May 2021
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Asia Electronics Industry
May 2021 Volume 26, Serial No. 296

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 1940, Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., LTD. (TOK) recently celebrated a company milestone with its 80th founding anniversary. Headquartered in Kanagawa Prefecture, it has seven production bases in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the United States, and China and maintains sales offices in Shanghai, Singapore, and the Netherlands. The company has been deploying its businesses globally. At the back of its global activities is its “customer-centered strategy,” under which TOK pays attention to the requirements of the market where its customers are located and speedily provide services and solutions closely tailored to customer needs.

TOK manufactures and sells chemicals, such as photoresists and high-purity chemicals, which are indispensable for manufacturing semiconductors and displays, as well as manufacturing equipment for semiconductors and displays.

TOK secures top share of the global market for photoresists for manufacturing semiconductors. The company provides photoresists for g-line and i-line lithography and various photoresists for KrF and ArF excimer lasers that support nanometer region. It has added to its lineup photoresists for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography used for the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing to meet pressing market needs. At the same time, through collaboration with customers and joint-development organizations, TOK has been actively developing next-generation materials. The company also develops and provides materials in a wide range of fields, including black resists used for the manufacture of color filters of LCDs, semiconductor packages used in the post-process of semiconductor manufacturing; photoresists used for the manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS); and photoresists used for the manufacture of thin-film transistors (TFTs) used in display manufacturing.

AEI News
Joint Lab for Car Aircon System Rises in Shanghai
Wang Jun and Raita Fujimura exchange gifts at the opening ceremony
Wang Jun (right), President at Sanden Huayu, and Raita Fujimura (left), Chairman of ROHM Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., exchange gifts at the opening ceremony.
CHINA and JAPAN – ROHM Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and China’s largest maker of automotive air conditioners Sanden Huayu Automotive Airconditioning Co., Ltd. have opened a joint technology laboratory on automotive air conditioners. The new lab has been established at Sanden Huayu’s headquarters in Shanghai.

The two companies said the joint laboratory will be able to strengthen their partnership and drive further technical innovations in the automotive sector by providing power solutions that meet both customer needs and market trends.

Since 2018, ROHM and Sanden Huayu have carried out technical exchanges and collaborated on developing automotive applications equipped with advanced power devices, such as ROHM’s insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). As a result, electric compressors utilizing ROHM IGBT power devices and peripheral components have been in mass production since October 2020. This new joint laboratory contains several important equipment required for evaluating devices and automotive applications, primarily automotive air-conditioning systems.;

Special | Report
Component Technologies for 5G typography
Board Materials Evolve to Suit Emerging Technologies
Manufacturers are advancing the development of board materials to meet sophisticated demands for 5G and vehicle-to-everything applications, focusing on products that achieve high-grade functions and features.

apanese electronic materials manufacturers have been stepping up technological development of high-speed transmission materials that are required in fifth-generation (5G) communication standard and vehicle-to-everything (V2X). New products that satisfy low dielectric constant, low dielectric dissipation factor, and high heat resistance required for electronic components for 5G applications, as well as new grade products of existing materials have been developed and brought to the market one after another.

There has been increasing need for high-speed transmission amid the deployment of 5G, advancements in autonomous driving technologies, and roll-out of high-speed networking in industrial equipment. For this reason, manufacturers are obliged to develop electronic materials that satisfy needs for high-frequency millimeter wave (mmWave) compatibility, high-speed large-capacity transmission, and improved heat resistance.

Partnership to Expand Asia’s Automotive Battery Market

keleton Technologies and Marubeni Corporation have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to support commercial scale-up and customer acquisition for Skeleton’s SuperBattery in the Asian automotive sector. This key enabling technology allows to serve the fast-growing electrified vehicles and hydrogen transportation markets.

Complementary Technology
Skeleton Technologies is currently investing in technology development and scaling up a new product line for the automotive sector. The cooperation with Marubeni covers Asia, excluding China and India, and will offer new resources to commercialize Skeleton’s graphene-based SuperBattery. This new energy storage solution is the ideal complementary technology for lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, improving overall system efficiency and performance.

