February 2021
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Asia Electronics Industry
February 2021 Volume 26, Serial No. 293

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

stablished in 1981, DFI, one of the leading industrial PC manufacturers in the world, is welcoming its 40th anniversary in 2021. With over 40 years of solid industrial computer design experience, a new decade for DFI means growing with Qisda Group via strategy transformation, focus on industry, smart transportation, as well as medical application, developing artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) and 5G products, and strategic investment.

Jarry Chang, Senior PM Director, Steven Tsai, President, Steven Wu, VP of R&D Center group photo
DFI in the beginning of the new decade will align with the market strategy of Qisda Group to expand its business in industrial automation. (From left) Jarry Chang, Senior PM Director, Steven Tsai, President, Steven Wu, VP of R&D Center.

Since joining Qisda Group in 2017, DFI has supplied demands of embedded computer, ranging from industrial robotics, retail, network, 5G, panel PC, to software for business and industrial applications from the whole Qisda Group worldwide. As AIoT and big data technologies are progressing faster every day, more and more related applications are springing out from various industrial sectors. DFI foresees the potential increase in automation in the next decade. By integrating its business strategy with Qisda to effectively leverage the group members’ resources, DFI will be capable of providing more comprehensive and reliable products and services.

AEI News
Chinese Carmaker Taps NVIDIA SoC in Automated EVs
NVIDIA DRIVE Orin SoC product close-up

CHINA and UNITED STATES – China’s premium smart electric vehicle maker NIO has partnered with NVIDIA Corporation and tap its NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC) for the Chinese carmaker’s new generation of electric vehicles, which will offer advanced automated driving capabilities.

NIO is working to make consumer adoption of smart, performance-packed electric vehicles a widespread reality. The EV maker revealed its NVIDIA DRIVE Orin-powered supercomputer platform named Adam, which will first appear in the ET7 sedan that will ship in China starting in 2022.

Adam signals NIO’s major achievement in bringing automotive intelligence and autonomous driving to market, safely and reliably. With a centralized, software-defined computing architecture, NIO’s next-generation EVs, like the ET7 sedan, will feature the latest AI-enabled capabilities, which are perpetually upgradable after the point of sale.

The flagship ET7 is a high-performance vehicle that accelerates from zero to 100km in only 3.9sec. It also features a new 150KW battery for extended mileage range.;

In View | This Month
New Demand Fields Raise Growth Prospects of PCBs


he demand for printed circuit boards (PCBs) has been recovering. While companies that have been manufacturing PCBs for automobiles and smartphones are experiencing significant business decline, manufacturers that are producing PCBs for data centers, servers and IC packages are experiencing strong business performance.

This bipolarization has emerged in the demand for PCBs. Nonetheless, economic activities slowed down by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have restarted, and the overall demand for PCBs, including those for automotive electronics, has been picking up month by month since around the summer of 2020.

Sales of personal computers and tablets have been increasing to meet growing demands amid work-from-home and distance learning setups. Also, the production of smartphones has increased as manufacturers have been introducing new models compliant with the fifth-generation (5G) standard one after another. Furthermore, sales of automobiles, the recovery of which was delayed, have also started to pick up, with the popularity of electrified vehicles (xEVs) reflecting the environmental protection and energy saving trends.

Special | Report
Solder Techniques typography
New Techniques Aim at Diverse Soldering Methods
As demand for soldering robots continues to increase to meet several application products, manufacturers have started diversifying their portfolio to respond to various ways soldering methods have been expanding in recent years.

he soldering industry witnessed the drooping of the market amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the market conditions have begun to bounce back gradually signifying the recovery of the manufacturing industry in China.

Solder manufacturers have been accelerating the development of new products that meet diverse market needs. They are offering products tailored to different finished products, such as mobile devices, automotive electronics, and industrial equipment. They also meet the diversification of soldering methods, including the use of soldering robots, dip soldering, and dispensing of solder paste, as well as customers’ requirements that accompany the globalization of the soldering business.

Solders are used in electronic and electric devices to electrically join circuits of printed circuit boards (PCBs) with electronic components and semiconductors mounted on electronic circuits.

Nokia Sets up 5G Industry Alliance in Japan

o accelerate adoption of 5G-based enterprise industry solutions in Japan, Nokia Corporation has created the Nokia Local 5G Technology Partnership, a new strategic alliance involving Conexio, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., NS (Nippon Steel) Solutions Corp., Omron Corp. and Sharp Corp.

As part of the collaboration, the alliance partners will combine their collective industry, device, applications, cloud and 5G expertise to create new industry-specific solutions for use cases including remote control, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, and automatic guided vehicles.

Taps Nokia’s Private 5G Wireless Platform
The alliance will enable participating companies to speed up the development and deployment of new, industry-based use cases with customers. Integrating Nokia 5G private wireless at the concept and design phase will ease solution development, speed implementation and contribute to faster returns on investment for the customer.

Special | Report
Green Title
Measuring Instrument Makers Join O-RAN Alliance
The companies’ participation in the group will help establish common specifications for interconnection and will pave the way for a multi-vendor equipment for base stations.

ctive discussions on the use of equipment from multiple vendors at communications base stations have been on going. Spearheading the discussions is the Open Radio Access Network Alliance (O-RAN Alliance), an international industrial organization. Telecommunication carriers and measuring instrument manufacturers participate in the O-RAN Alliance, which has been establishing specifications targeting the interconnection of radio control equipment, such as radio units (RU) for 5G base stations, distribution units (DU) that are installed in the vicinity of antennas, and central units (CU) at the core network side. The achievement of such interconnection will prompt the entry of various vendors, leading to the vitalization of the market.

