January 2020
Asia Electronics Industry
January 2020 Volume 25, Serial No. 280
Show | Report: Cockpit Display Technologies Focus on Driver’s Safety
Special | Report: LPWA Modules, Sensors Power Remote Monitoring System
Product | Highlight: Small All Solid-State SMD Batteries Fill Gap of Conventional Batteries

ASIA ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY (ISSN 1342-422X) is published monthly by Dempa Publications, Inc., 1-11-15 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-8715, Japan Tel: +81-3-3445-6111 Fax: +81-3-3445-6890. Editorial e-mail:; Subscription e-mail:

The magazine is distributed free to qualified subscribers in ASEAN countries (Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos), as well as Korea,Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Paid air mail subscription is available to non-qualified subscribers in the Asian and Pacific regions for US$150 per year and US$260 for two years. For other areas, air mail subscription fees are US$160 per year and US$280 for two years. Paid subscription is accepted at

Send address corrections to Dempa Publications, Inc., c/o Quantium Solutions (HK) Ltd. Unit 3-6, G/F Pacific Trade Centre, 2 Kai Hing Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Taiwan: International Dempa Trade Co. Ltd.,7F, No. 34, Sec. 1, Nanjing East Road., Taipei, Taiwan 104 Tel: +886-2-2563 4595 Fax: +886-2-2567-5559 Korea: Dempa Publications, Room 1019, Punglim VIP Tel, 404, Gongdeuk-dong, Mapo, Seoul, Korea 04144, Tel: +82-2-714-2983 Fax: +82-2-714-2984 Philippines: Dempa Publications, Inc. – Regional Headquarters, Herrera Tower, Room 2510, 98 V.A. Rufino Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines, Tel: +63-2-8845-0906 Fax: +63-2-8845-1829

President & Publisher: Tsutomu Hirayama
Copyright © 2020 by Dempa Publications, Inc.

All rights reserved. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed in China.

Cover | Story

ith the motto of “quality first,” Hirose Electric Co., Ltd., a leading connector manufacturer, has been honing its expertise in fundamental technologies to develop new products and value-added technologies that meet market needs. The company has also been building up its investments to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities. By field, the company targets strong growth in automobiles, industrial equipment, and consumer electronics.

On Oct. 18 and 19, Hirose Electric held the Hirose Technology Exhibition CONNECTION 2019, an exclusive event, at Tokyo Prince Hotel in Minato-ward, Tokyo. Highlighting various connectors, the company introduced leading-edge connection technologies and solutions, and a wide variety of high-performance and high-reliability products.

Hirose Technology Exhibition is held once in three years, and last year’s exhibition was its 14th edition. It carried the theme “Orchestrated Creative Power Flies into the Future,” showcasing new products and cutting-edge technologies under one roof. The two-day event drew a total of 4,130 visitors from Japan and abroad.

AEI News
Panasonic Sells Chip Business to Nuvoton

JAPAN and TAIWAN – Panasonic Corporation has ceased its semiconductor business, which is mainly operated by its subsidiary, Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd. (PSCS), to Taiwanese semiconductor company, Nuvoton Technology Corporation. Nuvoton, which is under the umbrella of Winbond Electronics Corporation said the acquisition will be an all-cash transaction.

In selling off its business to Nuvoton, Panasonic cited the growing stiff competition in the semiconductor industry. Nuvoton’s acquisition will expand its presence in the global semiconductor industry through greater scale and volume of semiconductor solutions.

PSCS is a leading supplier of semiconductor devices and solutions with products that focus on sensing technologies, microcontroller technologies, and component technologies. The transaction is expected to close in June 2020.;

Special | Report
Manufacturing Use Cases in IoT Era heading
Japan’s Manufacturing Industry Maximize Benefits of AI, IoT
IoT and AI are expected to play crucial roles in shaping the future landscape of manufacturing. this early, several companies have started implementing AI and IoT in various manufacturing sites to meet the changing needs and requirements of production.

espite Japan’s slow recovery trend in recent years, it has started to show signs of upward shift in its economic cycle, as expansion of consumption and increased investments have resulted to higher corporate earnings. On the other hand, as Japan’s population continues to decrease, labor shortages have become a serious problem. This has been a major issue in the manufacturing industry, particularly among small- and medium-sized companies.

In view of this, the advancement of digitization, including internet of things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI), has started to change the landscape of manufacturing industry in various countries. In Japan, efforts toward the use of AI, IoT, and other digital technologies, begun to take off in 2017.

Special | Report
Manufacturing Use Cases in IoT Era heading
AI, Quantum Computing Technology Accelerate Digital Transformation

ujitsu Limited is transforming itself from an IT company to a digital transformation company. Digital transformation effectively utilizes both conventional information technology (IT) and cutting-edge technologies to derive value out of data in order to provide innovative services and help transform business processes. Cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G communications, IoT, and quantum computing, accelerate digital transformation.

Fujitsu Limited offers AI solutions and services under the Zinrai: Fujitsu Human Centric AI brand; and in the quantum computing field, the company has developed the Quantum-Inspired Digital Annealer, an offering focused on solving combinatorial optimization problems at high speed. This article introduces the Digital Annealer and how it can benefit industries around the world.