Special | Report
Component Technologies for 5G typography
Novel Graphene Manufacturing to Support Society 5.0
A research group has developed a low-cost manufacturing process of graphene with low environmental impact. THE graphene is grown on a hybrid SiC substrate and works in terahertz band, which is ideal for communications beyond 5G system.

ext-generation wireless communication systems beyond 5G will be the foundation of infrastructure for future society — a society that is comfortable to everyone, in which all necessary goods and services reach those who need them while ensuring sustainability. This defines Society 5.0 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) advocated by the United Nations.

In Japan, a research group composed of the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and others has invented an innovative method for manufacturing graphene used for ultra-fast devices with low environmental impact. The group has made it possible to reduce the manufacturing cost to less than 1/100 while maintaining the highest level of quality. Furthermore, by overcoming the weaknesses of conventional graphene devices, it will enable commercialization of devices that operate in the terahertz band, which is indispensable for “Beyond 5G”.

Special | Report
Component Technologies for 5G
Quartz Crystal Device Propels Expansion of 5G
Quartz crystal devices are key components to ensure accurate operation of 5G base stations and terminals. Nihon Dempa Kogyo has developed one of the smallest-size OCXOs at 7×5mm for base station and support high operating temperature, while the crystal oscillator supports 76.8MHz and satisfies the requirement of 5G terminals.

uartz crystal devices can be found in all electronic devices and function as a key element that support the accurate operation of devices. It serves as a reference for communication and clock frequencies and is required to oscillate in stable and highly accurate manner for every frequency. As 5G commercial services have begun, 5G base stations have been developed at a rapid pace, and 5G compatible terminals have been released one after another. Accordingly, the demand for quartz crystal devices has been expanding for both base stations and terminals.

Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co. Ltd. provides quartz crystal devices for both base stations and terminals. For base stations, the company has developed an oven controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO), which is one of the smallest class size of 7×5mm, supports maximum operating temperature up to +95°C, and therefore is ideal for small base stations (Photo 1). For terminals, mass production of a 76.8MHz crystal oscillator with a built-in thermistor has started. With these product offerings for base stations and terminals, the company aims to contribute to the spread and expansion of 5G mobile communications.

Special | Report
Connector Technologies
IRISO Electronics Hurdles High-Speed Transmission in Floating Technology
In a period where IoT and 5G are mainstream technologies, ultrahigh-speed transmission will be the minimum standard. Leveraging its expertise in floating connectors, IRISO Electronics has took on the challenge of integrating floating technology and high-speed transmission in this new development.

dvanced technologies, like fifth-generation (5G) communication and internet of things (IoT) have become mainstream. Specifically, 5G’s ultrahigh-speed and real-time communication features of large capacity data have eliminated challenges in communication speeds and unrealiable connection. Connectors for 5G devices are required to secure stable connection in order to transmit multiple signals at high speeds.

IRISO Electronics Co., Ltd. is a specialized manufacturer of connectors incorporated in electronic devices. The company’s mainstay products include board-to-board connectors that connect between boards inside set equipment.

EnerCera Battery Powers Maintenance-Free IoT Devices

he presence of internet of things (IoT) devices in every nook and cranny of a society is key to achieving Society 5.0, a concept widely accepted in Japan which refers to “a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space”. This makes maintenance-free IoT devices essential, operating wirelessly and employing independent power without the need for battery replacement. Toward this goal, various energy harvesting technologies and wireless power transfer (WPT) technologies have been developed.

Meanwhile, advancement in edge processing in IoT devices, like edge artificial intelligence (AI), leads to larger power consumption during operation. As a solution to this problem, NGK Insulators, Ltd. (NGK) is proposing wireless, independent power, and edge processing through the combination of energy-harvesting technology and its own EnerCera® chip-type ceramic rechargeable battery. The company is already working to combine energy-harvesting technologies of various principles.

Novel Parts, Materials for Factory Robots Gather Steam

actory automation (FA) equipment and industrial robots are attracting attention as among important fields that support the medium- to long-term growth of the electronic components and devices market. Electronic components manufacturers have been stepping up the development of products that meet next-generation needs with FA equipment and industrial robots for which downsizing, performance enhancement, and networking advance. Technological innovations of rechargeable batteries advance to meet downsizing and performance enhancement of high-functional mobile terminals, automobiles, and industrial equipment. In particular, development of lithium ion batteries and all-solid-state batteries for automobiles and industrial equipment targeting practical use has been accelerating.

Components Technologies for FA Equipment, Industrial Robots
The continuing advancement in manufacturing and growing demand for automation to promote labor-saving measures have propelled the growth of FA equipment and industrial robots and this trend will continue in the long term. New trends with keywords of connected industry and Society 5.0 enhance added values of manufacturing equipment and systems, creating new demand for components.