The construction of RAN will enable interconnection of equipment supplied by different vendors.

Gauging Optical Absorption Leads to High-Quality Semiconductor Crystals

uge strides have been made in the development of highly efficient electronic and optical devices, like ultraviolet, blue and white light-emitting diodes (LEDs), as well as high-frequency transistors that use nitride semiconductors specifically aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN), indium gallium nitride (InGaN), and gallium nitride (GaN).

GaN is a suitable material for power devices on account of its large bandgap energy, high breakdown field, and high saturation electron velocity.

There is a strong need for manufacturers to be able to detect crystal defects and test their efficiency. Within such high quality crystals, the concentration of nonradiative recombination centers (NRC) serves as a good predictor of the crystals quality.

5G mmWave Devices Leverage Features of LTCC


he volume of digital data being exchanged has been dramatically increasing recently. Among the factors contributing to the trend include the establishment of the internet as a social infrastructure worldwide, higher functionalities of mobile devices, proliferation of social media and cloud services, and use of sensors that can collect data. To cope with the increasing volume of data, the means to achieve faster wireless communications have been considered in various quarters, and fifth-generation (5G) communications and IEEE802.11ad/11ay, which are millimeter-wave (mmWave) communications, are attracting attention as a means to realize high-speed wireless communications.

Renesas Unveils First 60W Wireless Power Receiver IC


n a groundbreaking development, Renesas Electronics Corporation has introduced P9418, the first 60W wireless power receiver to deliver faster wireless charging experience for smartphones, laptops and notebook devices in the industry’s highest power density solution. Featuring Renesas’ exclusive WattShare technology, the highly integrated P9418 wireless power receiver delivers up to 60W of power in a single chip. This enables quick and convenient charging on the go beyond smartphones, including device charging for a variety of portable computing devices.

“P9418 is the latest first-to-market example of our fast wireless charging technology, and we are proud to continue leading the way to convenient and cost-effective wireless charging for a range of mobile devices with our robust, safe, and field programmable wireless power solutions,” said Dr. Amit Bavisi, Vice President of Wireless Power Group, Mobility Infrastructure and IoT Power Business Division at Renesas.

LTPO Embraces Characteristics of LTPS, IGZO

pple Inc. incorporated the low temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) backlight in the Apple Watch Series 4 released in 2018. Apple’s LTPO organic light-emittind diode (OLED) display for the Apple Watch Series 4 received the Society for Information Display (SID)’s 2019 Display Industry Award in a presentation delivered by an engineer from Apple.(1)

This article first describes the hold-type drive and thin film transistor (TFT) backplane. Next, the characteristics and challenges of the LTPO technology are clarified, and lastly, competing technology is discussed.

Fig. 1: Comparison of characteristic of various TFTs
Fig. 1: Comparison of characteristic of various TFTs
LTPO Offers More Power Savings for Smartphone Panels

ow-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) materials are set to become the most widely used material for thin-film transistor (TFT) backplane technology for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for mobile devices in 2021. This, as smartphone makers are looking to rollable, bendable, but more power-efficient display solutions for their fifth-generation (5G) communication system rollout.

LTPO OLED screens have electron mobility as fast as low temperature poly silicon (LTPS) counterparts. They feature fast response time, but consume less power than LTPS. The faster response time translates into better picture quality and less image latency. As OLED driver ICs can be integrated into the TFT backplane itself, it can also enable the display panel makers to build bezel-less panels.

ePTFE-Reinforced PEM Improves Fuel Cell Durability, Reduces Costs
In this first of two-part article series, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. discusses the importance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell and how the company’s expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) meets strict industry requirements.

uel cell vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that continue to pollute the environment and increase the effects of climate change. Heat and water are a fuel cell’s only emissions, compared to the toxic carbon emissions released into the air by internal combustion vehicles. By converting chemical energy in the hydrogen fuel to electrical energy, fuel cells can operate at higher efficiencies up to 60 percent. With the driving range and refill time of a fuel cell vehicle equal to internal combustion vehicles, the popularity of fuel cell vehicles continues to grow in the transportation market. In fact, it is estimated that between 2025 and 2030, the automotive industry globally could produce as many as 500,000 fuel cell vehicles per year (Figure 1).

Transparent Glass Shields, Absorbs Electromagnetic Waves

GC Inc.’s WAVETRAP is the first transparent glass that shields and absorbs electromagnetic waves and is set for market release this year.

As internet of things (IoT) spreads on full scale, the amount of communications will increase, and more types of electromagnetic waves will be present. They may cause network cross-talks, misrecognition of communications, malfunction and failure of equipment, among others. These risks can be reduced by controlling effects of electromagnetic waves with the use of panels and films that have electromagnetic wave shielding properties. However, it is difficult to ensure high transparency with conventional products such as those made of foamed resin.

Using its unique glass composite and electromagnetic wave control technologies, AGC has developed WAVETRAP, a glass that can shield and absorb electromagnetic waves and maintain the high transparency of the conventional glass. It has high weather resistance, water resistance, and heat resistance, and can be used for large sizes up to 3.6m in height and 1.2m in width.