Special | Report
Manufacturing Use Cases in IoT Era heading
Evolving Bluetooth Sustains Wireless Innovations
Anticipated updates and enhancements will bring wireless technology to new heights, enabling new markets and bringing forth innovations in wireless connectivity in four solution areas.

or more than two decades, the Bluetooth® member community continues to experience strong growth and now has 35,000 companies spread evenly across all regions of the world, highlighting the true global footprint of Bluetooth technology*1. With the support of the community, Bluetooth technology has met the growing demands for wireless innovation. The community expands the technology to solve new connectivity challenges while creating new market opportunities.

Since its introduction in 1998, Bluetooth device shipments continue to increase with no sign of slowing down. Annual shipments of Bluetooth products continue to grow at an incredible rate. With 4 billion shipments expected to ship this year alone, Bluetooth continues its strong growth towards nearly 5.5 billion Bluetooth devices shipping each and every year by 2023*2.

Self-Rejecting AK2 Squib Connectors Ensure Safety of Airbags

apan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited (JAE) has developed the AK2 standard-compliant MX72A/B Series squib connectors featuring improved workability for automotive airbags.

The AK2 type squib (igniter) connector has been adopted as the standard interface for automotive airbag inflators in Europe and North America, and is growing in popularity globally. However, a lot of these connectors are designed to ensure complete mating by inserting a component called a connector position assurance (CPA) after the connectors are mated, which requires a secondary operation. Also, if the airbag is located in an area where the connector engagement cannot be visually confirmed by the operator, there is a risk of incomplete mating due to mis-insertion of the CPA device. In order to make the installation process faster and more reliable, JAE has developed the MX72A/B Series AK2 squib connectors that ensure a fully reliable connection in a single operation.

Special | Report
Manufacturing Use Cases in IoT Era heading
Component Makers Tap LPWA for Network-Enabled Devices
The popularity of LPWA as wireless transmission technology is increasing because of its long-range transfer capability, minimal power use, and low cost.

evelopment and commercialization of low power wide area (LPWA) communications modules have been accelerating. The adoption of LPWA communications modules has been advancing in internet of things (IoT) and other devices that require low power consumption, and long communications distance. At CEATEC 2019, which was held in Oct. 2019 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, component manufacturers, including Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Kyocera Corporation actively introduced new products and products under development as LPWA solutions that accelerate their IoT businesses.

Special | Report
LPWA Modules, Sensors Power Remote Monitoring System
Designed for the logistics industry, the IoT-enabled tracker device developed by Alps Alpine promotes cost reduction from conventional systems Due to its long product life.

n its bid to reinforce solutions for remote monitoring, Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. has developed the Smart Tracker, an internet of things (IoT)-compliant device for the management of physical distribution materials. Alps Alpine’s long-life Smart Tracker remote monitoring system combines various sensors and low power wide area (LPWA) communication modules, targeting the logistics industry.

Durable Tracking Device
The Smart Tracker, which is distributed under the product name Lykaner, manages position information of physical distribution materials through the combination of Sigfox technology and Wi-Fi technology. It can operate continuously for more than 10 years without charging. The company is conducting trial demonstration of the product in Europe, and aims to put it to commercial production on full scale soon.

ST Bulks up on SiC Wafer Capacity, Acquires Norstel

n its bid to strengthen its internal silicon carbide (SiC) ecosystem, from materials expertise and process engineering to SiC-based MOSFET and diodes design and manufacturing, STMicroelectronics has completed the full acquisition of Swedish SiC wafer manufacturer Norstel AB with a total cash consideration of U$137.5 million, representing the remaining 45 percent of the company.

“At a time of constrained global capacity for silicon carbide, the full acquisition of Norstel will strengthen our internal SiC ecosystem: it will boost our flexibility, allow us to control better the improvement of yield and quality of the wafers, and support our long-term silicon carbide roadmap and business,” said Jean-Marc Chery, President and Chief Executive Officer of STMicroelectronics.

Norstel will be fully integrated into ST’s global R&D and manufacturing operations. It will continue growing its activities covering both the production of 150mm bare and epitaxial SiC wafers and R&D on 200mm production as well as on wide bandgap materials.

Special | Report
Thread IoT Sensors Bank on Long Battery Life as Lifeblood
After fulfilling a scalable wireless mesh network, Maxim Integrated has resolved power management of network-enabled devices through Thread, leveraging IPv6 low-power wireless technology.

y providing secure IPv6-based low-power wireless technology, Thread® enables tamper-proof home sensors for comfort, entertainment, security, and energy efficiency. With its origins in home and building automation, Thread enables internet of things (IoT) applications in diverse consumer, wearable, medical, and industrial markets. Google has also released a lightweight open-source implementation of Thread called OpenThread. While it is not exactly akin to what Android was for smartphones, OpenThread promises to be an excellent enabler for Thread adoption. Thread joins several other networking standards, including Zigbee, NB-IoT, LoRa, SigFox, and Bluetooth LE.

