along with the improvement of the sensor performance, the quality of logic devices such as CPUs has rapidly advanced. Now, as a result, artificial intelligence (AI) starts to process enormous data obtained by sensors and perform analysis and inference.

Tiny, High-Resolution Sensors Set Sights on Industrial, Medical Uses

ystems using image recognition technology have now become very popular in the broad range of industrial fields related to automation, such as advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) for automatic driving, industrial robots, and automated guided vehicles, among others. The key device that realizes this image recognition technology is the CMOS image sensor. Excellent product characteristics, such as high resolution, high definition, and high frame rate have been obtained by improving the device performance. It contributes to higher performance of consumer-friendly devices, such as smartphones, and for industrial use.

DNP’s In-Car Glass Cover Protects Display from Shatters
Optimized for bezel-less automotive displays, the glass cover promotes both functionality and aesthetics.

ai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a high-functional glass cover, which is optimal for bezel-less automotive displays for car navigation systems. It was designed to prevent broken glass from scattering in an event of collision.

In recent years, stylish car navigation systems featuring bezel-less displays have emerged, and their adoption has been expanding particularly in luxury cars. Many of these displays employ a glass cover for touch panels.

The film covers glass edges and corners.
Photo 1: The film covers glass edges and corners.
The necessity to adopt reinforced glass in car navigation systems to prevent the breakage of glass cover and avoid injury in the event of collision has intensified. However, reinforced glass, which is today’s available material, is still expensive.
Qualcomm, Siemens Set up 5G Private Standalone Network
The joint proof-of-concept project aims to test technologies, and identify problems and solutions, using 3.7 to 3.8GHz band, in an industrial environment.

ualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Siemens have set up a joint proof-of-concept project at the Siemens Automotive Test Center in Nuremberg, Germany, demonstrating the first private 5G standalone (SA) network in a real industrial environment using the 3.7 to 3.8GHz band. Qualcomm Technologies provides the 5G test network and 5G industrial test devices that run on its foundational 5G technologies, and Siemens supplies the industrial end-devices, like automated guided vehicles (AGV).

“Industrial 5G is the gateway to an all-encompassing, wireless network for production, maintenance, and logistics. High data rates, ultra-reliable transmission, and extremely low latencies will allow significant increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial added value,” says Eckard Eberle, Chief Executive Officer of Process Automation at Siemens. “We are therefore extremely pleased to have this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies so that we can drive forward the development and technical implementation of private 5G networks in the industrial sector. Our decades of experience in industrial communication and our industry expertise combined with Qualcomm Technologies’ know-how are paving the way for wireless networks in the factory of the future.”

DENSO Taps Qualcomm’s Technologies to Create Future Cockpit Systems
A new system architecture will be designed to coordinate with external cloud services and other HMI products.

ENSO Corporation and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the companies’ joint efforts in developing next-generation cockpit systems by harnessing various information all around the vehicle, including that between the vehicle and the driver.

Leveraging Qualcomm’s information and communication technologies, DENSO aims to develop an architecture for systems based on DENSO’s Harmony Core integrated cockpit system that can coordinate with external cloud services and new human-machine interface (HMI) products. DENSO’s Harmony Core enables car connectivity and advanced safety features, like driver status monitoring, driver and passenger authentication, and improved display operability.

Component | Materials
Tamura Strengthens Overseas Production of Electronic Materials
The company has set up an integrated production base in Thailand and installed production equipment in Germany.


amura Corporation has been strengthening its production system for electro chemical materials in markets outside of Japan. In Thailand, the company has established an integrated production system for solder pastes for distribution mainly in Southeast Asian region. In Germany, the company has installed production equipment for solder paste-related products, and has been bolstering its business structure in the European market by integrating development, production, and sales.

Tamura has been strengthening its production systems in Thailand and Germany to further promote globalization in the three focus fields of automotive, power electronics, and internet of things (IoT) and next-generation communications.

Component | Materials
Phenylamine Improves Luminous Efficiency of Perovskite LED
Researchers at Kyushu University and Kyoto University have discovered this organic amine to brighten quasi-two-dimensional perovskite LED by four-fold.


research group of Kyushu University and Kyoto University has improved the luminous efficiency of quasi-two-dimensional perovskite light-emitting diode (LED) by about four times by choosing appropriate organic materials. This development hopes to accelerate creation of next-generation displays with low cost and high color purity.