CV-Specialized ICs Reinforce All-Solid-State Batteries Adoption

ll-solid-state batteries are being developed as next-generation batteries that surpass conventional lithium ion batteries. An all solid-state battery has various advantages, such as long life and increased degree of freedom in structure and shape by utilizing a solid electrolyte instead of electrolytic solution used in a conventional battery. It is expected to be used in a wide range of fields in the future because it is compact, has a high energy density, and exhibits high performance even in harsh environments.

Many next-generation batteries, including all-solid-state batteries, support constant voltage (CV) charging. TOREX Semiconductor Ltd. has developed a charging regulator IC and a battery voltage monitoring IC specialized in CV rechargeable secondary batteries. In the future, next-generation batteries, such as all-solid-state batteries are expected to be used in internet of things (IoT) and wearable devices. The company aims to provide optimal solutions for the next-generation batteries, fully utilizing its own technology for compact and low power consumption.

Smart Cities India Unveils New Logo, Reasserts Pledge to Connected Platform

ommitted to the cause of promoting India Inc., Smart Cities India 2021 expo is all set to reopen its doors this year. Making foray into a new year, the country is poised to reignite development and accelerate nation building at the 6th Smart Cities India expo – Asia’s largest trade fair and conference on the subject, scheduled from March 24 to 26, 2021 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

Since its inception in 2015, Smart Cities India expo has consistently been at the forefront of India’s infrastructure revolution, bringing together, under one roof, the latest technology innovations and trends from key verticals that constitute the smart city framework.

Organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group (EIG), with a view to support India’s Smart Cities Mission, the expo is focused on unleashing new opportunities and stimulating economic progress.

Latest SoC Propels Renesas’ Foray to ADAS, Automated Driving
The open, scalable platform the company has introduced comes with low-power 60TOPS of deep learning performance and air cooling system that drives central processing ECUs for automated driving.

enesas Electronics Corporation has introduced its R-Car V3U best-in-class ASIL D system on chip (SoC) for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving systems. Delivering a groundbreaking 60 tera operations per second (TOPS) with low power consumption for deep learning processing and up to 96,000 DMIPS, the R-Car V3U is built for the performance, safety, and scalability (up and down) demands of ADAS and automated driving (AD) architectures of next-generation autonomous vehicles.

The new R-Car V3U is the first SoC using the R-Car Gen 4 architecture within the open and flexible Renesas autonomy platform for ADAS and AD. With the launch of R-Car V3U, the platform is now ready to offer complete scalability from entry-level NCAP applications up to highly automated driving systems.

LG-Led Group Pilots Autonomous Parking Technology
Integrating critical technologies and solutions including fifth-generation (5G) communications standard, a consortium of Korean companies made successful test on the self-park functions of an automated vehicle.

fully autonomous driving car based on the fifth-generation communication standard made a successful test run in Korea, enabling the unmanned car to go through parking lots and park it safely on a designated empty space. The self-parking system of an autonomous car was made possible by an industry-academe consortium led by mobile service carrier LG Uplus Corp. owned by LG Corporation.

Autonomous driving solution provider CONTROLWORKS of Korea and ACELAB, a research lab for automotive control systems of Hanyang University, are part of the consortium.

At the heart of the 5G-based autonomous parking system are a 5G vehicle-to-everything (V2X) co-pilot sub-system, a smartphone auto parking app, a real-time parking space recognition system, a 5G cloud-based traffic control, and a monitoring platform.

New RETs to Handle Higher Voltage Bus Circuits in Automotive
The resistor-equipped transistors (RETs) developed by Nexperia is expected to withstand future automotive designs as it has more voltage headroom to accommodate the needs of electric vehicle boards.

utch semiconductor company Nexperia has introduced its latest 80V Resistor-Equipped Transistor (RET) family. Considered as a first in the industry, these new RETs or digital transistors provide enough headroom for use in 48V automotive board net (e.g. mild hybrid and electric vehicles) and other higher voltage circuits, which are often subject to large spikes and pulses that previous 50V parts cannot handle.

Future-Proofing Systems
RETs save space and reduce manufacturing costs by combining the bias resistor and bias-emitter resistor in the same SOT23 (250mW total power dissipation or Ptot) or SOT323 (235mW Ptot) package as the transistor. Double RETs, which are two transistors and two matching bias resistors and bias-emitter resistors, are also available in the SOT363 package with a Ptot of 350mW for even greater integration and savings.
Panasonic Releases Transparent OLED Display Module

anasonic Corporation has released a 55-inch transparent organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display module that delivers high image visibility. The module is available as TP-55ZT110 (with dimming unit) and TP-55ZT100 (without dimming unit) models.

With a see-through display panel, objects behind it are still visible, allowing a variety of image presentations such as display of images over actual objects in the background. With such a unique feature, the transparent OLED display is attracting a great deal of attention as a next-generation visual display device capable of enhancing the value of spaces.

The new product uses a self-illuminating transparent OLED panel that does not require a backlight. Measuring less than 1cm in thickness at the display section, the ultra-thin display panel offers high transparency and renders high-quality pictures with vivid colors. The dimming unit TP-55ZT110 originally developed by Panasonic adjusts the amount of light passing through the panel in order to maintain high contrast and clearly display images even in an environment brightly lit by outside lights. The product is provided in a highly versatile modular specification to enable flexible installation not only in homes, but also in various other places including commercial complexes, transit advertisements and public facilities. Multiple panels can also be adjoined to display images on a larger screen.