Large-Capacity Solid-State Battery Eyes Space Applications

itachi Zosen Corporation has unveiled an all-solid-state battery featuring large capacity of 1000mAh, making a significant headway in capacity from 140mAh of the previous model. The company eyes its use in fields wherein environment resistance is required, such as aerospace and industrial machinery.

Suits Usage in Broad Industry Range
The company’s AS-LiB all-solid-state lithium ion battery is a sulfide-based all-solid-state battery that features high safety and a wide temperature range. It adopts a flame-retardant solid electrolyte and attains high safety. It has a wide operating temperature range of -40 to +100℃, enabling it to be used in various industries.

The 140mAh product measures 52.0×65.5mm with a thickness of 2.7mm as basic size. The company offers the 1000mAh product in 67.0×65.0mm, with a thickness of 12.0mm, and also offers shape customization.

Solid-State Lithium Batteries Show Potential as Powerful, Clean Energy Source

n a groundbreaking discovery, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Tohoku University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Nippon Institute of Technology found out that the key to realizing high-capacity solid-state lithium batteries is a clean electrolyte/electrode interface. Their findings could pave the way for improved batteries with increased capacity, stability, and safety for both mobile devices and electric vehicles.

Disadvantages of Liquid-Based Battery
Liquid lithium ion batteries can be found in majority of mobile devices being used daily. While they possess a fair share of advantages, liquid-based batteries carry notable risks as well. This has become clear to the public in recent years after reports of smartphones bursting into flames due to design errors, which caused the battery’s liquid electrolyte to leak and catch fire.

Component | Materials

Multi-Layer Circuit Board Material Suits Millimeter-Wave Antennas

The new multi-layer circuit board material from Panasonic highlights low transmission loss, promoting better efficiency of millimeter-wave antenna signals in 5G communication.

mid the expansion of fifth-generation mobile communication systems, Panasonic Corporation Industrial Solutions Company has brought to market the R-5410 halogen-free ultra-low transmission loss multi-layer circuit board material suitable for millimeter-wave (mmWave) antennas.

Diagram of the R-5410 circuit board connecting to a wireless base station antenna
The R-5410 halogen-free multi-layer circuit board material is suitable for mmWave antennas.
mmWave is a specific type of radar technology that employs short-wavelength electromagnetic waves. Radar systems transmit signals and receive signals reflected by objects in their path. By processing the reflected signal, a radar system can determine the range, velocity and angle of the objects. mmWave radar is a key technology for automotive, telecommunications and other industries. These systems form the basis for driving environment recognition platforms, which enable advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) technology.
Component | Materials

Temperature-Resistant Sidefill Bolsters Surface Mount Assembly

Panasonic’s sidefill was designed to prevent solder cracking by reinforcing the periphery of large semiconductor packages of automotive electronics.

o improve both the reliability and productivity of automotive electronic assemblies, Panasonic Corporation has brought to market the CV5797U temperature-resistant sidefill for surface mount assembly applications.

Automotive electronics need to operate reliably under severe conditions like shock, vibration, and extreme operating temperatures. As automotive sensing, control, and communications have become increasingly sophisticated and powerful, the electronic systems enabling them are becoming more complicated; semiconductor packages are getting larger, interconnects are getting smaller and system designers are packing more components on every square millimeter of circuit board real estate. As a result of the increased component density, semiconductor packages are subject to greater thermal stresses over their operational lifetime which fatigues the interconnect joints, leading to solder cracking and ultimately to device failure.

Component | Materials

Zeon Starts Full-Scale Development of Adhesives for Separators

The new adhesive for lithium ion battery separators helps improve the speed of manufacturing process and battery productivity, lowering cost of batteries.

eon Corporation has started full-scale development of AFL adhesive for lithium ion battery (LIB) separators, which significantly contributes to lowering the cost of lithium ion batteries. Featuring longer life, it is being increasingly adopted as a technology to solve the problems of pouch-type lithium ion batteries.

The company has been promoting the practical application of the technology, in which an adhesive layer is formed on a LIB separator with the electrodes and the separator closely fitted to each other, thus forming a wound body. Recently, the company has started its full-scale development as the technology for maintaining the distance between electrodes, which is an important issue of pouch-type cells or batteries covered with aluminum pouch film, and for realizing longer life and lower cost of storage batteries.