Experiment Observations
The quasi-two-dimensional perovskite used as the light-emitting material of the LED is composed of a metal halide and an organic amine. When an electron and a hole are bound together in the quasi-two-dimensional perovskite, a singlet exciton and a triplet exciton are formed in a ratio of 1:3. When naphthylamine is used as the organic amine of the quasi-two-dimensional perovskite, the triplet exciton formed in the quasi-two-dimensional perovskite is transferred into the naphthylamine and disappears. This happens because the energy level of the triplet exciton of naphthylamine lies lower than the energy level of the triplet exciton of the quasi-two-dimensional perovskite.
Component | Materials
Organic Molecules Mix Lifts Characteristics of Lithium Ion Battery
By using charge transfer complex, researchers were able to improve the electrode characteristics of lithium ion battery.


research group of Kwansei Gakuin University and Osaka University has found a method that dramatically improves electrode characteristics in lithium ion batteries in which organic materials are used as an electrode. The group has shown that use of mixture of two kinds of organic molecules is much better than use of a single kind of molecules.

Lithium ion batteries have an overwhelmingly high energy density. Therefore, it is widely used in various devices including smartphones. However, materials containing rare metals, like cobalt are normally used as positive electrode material of lithium ion batteries. Therefore, electrode materials based on less expensive organic substances have been widely searched for.

Component | Materials
Combined Materials to Deliver Brightest Organic EL Device
Idemitsu Kosan contributed its thermally activated delayed fluorescence material while Toray, its red fluorescent materials with high color purity.

demitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., and Toray Industries, Inc., have jointly developed an organic electroluminescent (EL) device that offers one of the highest luminous efficiencies, with a near practical range of 46cd/A. The new device employs thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) and red fluorescent materials.

Cheaper, Brighter Organic EL Displays
The new technology combines Idemitsu Kosan’s TADF material, which offers an exceptional luminous efficiency and lifespan, and Toray’s new red fluorescent material, which features a narrower emission spectrum than its conventional counterparts, thus providing high color purity. With this combined technologies, the new development could help reduce the costs and energy consumption of organic EL displays while enabling wide color gamuts.
Bearings, LM Guides Sensing Use for Failure Prediction
Through IoT, failure diagnosis of manufacturing equipment can be done by sending load conditions of bearing and LM guides.

s internet of things (IoT)-compliant production systems continue to advance, the development and proposal of systems that predict the failure of manufacturing equipment by sensing conditions of bearings and linear motion (LM) guide systems has been making progress as well.

At Innovative Industry Fair for E x E Solutions (IIFES) 2019, which was held in Tokyo last November, leading-edge measurement and control technologies and products gathered under one roof. Exhibits of relevant systems, like Fuji Wireless simple Diagnostic System for Rotating Machine Vibration (Wiserot) from Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., were among the highlights at the show.

Bearings are used in various products as components that support rotating axes, such as motors, and allow smooth rotation.

ASM’s New Compact Printer Platform Zeroes in on Precision
The new DEK TQ is rich in features, allowing it to achieve wet printing accuracy rating of ±17.5µm @ 2Cpk.

ith its DEK, TQ ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG presents its latest generation of stencil printers, setting new records for performance and precision. For example, with its outstanding core cycle time of five seconds, the DEK TQ stands for maximum throughput in a footprint of only 1.3×1.0m. With its precise linear drives, off-belt printing, new clamping systems, and an enhanced print head with faster and more accurate squeegee pressure control, it achieves an externally certified wet printing accuracy rating of ±17.5µm @ 2Cpk. ASM also managed to minimize the need for operator assists with an average time of 8 hours between them. The DEK TQ also features exceptional investment protection, and thanks to its open interfaces, it can be integrated into the smart surface-mount technology (SMT) factory quickly and easily. This ASM printing platform is an ideal module for 0201 metric components and modern ultrafine-pitch applications.

DEK TQ stands for maximum precision.
DEK TQ stands for maximum precision.
Digi-Key Adds APP Interconnects to Products Roster

igi-Key Electronics has signed global distribution partnership with Anderson Power Products (APP), allowing it to provide its customers with worldwide, 24-hour availability of APP’s high-quality interconnect solutions.