Panasonic hopes to bring new value to public spaces that customers encounter daily, and is challenging to create a new visual culture by leveraging its picture technology and knowhow, which has been accumulated over many years.

Component | Materials

Thin, Flexible Light Source Rolls Pilot Line Production

The iOLED film light source by NIPPON SHOKUBAI is characterized by its flexible and thin property of not more than 0.1mm — thinner than a paper.

IPPON SHOKUBAI CO., LTD is set to start the manufacture of iOLED film, a light source thinner than paper, on the pilot line to allow its adoption by more customers and to determine the quantity needed for commercialization.

Through materials and device technology jointly developed by NIPPON SHOKUBAI and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), the iOLED film light source has overcome the long-standing problem associated with organic electro luminescence, which is the degradation of the device due to oxygen and moisture in the air. As a result, a highly flexible light source with a thickness of not more than 0.1mm—thinner than a paper — has been created.

The company had provided samples of the film in small quantities in response to inquiries from a wide range of interested parties, including customers from the automobile, fashion, packaging, beauty, and medical care industries. The company has rolled the pilot line to enable more intensive testing on a larger scale. The maximum size of the substrate being manufactured is 200×200mm, and the production capacity has been increased by at least tenfold through partial automation of the manufacturing line. The pilot line will be used to provide samples with colors, shapes, and characteristics suitable for the format of use requested by customers at various stages of development.

Component | Materials

Showa Denko Materials Ramps up Production in Asian Subsidiaries

The company will also expand production capacity of Taiwan subsidiary and invest in a new factory for CMP slurries in South Korea, bankrolling a total investment of ¥20 billion for all these projects.

n preparation for the ever-increasing demand for these materials, Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd. is set to boost its production capacity for polishing materials for flattening semiconductor circuits (CMP slurry), laminate materials for printed wiring boards (prepreg), and photosensitive solder resists in its subsidiary Showa Denko Semiconductor Materials (Taiwan) Co., Ltd. The company will also build a new factory for CMP slurries in its subsidiary Showa Denko Electronic Materials (Korea) Co., Ltd. (SDMKR) in South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province. Showa Denko Materials will invest a total of approximately ¥20 billion (US$193 million) in these projects. SDMKR’s new factory is scheduled to start operation in Oct. 2021, while SDSMT will begin expanding its production capacity for CMP slurries in Jan. 2022 and will mass produce prepregs and photosensitive solder resists in Jan. 2023.

Component | Materials

Mitsubishi Chemical Develops High Heat-Resistant Silicon Rubber Film
The ultra-thin silicon rubber film grade can be used repeatedly in 300°C environments aside from providing additional thermal resistance.

itsubishi Chemical Corporation has developed a new grade of KEIJU silicon rubber film, which exhibits higher heat resistance than conventional grades.

Created with the company’s original processing technology, KEIJU is a thin silicon rubber film featuring a thickness level with high accuracy. This silicon rubber can also be laminated and surface-treated with other types of materials, like polyester films, and has long been highly rated as a material for industrial equipment and processing.

In recent years, demand has grown for smaller, more highly integrated electronic devices and heat management solutions, and MCC’s high heat-resistant grade silicon rubber films can meet the needs of customers looking to adopt high-temperature processes.

KEIJU and the heat-resistant base film are bonded using MCC's original technology.
Composition of the high heat-resistant grade of KEIJU

Component | Materials

KOKI’s High-Durability Alloy Supports Pin-In-Paste Method
The HR6A58-G820N high-durability alloy features an element that increases liquidus temperature and an element that reduces solidus temperature, effectively suppressing lift-off in connection components.

mid the trend toward high-density mounting of printed circuit boards, KOKI Company Limited has been advancing the development and commercialization of high-quality solder pastes with unique features. The company has developed HR6A58-G820N, an original high-durability alloy that supports the pin-in-paste (through hole) method and released to the market in Dec. 2020.

Manabu Itoh, President, KOKI Company Limited, says, “The challenges of solder pastes that include voids and wettability need to be continuously pursued. At the same time, requirements for solder pastes differ from customer to customer, making it important to develop products that meet diverse needs. Amid the advancement of high-density mounting of printed circuit boards, we intend to develop and commercialize high-quality solder pastes with unique features and expand our business by offering products with unique technical features.”

Manabu Itoh Headshot
Manabu Itoh, President, KOKI Company Limited

Component | Materials

Toray Creates Non-Porous Separator for Lithium Ion Batteries
The company was able to suppress dendrite formation in lithium metal anode batteries while keeping ion conductivity by employing this polymer, dramatically enhancing safety of these batteries.

oray Industries, Inc. has developed a non-porous separator for lithium ion batteries that could dramatically increase capacity by enhancing safety of lithium metal anode batteries, notably in wearable electronic devices, drones, and electric vehicles.

The lithium ion battery market continues to expand, underscoring the need to lift the capacity and energy density of lithium ion batteries. This situation has focused attention on lithium metal anode because of their high theoretical capacity and low redox potential. Redox potential is a measure of the oxidization or reduction of electrons in substances. In a battery, a low reduction potential of the anode and a high oxidation potential of the cathode makes it possible to increase voltage and attain high capacity. This anode has not seen practical use, however, as lithium dendrites form on lithium metal surfaces during charging, penetrating separators and causing short circuits that deteriorate safety.