Component | Materials

Eyeing Micro LEDs, Sumitomo Bakelite Creates Photosensitive Materials

To accommodate various applications, the company integrated enhanced functions to the photosensitive insulating materials to improve design freedom.

umitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. has developed the SUMIRESIN EXCEL CRX Series photosensitive materials for mini and micro LED displays, and is now in the process of product verification by display manufacturers.

The company started mass production of the first positive-tone photosensitive semiconductor-wafer coat resin (SUMIRESIN EXCEL CRC Series) in 1997 and has posted record sales for more than 20 years. In this latest development, the company tapped the photosensitive and insulating material technology to design a new material and developed the CRX Series for micro LED displays.

Mini and micro LED displays are being targeted as next-generation displays suitable for outdoor displays and augmented reality (AR) glasses due to their features, such as high brightness and high contrast. Their full-scale mass production is expected to begin around 2022.


PCB Inspection Equipment Makers Expand 3D Lineup

Following the demand for higher-density PCBs, manual inspection of boards is no longer advisable. Manufacturers focused on the promotion of 3D inspection systems and now, have been expanding their lineup with better functions.

n an effort to attract new customers and pump up their businesses, printed circuit boards (PCB) inspection equipment manufacturers have been adopting diverse strategies. These include market introduction of new three-dimensional (3D) inspection systems, improvement of functions and cultivation of new application fields. On the back of this endeavor is the expansion of demand for PCB inspection systems resulting from the trends toward higher-density printed circuits, zero contact work and automation amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and diversification of market needs.

Rexxam Co., Ltd.’s SPI 3D inspection system at NEPCON Japan, which was held in January
A growing number of companies venture in SPI systems (Rexxam Co., Ltd.’s SPI system at NEPCON Japan held in January).
Conventionally, PCB inspections in the mounting process were mostly conducted through manual visual inspection. However, with the trend toward increasing density of PCBs, including miniaturization and finer wiring of components to be mounted, visual inspection by people has become difficult, and labor costs have also increased, making PCB inspection systems indispensable.

Research Achieves Less Surface Strain for Functional Films


he research group of Tokyo Institute of Technology led by Professor Atsushi Shishido and University of Tokyo led by Professor Junichi Takeya have developed a simple method for measuring surface strain[1] of functional films[2]. By attaching a grating[3] that diffracts light to the surface of a film, the group easily and quantitatively measured the surface strain due to bending of a film. The flexible film designed by employing the measurement method has more than 60 percent less surface strain than conventional films. With this film, the group has achieved a hard coating film[4] and a flexible transistor[5] that do not break even when bent.

Flexible electronic devices such as organic electroluminescent (EL) smartphones with curved screens are developed by stacking electronic components and sensors on a film. However, there has been no simple method for measuring the surface strain that causes device destruction. The new method is expected to accelerate the future development of foldable smartphones.

Test Verifies Data Calls With 5G mmWave, Sub-6GHz

ualcomm Technologies, Inc. has completed 5G data calls combining millimeter wave (mmWave) with frequency division duplex (FDD) or time division duplex (TDD) sub-6GHz spectrum by utilizing 5G Standalone (SA) mode Dual Connectivity.

Using the fourth-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System and Qualcomm QTM545 mmWave Antenna Module inside a smartphone form-factor device, Qualcomm Technologies’ engineers first aggregated 5G sub-6GHz FDD with 28GHz mmWave spectrum, then 5G sub-6GHz TDD with 39GHz mmWave spectrum, demonstrating Snapdragon X65’s ability to aggregate low-, mid-, and high-band across key global combinations.

Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager 4G/5G at Qualcomm Technologies said, “These milestones combine the massive bandwidth of mmWave with the coverage of sub-6GHz FDD or TDD bands, enabling consumers and enterprises across the globe to make the most of 5G networks and devices, especially in traditionally congested, bandwidth-hungry spaces.”

Tin Sulfide Poises as Cleaner Alternative to Solar Cell Materials

research group at the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University has manufactured a pn homojunction tin sulfide solar cell and achieved a high open circuit voltage for the first time.

The expansive use of clean energy is one of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that has been attracting attention in recent years. To achieve this, it is essential to develop next-generation solar panels to replace cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells, which contain rare metals and harmful elements. As tin sulfide (II) does not contain any rare metals or harmful elements and is composed only of abundant safe elements, it is being tapped as material for clean next-generation solar panels.