Special | Report
Augmented Reality-Based Display Heightens Driver’s Safety
After optimizing specifications, Maxell has verified that the installation of AR-HUD has reduced gaze point and focusing time of the driver compared with conventional Head-up displays.

n recent years, legislations related to safe driving assistance systems have advanced on a global scale, and various measures have been taken mainly in countries in Europe and in the United States. Against this backdrop, Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR-HUD), which displays driving assistance information, like speed and alert information, superimposed on the windshield through which the driver can see the actual scene, is now attracting attention. As AR-HUD can provide driving assistance information while minimizing the movement of the driver’s gaze point while driving, the demand for AR-HUD is expected to grow as a measure to prevent the driver from taking eyes off the road ahead while driving.

Special | Report
Feature-Rich IP Core Solutions Target Mainstream Market
In an aim to bring premium applications to mainstream devices, ARM has released its ARM AI Platform, which is comprised of a wide range of scalable and affordable IP core solutions.

RM Holdings has lined up an army of new processor core IPs that are affordable, scalable and feature-rich enough to bring down premium and intuitive user experiences into everyday mainstream devices, like digital TVs, PCs, and mobile phones.

With the latest line of products, consumers can toy with their mid-tier mobile devices to get a game console-like user experiences, like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and jump on the newly emerging and hotly coveted artificial intelligence (AI) to interface with their machines through voice and image.

Qualcomm Lays Groundwork for Robotic Vision Processing

n the last four to five years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has grown more rapidly than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue as AI starts becoming ubiquitous in everyday lives. One area benefitting from this growth is the application of AI to robotics, where it is used for everything from making decisions to controlling movements. However, perhaps the biggest contribution of AI to robotics is the application of computer vision (CV) to allow for “robotic autonomy”.

Robotic autonomy is the ability for a robot to perform tasks with little or no external influence or assistance. Generally speaking, robotic autonomy involves gaining information about the surrounding environment, and performing full or partial movement without human intervention. CV can be used to help reach both of these goals.

Glass Molding Produces Microfluidic Devices for Mass Production

he joint development of Panasonic Corporation and Institute of Microchemical Technology Co., Ltd. (IMT) has resulted in the discovery of a mass-production technology of microfluidic devices using glass molding. A microfluidic device can perform various chemical processes (mixing, reaction, extraction, synthesis, detection) in a minute flow path with a small amount and high efficiency by flowing liquid through a groove with a width and depth of several hundreds of micrometers. Compared to the conventional glass etching method, this technology realizes low-cost and highly accurate mass production. These devices can be applied to sensing and analysis for medical, biological, environmental (water and air quality) applications, among others.Conventional glass microfluidic devices have not been widely used due to high cost and poor precision. This latest development has achieved mass production and cost reduction of glass microfluidic devices by combining IMT’s microfluidic device design technology and Panasonic’s glass molding technology. As a result, the disposable use of glass microfluidic devices becomes possible. In addition, by realizing high precision, it is easy to incorporate the device as part of equipment and systems.

ST Augments Smart-Meter Chipset with Wireless Feature

TMicroelectronics has combined powerline and wireless communication in its market-proven smart-meter chipset, thus facilitating smarter city and industry infrastructures.

Already widely used in smart electricity meters, ST’s ST8500 powerline communication (PLC) chipset now enables smart meters to communicate through existing power cables or radio frequency (RF) waves, combining the strengths of both types of connection.

Where power lines may be too noisy for PLC, or where local regulations dictate, equipment makers can now implement wireless and PLC quickly and efficiently using ST8500. In addition, with the built-in RF capability, equipment designers can leverage ST8500’s high feature integration and ease of use in other smart devices, such as gas and water smart meters, environmental monitors, lighting controllers, and industrial sensors.

On-Glass Antennas for Cars Foster 5G Even at High Speed
The cutting-edge technology from AGC can receive radio waves for 5G communications and can be placed unobtrusively without affecting overall vehicle design.

GC Inc. has developed vehicle glass mounted antennas (On-Glass Antennas), which can receive radio waves for fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications applications. This technology was among the company’s highlight at the recent CEATEC 2019 held in Japan, particularly when AGC equipped a vehicle with the On-Glass Antennas, which attracted visitors’ attention.

The company featured at its booth the same vehicle the company used for the field trial of 5G communications, featuring a fast-moving vehicle, conducted in conjunction with NTT DOCOMO, INC. and Ericsson Japan. 5G antennas compatible with 28GHz band and were designed and developed by AGC were installed on glass surfaces in the vehicle’s four locations. The antennas are not easily seen from the exterior and can be installed without affecting the vehicle design.

On-Glass Antennas for Cars Foster
This vehicle equipped with On-Glass Antennas was used for the 5G field trial.
NVIDIA’s Surround Camera-Radar Fusion Covers Every Angle
For the industry to cross beyond automated assisted driving to full autonomous driving, cameras and sensors need to have a reliable, 360-degree surround obstacle perception.

he ability to detect and react to objects all around the vehicle makes it possible to deliver a comfortable and safe driving experience. Self-driving cars are usually equipped with a diverse set of sensors in various configurations to be capable of providing reliable surround perception. Surround camera and radar sensor setups are among primary surround perception system options in the auto industry, due to the feasibility of sourcing them at mass scale.