Two non-perforated lithium ion separators
Non-perforated lithium ion separators

Component | Materials

Shin-Etsu Chemical to Mass Produce Thermosetting Resins for 5G Products
To meet requirements of 5G-compliant products, the company has developed the low dielectric constant thermosetting resin series featuring high strength, low modulus, and heat dissipation properties.

hin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. is set to invest around ¥3 billion (US$29 million) for the mass production of the SLK Series low dielectric constant thermosetting resins, which is targeted at meeting the widespread and full-scale growth in demand resulting from the implementation of the next-generation 5G telecommunications standard.

For some time, Shin-Etsu has been working to develop products that will enable the roll out of 5G. In Dec. 2019, the company announced new products that feature such superior characteristics as low dielectric constant, high strength, and low modulus as well as increasing levels of heat-dissipation characteristics that are sought for 5G-related products, such as quartz fabric, low dielectric constant thermosetting resins, and heat dissipation sheets. The company aims to start operations this year with initial yearly production target of 80 tons for SLK Series.

SLK Series resin dripping next to bottle
SLK Series of low dielectric constant thermosetting resins
HIOKI’s New In-Circuit Tester Improves Efficiency
Featuring easy installation and removal of test fixtures, it also accommodates storage, installation and removal with the upper and lower fixtures in a stacked state.

IOKI E.E. CORPORATION has released the FA1220-02 in-circuit tester, a testing system that guarantees the mounted board is of the same quality as the product in the electrical inspection.

A jig-type in-circuit tester performs inspection by attaching all probes of the test fixtures above and at the bottom of the probing section in contact with the circuit board to be inspected using the press mechanism. Test fixtures refer to inspection jigs that are embedded with contact probes (inspection pins) aligned with predetermined inspection points. As inspection points differ from one circuit board to another, it is necessary to exchange fixtures.

Conventionally, the lower fixture was raised and set into the frame of the tester first. Then, the upper fixture was mounted. Following that, the upper and lower fixtures were connected by a connecting cable.

Worker using curcuit tester with slide-in mechanism
Slide-in mechanism simplifies installation and removal of test fixtures.
NSK’s Technology Reduces Quadrant Glitches of Machine Tools
The new technology stabilizes friction in ball screws caused by quadrant glitches, which are motion errors caused by variation in friction during reversals in motion direction.

SK Ltd. has developed a ball screw technology to significantly reduce quadrant glitches that arise during circular interpolation machining operations in machine tools. The ball screw technology stabilizes friction when the ball screw reverses the direction of motion. This is the first technology of this type for ball screws.

Quadrant glitches occur when machining in a circular interpolation motion (orthogonal with two axes), irregular friction arising when the motion of the ball screw reverses directions causes a deviation from the intended path resulting in a streak or protrusion on the workpiece.

3D model demonstration on how the ball screw stabilizes friction to reduce quadrant glitches
The ball screw stabilizes friction to reduce quadrant glitches.
Yaskawa Bolsters Lineup of Latest Palletizing Robot Series
The new models, which can be applied to YRC1000 robot controller, highlight higher energy saving performance using the power generation function.

xpanding the lineup of the MOTOMAN-PL Series palletizing robots, Yaskawa Electric Corporation has released MOTOMAN-PL190 with payload capacity of 190kg and maximum reach of 3,159mm; MOTOMAN-PL320 with payload capacity of 320kg and maximum reach of 3,159mm; MOTOMAN-PL500 with payload capacity of 500kg and maximum reach of 3,159mm); and MOTOMAN-PL800 with payload capacity of 800kg and maximum reach of 3,159mm.

Industry Background
The need for automation and labor saving has been accelerating to meet growing labor shortage. As a result, various industries employ automation processes using robots to improve productivity and reduce manufacturing cost. In particular, the logistics industry as well as food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industries are faced with an urgent need to improve efficiency and automate the process of packing and stacking individual products. In order to meet these needs, Yaskawa offers a wide range of applications for palletizing, from small items such as small packaging to large items such as building materials.
Blue palletizing robot
MOTOMAN-PL320 palletizing robot
New Growth Technology Targets High-Quality Gallium Nitride Crystals

n collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technology, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) has developed a new technology that can significantly reduce defects and obtain high-quality crystals in the growth of gallium nitride (GaN), which is expected as the semiconductor material for next-generation power devices. By applying an alloy liquid to a substrate to grow crystals instead of conventional growth in a solution, prevents the undesirable inclusion of solutions trapped and accumulated in the crystals. It is expected to be put into practical use as the fabrication technique of next-generation power devices for electric vehicle (EV) motor control units.

Because gallium nitride semiconductors can withstand larger currents and voltages than silicon, vigorous development is being conducted for applications such as next-generation power devices for automobiles. In the conventional gallium nitride single crystal growth method in which the raw material gas is deposited onto a substrate, a large amount of atomic misalignment is introduced in the crystal. When a large current is applied, damage in the device starts to grow from these defects, posing a fundamental problem. Currently, therefore, synthetic methods called the amonothermal method and the sodium flux method are actively developed. In these methods, crystals are grown in a solution containing raw materials and crystal misalignment at the atomic level such as dislocation defects can be minimized. However, new problems peculiar to the solution growth have to be overcome, such as the inclusion in which undesirable solution components are aggregated and left behind in crystals.