Latest Motor Controllers Suit EV, HEV Applications

o address the growing need to withstand higher temperature range in automotive applications, TDK Corporation has expanded its Micronas embedded motor controller portfolio. In particular, the HVC 4222F and HVC 4422F were developed for operating smart actuators in applications with ambient temperature requirements of up to 150°C.

HVC 4222F offers 32k flash memory while the HVC 4422F comes with 64k flash for more complex software implementations. These high temperature devices target applications in combustion vehicle drive trains, and emerging thermal management systems in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Diverse Features, Benefits
TDK has already started sample shipment of the latest motor controller portfolio with mass production expected in Q2 of 2021. The new high temperature devices are part of the automotive-grade, motor controller family for LIN bus connected actuators. The HVC 4xxxF family integrates an Arm standard microprocessor with six independent 500mA half-bridge drivers and a wide range of additional functions to enable compact and cost-efficient motor-control applications. They can drive small stepper, brushed (BDC) and brushless (BLDC) motors in applications with power requirements up to 1A peak current.

Alps Alpine Markets 5G NR Module for Automotive With C-V2X

ifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technology featuring ultra-fast speeds, ultra-low latency and mass connectivity has a vital role to play within communications infrastructure of future society. The automotive industry is well poised to benefit from the technology given the major transformation already underway characterized by the connectivity, autonomous, shared & services and electrification (CASE) trends. Used in combination with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) systems that give vehicles the capability to communicate and interact with everything around them, such as road infrastructure, other vehicles and pedestrians, 5G is expected to contribute to greater sophistication of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI); for example, real-time integration of traffic conditions into navigation applications and instant downloading of high-definition video to watch on a cabin display. It will also spur integration of internet of things (IoT) technology that will improve the efficiency of car maintenance and inspections by keeping an eye on the condition of a vehicle via a range of different sensors. One highly anticipated application is in enabling functions essential for fully autonomous driving that existing V2X systems have been unable to sufficiently support, such as adjusting speed in response to traffic signals and other vehicles on the road.

Core Segments to Drive Growth of Connector Business

o ensure growth of its connector business, Hirose Electric Co., Ltd. targets to deeply penetrate three business pillars namely automobiles, industrial equipment, and consumer electronics.

In the consumer electronics market, the company will continue to focus on smartphones, tablet computers, and wearable devices, the demand for these segments have been growing steadily. In the industrial equipment field, Hirose Electric will focus on industrial Ethernet market centering on factory automation (FA) applications.

In automotive electronics, the company will take advantage of the electric vehicle segment, which has been growing exponentially despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this field, Hirose Electric will also focus on providing connectors that will suit autonomous driving vehicles.

Hybrid Technology Offers Battery-Free Solution for IoT Devices

MK Corporation has created a hybrid technology that combines two kinds of power supply systems: an energy harvesting technology that converts renewable energy into electricity and far-field wireless power transfer (WPT) technology using sub-gigahertz microwaves, which is attracting attention as a next-generation energy source.

Different from the proximity (near-field) WPT systems that are already in practical use for charging mobile devices, the far-field WPT system enables power transmission to a distant location (about 5 meters) using radio waves.

The new hybrid solution enables battery-free remote controls, sensors, and other internet of things (IoT) devices, and solves IoT technology issues, like battery replacement, running costs, and battery disposal. The two individual power supply systems can also be used independently.

Business | Strategy
Digi-Key Propels Innovations to Defy Industry Challenges

he coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has inflicted havoc to wide range of industries and markets globally. Although the dreaded virus remains, the global economy is seen to recover slowly from last year’s deep recession.

The pandemic however has pushed technologies to advance further, paving the way for many products and solutions across industries to increase the pace of upgrade. Digi-Key Electronics has been lending out a hand to manufacturers to continue fuel their innovation and provide their high-mix and low-volume production needs.

In this interview with AEI, Tony Ng, Vice President of Business Development, APAC, at Digi-Key Electronics, disclosed how advancements in internet of things (IoT) are spurring innovative solutions and growth of wireless modules and discrete solutions. Furthermore, Ng also shared some strategies on how the company coped up with various challenges that have clobbered the industry recently.