In an article posted at NVIDIA Corporation website, author Bala Siva Sashank Jujjavarapu said it is essential to have a sensor fusion pipeline that can combine these two types of perception signals from both sensor types to provide robust surround perception. Surround camera-radar fusion is a sensor fusion layer built on top of surround camera and surround radar perception pipelines. It is designed to leverage the complementary strengths of each sensor type and provide quality semantic information as well as accurate position, velocity and acceleration estimates. The core camera-radar fusion functions are re-used for each camera, such that the overall pipeline is easily scalable.

Component | Materials
Automotive Functions Boost PCB Business
With the increase in invesments, PCB manufacturers have ramped up their production capacity, thus meeting the high demand from automotive makers.

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) for automotive use contribute significantly to manufacturers’ business expansion.

CMK Corporation and Meiko Electronics Co., Ltd. announced consolidated financial statements for Q2 (April to Sept.) of the term ending Mar. 2020. The companies attribute the increase in their production scales through investments in plants and equipment, leading to increase in production capacity.

The increase in the number of PCBs incorporated in a vehicle has offset the sluggish global auto sales. This reflects the increasing trend toward the adoption of more and more electronic components.

Component | Materials
Nippon Chemi-Con, Alps Alpine Co-Develop Capacitors for Car Audio
The aluminum electrolytic capacitors undergo through-hole reflow mounting, creating quality sound audio system.


ippon Chemi-Con Corporation, in cooperation with Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., has developed high-sound-quality aluminum electrolytic capacitors for next-generation automotive audio equipment. The companies have applied a new mounting technology by which the capacitors undergo reflow mounting while having through-hole pins (lead wires). These capacitors have been mounted on Alps Alpine’s first car navigation system, which has been installed in Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.’s vehicles.

D.R.A.S. Capacitors
The aluminum electrolytic capacitors developed with the aid of Alps Alpine were named “D.R.A.S.” as a technology for achieving both optimization to high-resolution sound sources and overwhelming capabilities for sound image representation. The “D” denotes “durable” or “durability”, meaning the capacitors withstand 30G vibration, offering high vibration resistance. The “R” denotes “reflow”, indicating that they employ a structure for a new mounting style. The “A” denotes “accurate”, expressing that they are designed to thoroughly suppress cross-modulation distortion and are optimized for high-resolution sound sources. The “S” means sound where excellent transient response performance is achieved thanks to sufficient electrostatic capacitance.
Component | Materials
Printing Method Fabricates Organic Semiconductor Wafers
The new discovery paves the way for mass production of high-performance transistors for IoT devices.


sing a simple printing method, a research group has fabricated wafers of organic semiconductors that can be used as high-performance transistors. The group consisted of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences and Material Innovation Research Center, The University of Tokyo, AIST-UTokyo Advanced Operando-Measurement Technology Open Innovation Laboratory, National Institute for Materials Science, and Pi-Crystal, Inc.

Due to their lightness, flexibility, printing compatibility, organic semiconductors have been expected as next-generation electronic materials that can be mass produced at low cost and replace silicon semiconductors. Therefore, organic semiconductors suitable for actual devices and printing methods for fabrication have been developed for a long time.

Panasonic, IBM Japan Upgrade Chip Manufacturing Processes
The two companies team up to create a high-value-added system for manufacturing equipment to reduce engineering cost, stabilize product quality, and uplift factory productivity.

BM Japan, Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation’s subsidiary, Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd., have agreed to collaborate in the development and marketing of a new high-value-added system to optimize the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of customers’ semiconductor manufacturing processes and to realize high-quality manufacturing.

As part of its circuit formation process business, Panasonic develops and markets edge devices and manufacturing methods that contribute to improving semiconductor manufacturing of advanced packaging. These new devices and methods include dry etching equipment, plasma dicers to produce high-quality wafers, plasma cleaners that increase metal and resin adhesion and high-accuracy bonding devices. This expertise will be combined with techniques and technology that IBM Japan has developed for semiconductor manufacturing to help Panasonic create a smart factory technology. Among these techniques include data analysis systems, including advanced process control (APC) and fault detection and classification (FDC), as well as an upper-layer manufacturing execution system (MES) — thus improving quality and automating production management in semiconductor manufacturing processes.

KOKI Develops Complete Halogen-Free Solder Paste for Harsh Environments
By employing paste flux technology, KOKI has created a halogen-free solder compatible with air reflow and provides excellent meltability and wettability.

OKI Co., Ltd. has released a complete halogen-free solder paste with high durability alloy composition in its lineup of soldering products for surface-mount technology (SMT).

In applications that involve harsh-use environments, like on-board equipment, industrial equipment, and motor and engine peripheral components, solder pastes with high thermal durability and maintain good joining quality for a long period of time, are required.