New Structure Suits Transistor Technology for 2nm Node

heterogeneous channels complementary field effect transistor (hCFET) of silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge), which is a field effect transistor (FET) of the 2nm node, has been developed. The hCFET structure in which a Si n-type FET and a Ge p-type FET are aligned in the shortest distance has been realized using multi-layer technology of vertically stacking Si and Ge thin films. The integration is expected to improve greatly and the speed will be increased further through three-dimensional reduction of the structure of integrated circuits.

This new development is from Japan-Taiwan International Joint Research Group of the Japan team represented by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Taiwan team represented by Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) of National Applied Research Laboratories.

Alps Alpine Boosts Positioning Technology with BLE-Compliant System

lps Alpine Co., Ltd. has commenced the supply of a high-accuracy positioning system evaluation kit employing a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chip in recognition of heightened positioning needs.

There is a growing demand for high-accuracy positioning systems in the internet of things (IoT) applications, automotive industry, and a wide range of other sectors, including production and logistics. In the automotive industry, alongside personal recognition, the ability to pinpoint the location of a device is essential for enabling Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) offerings, such as smartphone-based digital keys. However, positioning often comes with issues relating to practicality and the burden on development resources, for example, requirements for physical scanning using barcodes or IC tags, or development of high-end systems employing Global Positioning System (GPS) and Wi-Fi.

In response to these issues, Alps Alpine has taken steps to commercialize positioning modules using sub-GHz bands, including its Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker for logistics operations. The company is presently pursuing additional development of high-accuracy positioning technology employing a Bluetooth Low Energy chip, aiming for commercialization and start of mass production in 2021.

Glass Package Simplifies Making Process of Laser Diode Chips

GC Inc. has developed a glass package that is ideal for encapsulating edge-emitting laser diode (LD) chips (Figure 1). Because both sides of this product are polished surfaces, the light emitted from the LD chip can be efficiently extracted without additional parts such as a prism mirror. In addition, by adding proprietary hermetically solder developed by AGC, customers can simplify manufacturing process, extending the life of their laser products. AGC is currently prototyping the glass package and is targeting mass production.

Taking advantage of high power and little spreading, lasers are used in a wide range of fields, including information devices, medical equipment, and industrial processing machines. The laser light source has a structure in which the LD chip, which is an optical component (light emitting element) that emits light in a specific direction, is encapsulated in a package. Inside of the package is kept dry to prevent deterioration of the LD chip.

Noise Suppression Filters Suit Car ADAS Application

DK Corporation has introduced MDF1005 Series of noise suppression filters for in-vehicle power over coaxial (PoC) used in applications such as advance driver assistance systems (ADAS) circuits, BUS lines, telematics units, and more. PoC is the transmission technology superimposing a signal line onto a power source line using a single coaxial cable.

Controls Noise, Too
The products in the MDF1005 Series have good direct current (DC) superimposition characteristics with impedance within the PoC high-frequency band, between 700MHz and 2.4GHz. The series is also optimal for the isolation of communication interfaces and noise control. Despite its small size of 1mm long and 0.5mm wide, the products in the series deliver 1,000Ω, or greater impedance with the rated current of 400mA in environments reaching 125℃.

Compact SPXOs Stabilize Frequency, Offer Low Phase Jitter

rom Seiko Epson Corporation comes a new lineup of differential output crystal oscillators (SPXO) that achieve low phase jitter in the fundamental mode presented in a tiny 2.5 × 2.0 × 0.74mm package. The new lineup includes SG2520EGN and SG2520EHN, as well as the SG2520VGN and SG2520VHN, all of which provide improved frequency stability. Epson has begun shipping SPXOs with frequencies up to 212.5MHz, and plans to begin volume production of SPXOs in frequencies from 212.5 to 500MHZ in March 2021.

Telecommunications network traffic and capacity continue to increase with the introduction of fifth-generation telecommunication systems (5G) and the evolution of mobile networks, the internet of things (IoT), advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and data centers. At the same time, the noise level permissible in communication signals is lower, and clocks used in network equipment must operate at high frequency with low phase jitter. Optical communication modules that connect network devices are becoming faster and smaller, and clocks with a frequency tolerance of ±20 × 10-6 or less are needed for transmissions at ultra-high speeds of 400Gbps and 800Gbps and distances of 80km or more.

Company | On the move
Core Technology Leads Progress of Next-Gen Displays

axell, Ltd. has been working to commercialize new displays by making the most of its know-how cultivated in the development of audio-video (A/V) equipment. By applying technologies it has nurtured since the era of Hitachi, Ltd. including TVs, projectors and camcorders, the company has also been promoting the commercialization of head-up displays (HUDs) for automobiles and non-contact aerial image displays.

Adoption of various displays with original technologies as next-generation automotive displays has been progressing. Aerial image display technology is gaining attention to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

JAE Partners with NEC on Small, High-Performance Antenna

apan Aviation Electronics Industry, Ltd. (JAE) and NEC Corporation have brought to market a compact and high-performance antenna that uses NEC’s technology, and started selling it under WaveConnect brand.

This antenna is based on the split ring (SR) resonator antenna technology patented by NEC. JAE has commercialized the antennas as compact products with industry-leading radiation efficiency, utilizing the precision processing technology developed by the company. They aim to expand the business into a broad range of wireless devices.