Tony Ng, Vice  President of Business Development, APAC, Digi-Key Electronics
Tony Ng, Vice President of Business Development, APAC, Digi-Key Electronics
Business | Strategy
NICHICON Anticipates Robust Capacitor Market in China

ICHICON Electronics Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. is one of the sales bases of NICHICON Corporation that covers the Chinese market and will celebrate its 20th founding anniversary in June. It mainly covers east China and is also in charge of north China and part of south China. It has met bullish demand of China as the factory of the world for aluminum electrolytic capacitors, conductive polymer aluminum solid electrolytic capacitors, conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors, film capacitors, and switching power supplies.

From his initial post at NICHICON Electronics Trading (Shanghai) in 2012, Kohei Shimura became its president in Sept. 2020. Shimura says, “We have watched the market closely to keep pace with China’s remarkable growth, and met customers’ demands on point. As a result, sales of NICHICON Electronics Trading (Shanghai) in FY2020 increased 1.6-fold from sales in FY2012. We will continue meeting China’s increasing demand for capacitors and power supplies targeting to double sales from FY2012 as early as possible.”

Kohei Shimura, President, NICHICON Electronics Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Kohei Shimura, President, NICHICON Electronics Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Chinese Consortium Eyes to Acquire Magnachip

orea-based display power and power management IC Magnachip Semiconductor Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement with South Dearborn Limited and Michigan Merger Sub, Inc. The two companies are investment vehicles of Chinese private equity fund company Wise Road Capital LTD, which intends to buy the assets of Magnachip valued at US$1.4 billion.

Magnachip will sell off its stocks at a price of US$29.00 per share. The share price valuation is a 75 percent premium to its 3-month volume-weighted average share price and a 54 percent premium to the unaffected closing stock price on March 2, 2021.

nichicon logo
SLB Series Small Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries next to pen for reference
SLB Series Small Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
Using lithium titanate (LTO) for anode, the SLB Series small lithium-ion rechargeable batteries from NICHICON Corporation have achieved high-rate (20C at the maximum) rapid charge/discharge performance and high input/output density close to that of electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs). They also have durability to enable more than tens of thousands cycles at high rate, and low temperature characteristics to enable operation at -30℃. The deposition of lithium metal, which causes short circuit and deterioration, is difficult to occur, hence the risk of ignition and fume is very low, and the batteries are very safe.
COMPANY | On the MOve
Pandemic Stirs FUJI to Build up Unorthodox Business

UJI Corporation’s new businesses dealing with transfer support robots and deliver locker system have been steadily expanding. To expand sales channels, FUJI has showcased these products in exhibitions and industries of different fields than exhibitions of mounters and industrial robots, in which the company used to take part.

FUJI positions as flagship business its robot solution centering on mounters, and machine tool business.

In response to Japan’s growing shortage of healthcare personnel, particularly caregivers, FUJI introduced a transfer support robot in Apr. 2016. Subsequently, the company has released new models and expanded the business. The new model Hug T1-02 released in Oct. 2019 received Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry Award at The 9th Robot Award co-organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Shinsuke Suhara headshot
Shinsuke Suhara, President & Chief Operating Officer, FUJI Corporation
COMPANY | On the MOve
Nippon Avionics Sets Sights on EV Motor, Battery Markets

ippon Avionics Co., Ltd. has released a new inverter-type resistance welder, which heats the material using its resistance heat generated by sandwiching the material with welding electrodes. The company targets motors of electric vehicle (EVs) and batteries for the new resistance welder, and eyes Chinese, Japanese and European markets for its release says Akihiko Araya, Executive Officer at Nippon Avionics.

Compatible with High-Frequency
An inverter-type resistance welder controls output at high speed and passes current through the workpieces. The higher the control frequency, the less likely weld spatter occurs during welding, and hence, needs for high-frequency-compatible welders have been increasing.

NRW-IN400PA has input frequency of 5kHz, which can be switched to 2kHz and 4kHz. It controls an inverter through repeated On/Off switching of current. Nippon Avionics has thoroughly reviewed the design using insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) power semiconductor and improved on the weakness of high-frequency welder, such that current does not rise easily. The new resistance welder achieved a maximum output current of 8,000A.

Display, Equipment Makers Ramp up Micro LED Development

onsidered as post organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, micro light-emitting diode (LED) displays are being adopted for practical use. With the development of new manufacturing processes, such as the application of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS), the demand for manufacturing equipment is expected to expand.