Fully Halogen Free
KOKI has been deploying high durability alloy products with excellent thermal durability to varied customers. This time, the company has commercialized the SB6N58-HF350 complete halogen-free solder paste that adopts high durability alloy, meeting the growing demand for complete halogen-free from the viewpoint of environmental friendliness.
SB6N58-HF350 complete halogen-free solder paste
SB6N58-HF350 complete halogen-free solder paste
Implementation of MID Mounting Shifts to High Gear
Mounter and solder manufacturers step up their efforts to actively promote MID mounting amid increasing applications.

olded interconnect devices (MID) mounting has begun to spread on full scale in various countries. In MID mounting, resin is molded into a three-dimensional (3D) object using an injection molding machine, and an electronic circuit pattern is printed on its surface using plating or other means. Then, electronic components and modules are mounted on the pattern and soldered.

Beginning of MID Mounting
MID mounting started in the 1980s in the United States. Now, the implementation of MID mounting has advanced, including MID mounting of electronic circuits on the handle grips of motorcycles in countries in Europe.
Examples of MID mounting (FUJI)
Examples of MID mounting (FUJI)
Connectors Offer Higher Faceplate Density for Hyperscale Data Centers

E Connectivity has released the zSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly connectors, which are designed to support data rates at both 28G NRZ and 56Gbps PAM-4. Because of the upright latching feature of zSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly connectors, it can accommodate four row belly-to-belly applications to enable higher faceplate density and maximize printed circuit board (PCB) space usage for hyperscale data centers and networking switch applications.

This expanded portfolio includes 2×4 and 2×12 configurations, offering design flexibility to address different application needs. zSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly connectors are backward-compatible to previous generations by sharing the same mating interface and cage dimensions with the entire SFP/SFP+/SFP 28 portfolio, facilitating easy design-in and system upgrades.

56G-bit PAM-4 performance is becoming a standard in hyperscale data centers and high-end network switches and routers, according to Jimmy Ju, Product Manager at TE Connectivity’s data and devices business unit, and many customers are demanding PAM-4 support as well as higher faceplate density. Amid this industry trend, the new zSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly connectors from TE offer both features to facilitate higher data center performance.

Test | Measurement
Anritsu Posts Favorable Business Results from 5G Solutions
Leveraging strong lineup of 5G test solutions, financial results were positive, while future results have been revised upward.

riven by test solutions for fifth-generation (5G) communications, Anritsu Corporation posted strong business results for the 2Q for the term ending March 2020. During the period, the company posted increases in consolidated income and profit. The company has also revised upward its forecasts for test and measurement (T&M) business, targeting sales to top ¥100 billion in the term ending Mar. 2020.

For Q2 of the term ending Mar. 2020, Anritsu posted sales of ¥53.6 billion, an increase of 12 percent, operating profit of ¥6.6 billion, an increase of 90 percent, and current income of ¥4.7 billion, an increase of 49 percent, from the same period of the previous year, marking substantial growth.

By department, it reported sales of ¥352 billion, an annual increase of 21 percent for the T&M business, and ¥10.7 billion, an annual decrease of 6 percent sales of the Products Quality Assurance (PQA) business, which includes X-ray foreign substance inspection equipment.

Hirokazu Hamada, Representative Director, President, Group Chief Executive Officier at Anritsu Corporation
Hirokazu Hamada, Representative Director, President, Group Chief Executive Officier at Anritsu Corporation
Micro Prober Measures High-Frequency Characteristics at High Speed
The systems enable high-speed, high-accuracy inspections of high-frequency characteristics of actual product patterns when combined with a vector network analyzer.

amaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd. has started to receive orders for the MP502 and MP502-A Micro Prober MP Series that inspect high-frequency characteristics of circuit boards at high speed and high precision.

The production of circuit boards using materials, such as liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and modified polyamide (MPI) that are suitable for high-frequency signals, has increased in the electronic circuit board market in recent years due to the launch and spread of 5G communication services. These substrates require to have better frequency characteristics. Until now, inspections of frequency characteristics have been conducted using sample inspections of test coupons.

In contrast, the new MP502 and MP502-A systems enable high-speed, high-accuracy inspections of high-frequency characteristics of actual product patterns when combined with a commercial vector network analyser (VNA). This enables inspections of actual products that were formerly problematic, and measurement of all relevant mass-produced products.

Technology | Highlight
TMR Device on Flexible Substrate Paves Way for Soft Spin Device

he tunnel magnetoresistive (TMR) device fabricated on a hard semiconductor silicon (Si) substrate has been widely used as a read head for a hard disc or a solid magnetic memory*1. The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (ISIR), Osaka University, in collaboration with the Graduate School of University of Tokyo and Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., demonstrated that the tunnel magnetoresistive device*2 (Fig. 1) fabricated on a soft plastic substrate (flexible substrate) has performance comparable to the device on a hard semiconductor substrate. Furthermore, the device has been confirmed to have high durability as it does not break even when the substrate is repeatedly stretched and to have the high heat resistance even for temperature as high as 500°C. These results indicate that the device has performance close to the practical level. In the future, it is expected to open up new industrial applications of spin devices*3. Possible practical applications are magnetic memory embedded in wearable devices, a flexible high-sensitivity magnetic-field sensor, a mechanical sensor that uses the phenomenon that the reversible change of magnetic properties due to stretching of the substrate causes a large resistance change.