Boost Wireless Communication
As a first step, JAE has developed and released products for various Wi-Fi devices, internet of things (IoT) devices, and in-vehicle devices. In comparison with a conventional dipole antenna, its size has been reduced to about one-fifth and the radiation efficiency has been increased to 90 percent or higher, enabling miniaturization of the equipment without degradation of the antenna performance. The company will continue to expand the products to realize high-quality wireless communications.

Company | On the move
Yaskawa Electric’s Array of Robots Serve Broad Markets

askawa Electric Corporation has brought to market robots optimized for various applications one after another. These robots are designed for welding, handling, assembling, and painting and transfer of liquid crystal panels and semiconductor wafers. The company has released its latest product, the MOTOMAN-GP4 multi-purpose compact robot with a payload capacity of 4kg and maximum reach of 550mm, which best suits assembly and transfer processes of small components.

Labor shortage due to the declining working-age population has been a serious issue. The adoption of robots not only in manufacturing, but also in industrial and automotive fields, has met the demand for higher productivity and reduction in manufacturing costs.

Business | Strategy
Nippon Avionics Focuses on Joining Equipment, Taps Various Methods

he expansion of demand for fifth-generation (5G) communication standard-compatible smartphones and the proliferation of work-from-home arrangements have been invigorating the information equipment market; and the joining process is indispensable for the production of devices incorporated in information and communications equipment.

At Nippon Avionics Co., Ltd., actual sales of joining equipment in the first half of 2020 sharply increased to 1.7-fold of the same period of the previous year. Masato Takeuchi, President of Nippon Avionics Co., Ltd. discussed prospects of the company’s joining equipment.

2020 Business Scenario
In 2020, Nippon Avionics received many inquiries for infrared thermography cameras for fever screening of people as the number of infections of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to increase.

Masato Takeuchi, President of Nippon Avionics Co., Ltd.
Masato Takeuchi, President of Nippon Avionics Co., Ltd., looks to the expansion of the company’s joining business.
Murata Speeds up Pace of LPWA Business, Releases New Modules


urata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. expands its Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) business with new lineup of cellular IoT (Ca•M1/NB-IoT) modules, which meet requirements for low power consumption, wide coverage, and low data rate, and LoRa modules that support Sigfox.

Responding to the demand in Japan, the United States, and countries in Europe, Asia, and Oceania, where its products have been highly evaluated by more than 1,000 user companies, Murata intends to bring the sales pace in its LPWA business, which has slowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, back to double the previous year’s pace.

Broad Adoption Fields
Over the years, Murata focused on the growth potential of LPWA. It has been working on the development and commercialization of LoRa modules since 2016 and of cellular IoT modules since 2018.

FDK Rolls Production of Small All-Solid-State Batteries

DK Corporation has started production of surface-mountable compact all-solid-state battery SoLiCell at the Kosai Plant in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, and has established a system for the monthly production of 300,000 units. This battery is characterized by small size, high voltage, high energy density, high safety, and eco-friendliness. The company considers it as one of the strategic products for the growth of next-generation batteries, and aims to expand the production scale to 2 million units in two years.

Based on the company’s new medium-term management strategy that begun in FY2020 (ending March 2021), it plans to spend a total of ¥5.5 billion (US$53 million) in capital investments for next-generation batteries. The business development of all-solid-state batteries is one of them.

Product Development History
In Feb. 2017, lithium cobalt pyrophosphate (Li2CoP2O7) has been developed as a high-potential positive electrode material in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. By Dec. 2018, a surface mount device (SMD)-compatible compact all-solid-state battery with size 4×4×2mm has been developed using this material. By constant and persistent efforts to improve its internal structure and fabrication process, the volume energy density (65Wh/L) 2.5 times as high as conventional batteries has been achieved. Sample shipment started in May 2019.

LG Jumps in New LCD Market Segment with Novel Mini-LED TVs


G Electronics unveils a new breed of LCD TV technologies in what the global TV maker said is the culmination of LCD TV technology. Trademarked as QNED TV, the new type of 86-inch 8K LCD TVs come built with two groundbreaking LCD technologies: Mini-LED backlighting and quantum nano-cell color filter technologies.

“As the LED-backlight LCD TV technology has constantly evolved from LED bottom edge-backlight technology to full-array backlight unit, the technology evolution culminates in this mini-LED backlight technology. Given the fact that LCD TVs still represent 90 percent of the global TV market, we hope that this new breed of Mini-LED backlight LCD TV would pump up new vigor in the already matured global TV market,” Nam Ho Joon, Senior Vice President with LG Electronics.

New 3D NAND Boosts Storage Abilities of Diverse Applications


icron Technology, Inc. has already started volume shipments of the industry-leading 176-layer 3D NAND flash memory, achieving industry-pioneering density and performance. Micron’s new 176-layer technology and advanced architecture represent a radical breakthrough, enabling immense gains in application performance across a range of storage use cases spanning data center, intelligent edge and mobile devices.

Scott DeBoer, Executive Vice President of Technology and Products at Micron said, “Micron’s 176-layer NAND sets a new bar for the industry, with a layer count that is almost 40 percent higher than our nearest competitor. Combined with Micron’s CMOS-under-array architecture, this technology sustains Micron’s industry cost leadership.”