“Digi-Key looks forward to expanding our portfolio with APP’s versatile high-power, quality interconnect products to customers worldwide. APP has a substantial number of power interconnect products that will allow Digi-Key to offer new solutions to high power designs that we have not been able to in the past,” said David Stein, Vice President, Global Supplier Management at Digi-Key.

Powerpole and SB connectors
Powerpole and SB connectors by APP
Test | Measurement
Low-Cost Solution Digitizes Plant Data Using Mobile Devices
SensPlus Note, which was developed by Yokogawa and MetaMoJi, aims to improve efficiency and quality of maintenance work using plant data analysis.

okogawa Electric Corporation and MetaMoJi Corporation have jointly developed SensPlus Note, a low-cost and easy-to-implement solution for the digitization of plant data on mobile devices. SensPlus Note, a solution in Yokogawa’s OpreX™ Operation and Maintenance Improvement family, improves the efficiency and quality of maintenance work and the precision of post-maintenance analyses by enabling data from plant field work to be used more efficiently.

SensPlus Note solution
SensPlus Note solution
Sasken, Qualcomm Partner to Support Automotive Tier-1 Customers

ualcomm Technologies, Inc. has joined forces with Sasken Technologies Ltd. to bring world-class engineering and customization support for automotive Tier-1 customers. Through this working relationship, Sasken’s global engineering teams will augment and support automotive customers in their deployment of automotive platforms and solutions from Qualcomm Technologies.

“As Qualcomm Technologies expands its presence throughout the automotive segment, we can bring broader and deeper levels of support to new customers and adjacent applications by working with the world-class technical and customer support provided by Sasken,” said Nakul Duggal, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Technology | HIGHLIGHT
Power-Generation Sheet Sources Electricity from Human Movement

research group at the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS) in Nagoya University has developed a transparent and flexible power-generation sheet that generates electricity using human movement.

This power-generation sheet uses the frictional charging phenomenon, which is a kind of static electricity, and can convert mechanical energy such as human movement into electric power. This power-generation device uses a carbon nanotube thin film as electrodes for the purpose of realizing transparency and flexibility and reducing thickness. In addition, a simple coating method called spray coating made it possible to produce a power-generation sheet with a large area. Using this power-generation sheet, the group has demonstrated self-powered short-distance optical communications using light-emitting diodes and glove-type light-emitting devices. In the future, this technology is expected to be applied to power sources of wearable devices, tactile sensors, and switches with excellent design quality and without requiring any wiring.

Power Management Solution Handles More In-Car Displays

axim Integrated Product, Inc.’s MAX16923 four-output display power IC with a watchdog timer replaces four or five discreet ICs with a single power management solution. With this product, designers of automotive electronic systems can now increase the number of displays per vehicle, from two to five while reducing design complexity as it significantly shrinks solution size.

The number of automotive displays per vehicle continues to grow as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seek to make cars more attractive with advanced instrument clusters, infotainment, heads-up displays, center displays, rear-seat entertainment and smart mirror applications. Based on market studies, premium vehicles can carry as many as 10 displays in the future. Thus, designers struggle with the complexity of adding these screens as the required power supply circuitry competes for space with a myriad of other electronic systems inside the car.

IPD Offers Protection for Inrush Current, Steady-State Overcurrent

OHM Co., Ltd. has developed BV2Hx045EFU-C, a series of 2-channel high-side intelligent power devices (IPD) with a withstand voltage of 41V. It is the industry’s first IPD Series to protect systems from both inrush current and steady-state overcurrent. It will be supplied for use in protecting sensors in electronic control units (ECU) and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The number of such sensors is increasing as cars are becoming increasingly computerized. The product series consists of two models with varying overheating protection: off-latch and self-restart. Conventional general high-side IPDs provide protection only against inrush current, so a microcontroller, an overcurrent detection IC have been used to protect against steady-state overcurrent. The new series will replace mechanical fuses and relays.

3D Semicircular Flash Memory Cell Boosts Bit Density

sing specially designed semicircular floating gate (FG) cells, Japan-based Kioxia Corporation has developed the first three-dimensional (3D) semicircular split-gate flash memory cell structure, Twin BiCS FLASH. Twin BiCS FLASH achieves superior program slope and a larger program/erase window at a much smaller cell size compared to the conventional circular charge trap (CT) cells. These attributes make this new cell design a promising candidate to surpass four bits per cell (QLC) for significantly higher memory density and fewer stacking layers.