Murata Churns out Smallest Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor

urata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has developed GRM011R60J104M, the first multilayer ceramic capacitor to feature a maximum capacitance of 0.1µF in 008004-inch size (0.25×0.125mm). The company sets mass production of the new product this year.

By using its original ceramic and electrode material atomization and homogenization technology, Murata has achieved a multilayer ceramic capacitor with a mounting surface area approximately 50 percent smaller and a volume approximately 80 percent smaller than its existing product (01005 inch size) with a capacitance of 0.1µF. Moreover, the new product has a capacity of around 10 times that of the same-sized product (008004 inch size) initially mass produced by the company.

Technology | Highlight
Electric-Field-Limiting Design Makes Power-Efficient SiC-MOSFET

itsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a trench-type silicon-carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) with a unique electric-field-limiting structure for a power semiconductor device that achieves one of the leading specific on-resistance of 1.84mΩcm2 and a breakdown voltage of over 1,500V. Mounting the transistor in power semiconductor modules for power electronic equipment will lead to energy savings and equipment downsizing.

After improving the performance and confirming the long-term reliability of its new power semiconductor devices, Mitsubishi Electric expects to put its new trench-type SiC-MOSFET into practical use sometime after fiscal year 2021.

Unique Electric-Field-Limiting Structure
SiC-MOSFETs control current flowing through the semiconductor layer between the drain and source electrodes by applying a voltage to the gate electrode. To achieve control with a small voltage, a thin gate-insulating film is required. If high voltage is applied in a trench-type power semiconductor device, a strong electric field can concentrate in the gate and can easily break the insulating film.

Technology | Highlight
Technology Yields High Coercivity Magnet Powder at Room Temperature

he National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), in collaboration with TDK Corporation, has developed a technology that can produce samarium-iron-nitrogen (Sm2Fe17N3)-based magnet powders that have coercivity at room temperature exceeding 30kOe without using heavy rare earth elements. As it has excellent heat resistance, it is expected to realize a magnet that exceeds neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets in high-temperature environments such as drive motors for hybrid vehicles.

Improved Reduction-Diffusion Reaction System
The research group worked on improving the uniformity of the reduction-diffusion reaction system for increasing the coercivity of Sm2Fe17N3 magnet powder. In the conventional reduction-diffusion method, a large number of coarse agglomerated particles are formed in addition to Sm2Fe17N3 fine particles. These agglomerated particles are mainly in Sm-Fe alloy phase (Sm rich phase) containing a large amount of Sm and generally have low-quality magnetic properties. Therefore, the formation of these agglomerated particles was considered to limit the coercive force of the Sm2Fe17N3 magnet.

Technology | Highlight
Latest Wireless In-Wheel Motor Keeps All Components in Wheel

he research group led by Associate Professor Hiroshi Fujimoto of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo has developed a third-generation wireless in-wheel motor (WIWM-3) powered by electric energy from the road to WIWM, and has succeeded in a vehicle driving test with in-motion wireless charging (Fig. 1). The members of the research group include the University of Tokyo, Bridgestone Corporation, NSK Ltd., ROHM Co., Ltd., and TOYO ELECTRIC MFG. Co., Ltd.

The WIWM-3 is an evolution of the second-generation wireless in-wheel motor (WIWM-2) announced in March 2017, and features significantly improved wireless power transfer (WPT) performance, motor performance, and vehicle mountability for practical application. In order to further develop the technology, the group has also started research and development on tires and wheels that do not affect WPT performance.

Nichicon’s Capacitors for Cars Pick up Steam

he industry has been witnessing the increase of automotive onboard electronics being installed closely to the engine compartment, requiring aluminum electrolytic capacitors to be extremely heat resistant. At the same time, demand has grown also for capacitors to have high voltage ratings, which is also suitable for automotive applications.

Demand has been increasing in the automotive onboard electronics industry for chip-type capacitors used in engine electronic control units (ECUs) as well as in peripheral drive system ECUs for more comfortable vehicle interior environments. These products need to have longer life cycle, capable of operating in severe environments, and must withstand both high and low temperatures with low ESR.

Meanwhile, demand for smaller chip-type capacitors is growing as manufacturers are making more densely packed boards on set devices for electronic equipment and consumer appliances. Capacitors for use in digital equipment need to be low in noise and impedance. In addition to denser mounting, the miniaturization of set devices and their increasingly high performance means capacitors must be made smaller, with higher capacitance and lower impedance.

ABLIC’s Wireless Power IC to Propel Rise of Compact Devices

ireless power supply technology has started to become a standard feature in mobile phones and smartphones and has been recognized already as one of the common means of charging. A standard that supports up to 15W is the emerging basic feature targeting smartphones.

Qi has been one of the emerging international wireless power supply standards established by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

The development of sensors for internet of things (IoT) applications, which incorporate a sensor and a wireless communication module, has been becoming active not only for wearable devices but also for various household devices. How to supply to these devices is an important factor that affects the value of products.