Representing Micron’s fifth-generation 3D NAND and second-generation replacement-gate architecture, Micron’s 176-layer NAND is the most technologically advanced NAND node in the market. Compared with the company’s previous generation of high-volume 3D NAND, Micron’s 176-layer NAND improves both read latency and write latency by more than 35 percent, dramatically accelerating application performance. Featuring approximately 30 percent smaller die size than best-in-class competitive offerings, Micron’s 176-layer NAND’s compact design is ideal for solutions using small form factors.

Novel Displays Emerge to Suit Needs for Immersive Visuals

t the recent International Display Workshop 2020 (IDW2020), Dr. Kazumasa Nomoto, who works at the R&D Center of Sony Corporation, gave a keynote speech titled “Toward ‘KANDO’ Creation with Immersive Visual Expression,” and discussed the diverse spatial reality displays. The contents of the presentation are discussed in this article. Dr. Nomoto has permitted the use of the following figures in this article.

LCDs and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are representative large-screen displays for TVs, and products with spatial resolution of up to 8K and screen size of up to 120 inches have been put to practical use. Meanwhile, with displays for mobile devices, such as smartphones and smart watches, products with 800ppi resolution have been developed and put to practical use.

CES2021 Previews Plethora of Smart Applications for Homes, Cars, Cities

ver the past few years, CES has moved away from the consumer electronics trade fair and transformed into an exhibition to realize smart mobility, smart cities, automation, digital applications, and sustainability. Global technology giants showcased solutions that make full use of intelligent technologies with keywords of digital transformation, advanced automotive technology, smart cities, digital health, robotics, and 5G communications.

Gary Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said “CES looks different this year, but the foundation of the show – innovation, connection, collaboration – remains strong and consistent.”

Driven by the recent pandemic, CES2021 was held virtually for the first time highlighting the same innovations in products and technology breakthroughs that the event has been known for. “The pandemic forced us to take a step back from the traditional CES, throw out the playbook and transform how we’d bring the tech community together.”

Taking stock of the learnings from 2020, he said latest technologies, such as internet of things (IoT) technology and artificial intelligence have supported the global social environment change caused by the coronavirus disease. “Technology is a tool. We have the opportunity to use it for better purposes and improve our lives,” noted Shapiro.

Keynote Highlights
Keynote speeches of top-level executives have been among the highlights of previous CES editions and the same hold true even at this year’s unprecedented virtual edition. Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Verizon delivered the pre-CES kickoff keynote and emphasized how the company will lead in the 5G sphere with its 5G Ultra Wideband. Vestberg’s keynote centered on the impact of 5G to present day use cases across sports, education, connected communities and live music.

TDK’s NTC Thermistors Suit Conductive Adhesion Mounting

DK Corporation has developed a new chip negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors designed for conductive adhesion mounting, expanding TDK’s NTCSP Series product lineup. The chip NTC thermistors are used for temperature sensing and compensation, measuring without direct contact in automotive applications including anti-lock brake system (ABS), inside the transmission or engine, and more. The new NTCSP Series part numbers are available in 10kΩ, 47kΩ, and 100kΩ types with dimensions of 1.0×0.5mm and 1.6×0.8mm.

Responding to the need for diversified mounting methods, the new chip NTC thermistors product adopts silver palladium (AgPd) termination, which enables conductive adhesion mounting. They are optimally suited for applications where soldering is difficult.

With its wide operating temperature range, from -55 to 150℃, the NTCSP Series can be applied in various temperature measurement and compensation roles in low to high temperature ranges. They are highly reliable as certified by AEC-Q200.

TDK aims to expand the lineup of NTCSP Series by increasing the number of chip sizes and thermistor characteristics, and widening operating temperature ranges to meet diverse application needs.

In Focus logo IN | FOCUS
SK hynix Stacks up Highest 4D NAND Solution

K hynix Inc. has developed the industry’s highest 176-layer 512G-bit Triple-Level Cell (TLC) 4D NAND flash. Sample products have been shipped to memory controller chip makers to create solution products.

SK hynix has been promoting 4D technology since the 96-layer NAND flash products that combine Charge Trap Flash (CTF) with highly integrated Peri Under Cell (PUC) technology.

Third-Generation of 4D Product
The new 176-layer NAND flash is the third-generation of 4D product that secures the industry’s most number of chips per wafer. This allows the bit productivity to be improved 35 percent compared to the previous generation with the differentiated cost competitiveness.

SK hynix’s 176-layer 4D NAND flash
SK hynix’s 176-layer 4D NAND flash
Product | News
Semiconductors, ICs & Modules
DENSO’s Power Booster Module
booster power module equipped with high-quality silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors
DENSO Corporation has begun mass production of its latest model of booster power module equipped with high-quality silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors. It drives multiple SiC power semiconductors that are built into the module to output a higher voltage than the input voltage.

DENSO has developed its REVOSIC technology for the purpose of applying SiC power semiconductors (diodes and transistors) to in-vehicle applications. Now, it has developed a new in-vehicle SiC transistor, marking the first time DENSO has used SiC for in-vehicle diodes and transistors. The newly developed SiC transistor offers both high reliability and high performance in in-vehicle environments. The new model of booster power module equipped with the SiC power semiconductors (diodes and transistors) is about 30 percent smaller in volume and provides roughly 70 percent less power loss compared to a conventional product equipped with Si power semiconductors.
DENSO Corporation

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