Fabricated semicircular FG cells (a) Cross-sectional view (b) Plane view
Fig. 1: Fabricated semicircular FG cells (a) Cross-sectional view (b) Plane view
3D flash memory technology has achieved high bit density with low cost per bit by increasing the number of cell stacked layers as well as by implementing multilayer stack deposition and high aspect ratio etching. In recent years, as the number of cell layers exceeds 100, managing the trade-offs among etch profile control, size uniformity and productivity is becoming increasingly challenging. To overcome this problem, Kioxia developed a new semicircular cell design by splitting the gate electrode in the conventional circular cell to reduce cell size compared to the conventional circular cell, enabling higher-density memory at a lower number of cell layers.
Piezo Speaker Revolutionizes Sound Experience

n a new development, TDK Corporation attempts to bring audio solutions to a whole new level. Recently, it has created a new kind of ultrathin piezo speaker that enables completely new integrated multimedia solutions in a wide range of devices and living spaces. Whether smartphones, tablets and notebooks, TV sets and surround systems, or car dashboards, bathroom mirrors and kitchen surfaces, PiezoListen™ generates sound from the entire display, screen or other surfaces, opening up many new possibilities for creating a realistic sound experience.

With PiezoListen™ TV screens can double as sound positioning tweeters.
Fig. 1: With PiezoListen™ TV screens can double as sound positioning tweeters.
The ultrathin speakers are based on advanced multilayer piezo technology and feature a wide frequency range and high sound pressure. With this development, design engineers can now use nearly any display or surface to produce sound, integrate acoustic solutions without changing exterior design, and create stylish and futuristic designs (Fig. 1).

Broad Lineup of Ultrathin Speakers
The PiezoListen series of piezo speakers now includes the PHUA6630 wide dynamic range speaker with an operating frequency range of 400Hz to 20kHz (Table 1). This product has a footprint of 66×30mm and complements the existing PHUA3030 speaker, which was introduced in May 2019. Also new in the series are two new sound positioning speakers with an operating frequency range of 1000Hz to 20kHz. The miniature PHUA2010 features dimensions of just 20×10mm, while the PHUA3015 speaker measures in at 30×15mm.

Lasertec’s Dual-Optic Laser Microscope Pursues High Performance

rom Lasertec Corporation comes OPTELICS HYBRID+, the latest model from its OPTELICS HYBRID Series confocal laser scanning microscope that combines two sets of optics, including a laser confocal and white light confocal, pursuing high performance and multi-functions.

The new model introduces eight hardware improvements and 10 new software capabilities for a complete makeover of OPTELICS HYBRID Series. Among the improved hardware includes a longer-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) light source and 0.05nm-resolution Z scale, while new software capabilities include “measurement assist” for higher ease of use and artificial intelligence (AI) inspection to achieve the maximum performance of various inspection functions.

Industry | Report
Diverse Car Functions to Keep Electronics Market Afloat

oday’s transformation of the automotive industry, which is said to occur once in a century, is anchored on “Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric” (CASE), and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Automotive electronic components manufacturers seize these technological innovations and the overall structural transformation of the industry as opportunities, aiming to expand their businesses in the medium to long term.

The C.A.S.E. Trend
Connected, autonomous, shared & services, and electric are four mega trends that drive future innovation in mobility. They are expected to drastically evolve car electronics technologies and boost the car electronics market in the medium to long term. For their part, electronic components manufacturers align their technological and marketing strategies to meet these changes.

Industry | Report
Connectors Arise for Automated Assembly Using Industrial Robots

n the connector industry, the development of connectors that support automated assembly using industrial robots has been very active. Automated mounting using robots has begun to be put to practical implementation and is expected to find wider use in the coming years. It is expected to contribute to the improvement of assembling quality and labor saving. Recently, new product development of floating board-to-board connectors with improved high-speed transmission performance has become active, meeting market needs.

Heightened Need for Industrial Robots
Production using industrial robots is expected to be adopted in various industrial fields as it leads to the improvement of assembling quality, stabilization of production tact time, elimination of human errors, and reduction of manufacturing costs through labor saving. Accommodation to 24-hour, 365-day operation is also another factor for their adoption.