Small All Solid-State SMD Batteries Fill Gap of Conventional Batteries

y laminating thin battery-constituting materials, FDK Corporation has developed batteries that have characteristics significantly different from conventional rechargeable batteries (Table, Fig. 1).

These are small all solid-state surface mount devices (SMD) batteries that do not include electrolytic solution, have high resistance to high temperatures, and can be resin molded. With these three characteristics, these batteries are expected to be used in applications that do not employ conventional batteries.

Fast Analog Neuron Chip Simulates Human Thinking at Low Power

oshiba Information Systems (Japan) Corporation has developed a new analog neuron chip and has demonstrated its basic performance. The chip realizes information processing close to human intellectual activities. The company targets its future commercialization as it is suitable for internet of things (IoT) devices that require low power consumption operation.

High-Speed Response with Minimal Power
The artificial intelligence (AI) processing represented by a neural network requires a huge amount of operations. It is difficult to operate at high speed with ultralow power consumption in a general-purpose digital computing unit installed with a microcontroller. Furthermore, semiconductor analog circuits tend to become unstable in an environment with ultralow power consumption.

Novel Chip Varistor Combines ESD, EMI Protection

n innovative chip varistor that provides both electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection has been developed by TDK Corporation. By optimizing its internal structure, the AVRF101U6R8KT242 chip varistor enables both ESD and EMI protection. This product is intended for audio equipment that uses wireless communications in the 2.4GHz band, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and supports high sound quality. The company has started mass production of the chip varistor.

AVRF101U6R8KT242 chip varistors for audio equipment
Photo 1: AVRF101U6R8KT242 chip varistors for audio equipment
In general, the abnormal voltage of ESD or lightning surge applied to devices, such as ICs or electronic equipment induces malfunction or breaks devices and equipment. Chip varistors, the resistance value of which changes in accordance with the applied voltage, are used to protect devices and equipment against abnormal voltage. The varistors’ role is protection against ESD. Digital circuits of today have reduced withstand voltage due to finer fabrication, and they are vulnerable to breakage due to ESD. In particular, it is difficult to implement shielding against ESD using a chassis in small equipment and devices with external interface terminal, such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) sticks, and therefore, protection components are generally used.
Hirose Connectors Get International Innovation Recognition

oth the FX26 Series and BM46 Series board-to-board connectors by Hirose Electric Co., Ltd. have been selected as Innovation Award Honorees for CES 2020, the Consumer Electronics Show held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States.

Selected in the “Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation” category is the FX26 floating board-to-board connector with high heat resistance up to 140°C that withstands severe vibration environments and was developed for internal connection of powertrains including motor controllers, the key product in electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Additionally BM46, a multi-RF board-to-board connector developed for next-generation high-speed communications, such as WiGig and 5G, has been chosen in the “Mobile Devices and Accessories” category.

IN THE KNOW | Trends in USB PCB Interface
USB Standard Brings Forward Interface Upgrades
For this year, USB-IF is expected to introduce USB Type-C for connectors, USB PD for power supply and USB4 for data communications.

niversal Serial Bus (USB) 1.0 was introduced in 1996. In the first 10 years since introduction, the USB standard spread mainly as a data communication standard for PCs. In the following years, USB became the standard for charging mobile devices, such as smartphones. It is anticipated that USB will continue to be popularly used as a data communication and charging interface in 2020 and thereafter.

It is expected that in 2020 the USB standard will evolve along three keywords: USB Type-C®, USB Power Delivery (USB PD), and USB4TM (Figure 1). These keywords are vital to three key technologies, including connector, power supply, and data communication. To put it simply, USB Type-C relates to connector technology, USB PD relates to power supply technology, and USB4 relates to data communication technology. Rather than being independent, the three technologies are closely related to each other.

Industry | Report
Joining Technologies Adapt to Electronics Products Updates

n a market-driven economy, demand expansion for new electronics products, such as smartphones, electric vehicles (EVs), and industrial equipment has prompted innovations in manufacturing technologies. Accordingly, adhesive and joining technologies that are used in the manufacturing process of electronics products have also advanced, for example, smartphones and tablet computers are assembled using a joining process that does not use a single screw.

Diversifying Joining Technologies
There are four typical joining technologies used in the manufacture of electronics products. They are resistance (welding of metals using resistance heating); pulse heat (thermocompression using resistance heating element, soldering); laser (welding using laser beam, soldering, welding); and ultrasonic wave welding (resin welding using friction heat generation, metal joint welding using oxide film breakdown).

New TDK Sensor Exhibits Real 3D Measurement

DK Corporation has introduced HAL 3900 as a new member of the masterHAL® sensor family HAL® 39xy, thus expanding its Micronas position sensor portfolio. The new HAL 3900 features real 3D magnetic-field measurement capability and 2D stray-field robust position detection. Measurement data is delivered via a high-speed Serial Peripheral interface (SPI). The sensors meet present and future needs of automotive and industrial markets, and offer four different measurement modes in a single device: Linear position detection, rotary 360° angle detection, and rotary 180° angle detection with stray field compensation, including gradient fields as well as the capability for real 3D magnetic field measurement (BX, BY, BZ).

HAL 3900 sensor from the HAL®39xy masterHAL® family
HAL 3900 sensor from the HAL®39xy masterHAL® family
International Display Workshop 2019 (IDW’19)
Cockpit Display Technologies Focus on Driver’s Safety


he 26th International Display Workshop 2019 (IDW ᾿19) was held at Sapporo Convention Center in Sapporo, Japan from Nov. 27 to 30 (Photo 1). Highlighting the event this year are two keynote addresses, two plenary addresses, 131 invited presentations, 144 oral presentations, and 210 poster presentations. A total of 489 papers were presented in eight parallel sessions. Presenters came from 15 countries and regions. Specifically, papers from Japan accounted for 45 percent; Korea accounted for 19 percent; China accounted for 17 percent, and Taiwan, 10 percent, and the rest are from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States (Fig. 1). The number of attendees this year was lower compared to the last event held in Nagoya, in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture.

This article delves into the keynote address “Human-Centered Automotive Cockpit HMI” by Taro Oike, General Manager of Mazda Motor Corp. It also discusses the outline of Keynote Exhibition, which is a new feature at IDW. From the Invited Presentations, the author presents some highlights of Sharp Corp.’s automotive active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display and Japan Display Inc. (JDI)’s 8K low temperature poly-silicon thin-film transistor LCD (LTPS TFT-LCD), which employs a laser backlight. Concurrently held exhibition drew 16 manufacturers and five university laboratories. This paper also presents the exhibit of Oxide Corp.

JDI’s Panel Technologies Look Beyond Smartphones

he 29th FINETECH JAPAN, a trade show on components and materials; manufacturing and testing equipment; processing technologies for manufacturing flat panel displays, such as liquid crystal, organic light-emitting diode (OLED); and sensor technology, was held from Dec. 4 to 6, 2019 at Makuhari Messe in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture. This article introduces the products exhibited by Japan Display Inc. (JDI). The company also provided a seminar on small- and medium-sized display strategy and technologies.

Recent data showed JDI’s share of the automotive display market accounts for 17.4 percent. In 2019, the company received the Display Industry Award at the 2019 SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition (Display Week 2019) for producing the first curved display, which was installed in a utility vehicle. JDI’s technologies, existing products, and products under development are described in the following section.

There were twenty seminars covering the most important display-related topics today at the 29th FINETECH JAPAN, of which two seminars were presented by JDI.

MediaTek Runs Ahead of 5G Race with Dimensity Chipset Family

tamping its position as an industry first-mover, MediaTek has released the Dimensity family of powerful fifth-generation (5G) system-on-chip (SoC) that offers an unrivaled combination of connectivity, multimedia, artificial intelligence (AI), and imaging innovations for premium and flagship smartphones. The chipset includes the Dimensity 1000 5G system-on-chip (SoC).

The 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, which includes an integrated 5G modem, combines advanced technologies packed into a 7nm chip and tuned for 5G performance.

Product | News
Components & Devices
STTS22H Sensor by STMicroelectronics
STTS22H Sensor by STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics’ STTS22H has a typical temperature-reading accuracy of 0.25°C and low operating and standby current, enhancing temperature and heat-flow monitoring in asset trackers, shipping-container loggers, HVAC systems, air humidifiers, refrigerators, building-automation systems, and smart consumer devices. It is I²C and SMBus 3.0 compliant, and supports flexible operating modes, including configurable output data rate (ODR) down to 1Hz, a power-saving one-shot mode, and an interrupt pin that supports SMBus Alert Response Address (ARA). Power consumption is very low, drawing just 2.0µA at 1Hz ODR and 1.75µA during periodic one-shot measurements. In standby mode with the serial port inactive, it draws 0.5µA (typical), while the 1.5 to 3.6V operating voltage range allows use with various power sources, like a small lithium cell.

TDK Releases First mmWave Band-Pass Filter for 5G Networks

DK Corporation has released the MMC Series, first multilayer band-pass filter for the 28GHz band in 5G mobile communication networks, thus expanding its lineup of high-frequency multilayer products.

The new high-frequency component is based on TDK’s low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) material and precise multilayer technology, resulting to the product’s low insertion loss of just 1dB, high attenuation of up to 30dB, and low group delay of only 0.25nsec. Thanks to its advanced terminal design, the new component is able to reliably suppress frequency fluctuations in the millimeter wave (mmWave) bands.

The new MMC Series, which measures in at just 2.5×2.0×0.9 mm, is thus ideally suited as a band-pass filter for these high frequencies and for the removal of spurious signals in the radio frequency (RF) transceiver circuits of 5G base stations and other mobile communication equipment. Samples of the customer-specific component are available and the MMC Series is ready for mass production.

TDK will further expand its lineup of filter products that support the growing range of wave bands in the millimeter range and provide multilayer band-pass filters with characteristics that satisfy circuit application needs of wireless communication devices.

Thanks for reading our January 2020 Preview issue