Industry | Report
Miniaturization Continues for Broad Range of SMDs

greater variety of small surface-mount devices (SMDs) are being developed successively. As fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system starts full implementation, demands for ultrasmall and thin chips for use in smartphones, modules, and internet of things (IoT) products have been becoming prominent. Also, shapes of high-reliability chips for automobiles and industrial equipment have also been increasing in variety. SMDs continue to evolve in line with technological trends of growth fields.

Downsizing Technologies
The miniaturization of main chip components, like multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), inductors and resistors, have continued, and at present, the ratio of 1005-size products is the highest. However, 0603- and 0402-sizes have rapidly expanded their markets reflecting the increasing mounting density of components in smartphones, wearable terminals, and various modules. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) predicts that the percentage of 0603-size products will become the highest, replacing 1005-size.

Industry | Report
Soldering Robots Highlight Evolution of Solder Products

oldering products continue to evolve on the back of the diversification of soldering methods, including the use of soldering robots, dip soldering, and dispensing of solder paste; the emergence of different finished products, such as mobile terminals, automotive electronics, and industrial equipment, and the diversification of customer needs accompanying the globalization of the solder business. Thus, new solder products arise for different applications.

Electronic and electric devices employ printed circuit boards (PCBs) with electronic components and semiconductors mounted on electronic circuits. Solders are used to electrically join PCBs, and surface-mount technology (SMT) is used as a manufacturing technology and method for creating PCBs.

University of Tokyo, TSMC Alliance to Bring IC Technology to Greater Heights

he University of Tokyo and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have entered into an alliance to pursue organization-wide collaboration in leading-edge semiconductor technology. Under the alliance, TSMC will provide its CyberShuttle® multi-project wafer prototyping service to the Systems Design Lab, or d.lab, of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. The d.lab will also adopt TSMC’s Open Innovation Platform® Virtual Design Environment (VDE) for their chip design process. In addition, the University of Tokyo researchers and TSMC research and development personnel are building a platform for direct collaboration to jointly research semiconductor technologies for the future of computing.

Business | Strategy
Component Supplier Partners with Customers as Business Shifts

n an interview with AEI, Satoshi Sonoda, Head of Global Sales & Marketing Unit and Director from Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.’s Tokyo Branch, provided a market assessment of electronic components and how is the company shifting its strategies in light of the changing dynamics of customers.

Satoshi Sonoda, Head of Global Sales & Marketing Unit and Director of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.'s Tokyo Branch
Satoshi Sonoda, Head of Global Sales & Marketing Unit and Director of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.’s Tokyo Branch
AEI: How can you describe the present market conditions?
Sonoda: I feel that orders as a whole have been increasing since around Sept. 2019. In October, I was convinced with this shift, as the market conditions bottomed out in the first half, and turned around in the second half. Some inventory adjustments following excessive orders from distributors and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) companies until Oct. 2018 remain, which may slightly affect orders in Jan. to Mar. 2020. Nonetheless, robust orders for fifth-generation (5G) communication-related components continue to reflect orders for 5G base stations in China ahead of initial plans. I also feel that orders for components for personal computers have been slightly on the rise reflecting the replacement demand from Windows 7, as Microsoft ends its support. In Japan, elementary and junior high schools are assigning a tablet computer for every student, which is expected to contribute to increased orders for electronic components in the coming years.

Product | News

RN5C750, RN5C752 Laser Diode Driver ICs by Ricoh
RN5C750, RN5C752 Laser Diode Driver

Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd. has released the RN5C750 and RN5C752 laser diode drivers (LDD) for laser-scanning-type head-up displays (HUDs) and pico-projectors, respectively. They feature laser diode characteristics detection, dimming control, and abundant protections, like overcurrent detection, short-circuit detection, over temperature detection to help designers to simplify complicated optical structures. The LDDs include four current drivers that can provide high-speed and large-current output of maximum 800mA at 200Mpixel/sec. The four-channel drivers will make it possible to achieve high-resolution display on a full HD (1080p) screen. They are capable of detecting the maximum threshold current and light emitting current of each laser diode automatically, and therefore are able to keep high-gradation output regardless of temperature fluctuations.
Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd.

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