Micro LEDs adopt a display method that lays ultrasmall LEDs in the micrometer order. They are self-emitting displays wherein individual LEDs emit light and produce colors and do not require backlight and color filters. As each RGB element is separately controlled, they can accurately express all colors with high brightness level. They exhibit higher brightness, lower power consumption, and longer life compared with liquid crystal and OLED displays.

The market scale of micro LEDs is forecast to grow at an annual growth rate of 89.3 percent, from US$490 million in 2020 to US$18.835 billion in 2026, according to Global Information, Inc. (Aug. 2020). They are expected to create and expand new demand for manufacturing equipment.

AIST Rolls Out Joint Research on SiC Wafer Production


he National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has started a large-scale joint research on the manufacture of silicon carbide (SiC) for next-generation power electronics together with 17 companies, including wafer manufacturers, and three public organizations. With this initiative, AIST targets to establish low-cost mass-production technologies.

In Search for Mass Production Technology
Power semiconductors are used in a wide range of fields, including power generation and transmission systems that control large power; factory automation (FA) equipment; automobiles and railway cars; information and communication equipment; and home electric appliances.

Conventionally, power semiconductors that use silicon (Si) have been mainstream. To achieve low carbon emission, SiC-based power semiconductors with low energy loss have been tapped, reflecting increasing demand for SiC-based power semiconductors for electric vehicles (EVs). However, SiC requires so much time and cost for the growth of single crystals and processing of wafers.

TDK Drives Reverberation Chambers for Next-Gen Vehicles

he recent attention being received by reverberation chambers can be attributed to their ability to simulate actual electromagnetic environment and evaluate electromagnetic susceptibility in the immunity test to examine effects of external electromagnetic waves on electronic devices. TDK Corporation developed reverberation chamber in 2018 and has been delivering them since 2020. Anticipating advancement in the development of nextgeneration vehicles, the company focuses efforts on reverberation chambers.

A reverberation chamber is a darkroom, wherein effects of electromagnetic waves to electronic devices are tested by reflecting them on a mechanical stirring machine (stirrer) and inner walls.

Fractal Shape of Stirrer
TDK delivered a reverberation chamber to the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) laboratory of Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA), which it established in Tokyo exclusively for on-board equipment testing. It started operation in January.

productronica China 2021
Industrial Robots Capture Attention at Equipment Show

he renewed agility of the Chinese manufacturing industry was clearly shown at productronica China 2021 which drew 77,000 visitors on site, building up a new demand momentum for the coming months.

productronica China 2021 is an exhibition of manufacturing equipment held in March in Shanghai and organized by Messe München GmbH.

Recovered Market as Backdrop
Following the government’s success in combating the novel coronavirus, China’s manufacturing industry recovered from June 2020. At present, production activities at electronics-related industries have surpassed the pre-pandemic level, as well as those for domestic demand. This is visible particularly in electronics for electric vehicles (EVs), fifth-generation (5G) communications, and production automation. The manufacturing equipment market, including mounters, has also been expanding.

Yamaha Vehicle Module Assures Reduced Carbon Footprint

sing automotive exhaust gas heat energy to generate power, Yamaha Corporation was able to develop the YGPX024 thermoelectric power generation (TEG) module, which it said one of the largest and most powerful of its kind at present. The module generates electricity using temperature differences between the top and bottom surfaces and offers high power density with an enlarged footprint of 143×103mm, which has been difficult to achieve before.

Yamaha already started sampling sales of the module last March.

Hybrid vehicles and EVs have become a new trend in the automobile industry, while new energy and dispersed power sources are becoming popular power supply measures. Yamaha has a long history of producing thermoelectric cooler modules for optical communication networks, such as in fifth-generation (5G) standard, and has adapted its knowledge, experience, and proprietary technology to develop the YGPX024 TEG module, which it expects to contribute to reduced carbon footprint.

NEPCON China 2021
ASM Displays Integrated Smart Factory in Action

y integrating hardware and software solutions for an integrated smart factory, ASM Assembly Systems highlighted at NEPCON China 2021 its latest generation of the high-performance SIPLACE TX micron placement machine for advanced packaging and high-density applications, along with smart ASM factory solutions that synchronize all production resources for optimized performance. In the ‘Experience Area’, ASM allowed its visitors to saw the advantages of automated, AIV-supported material logistics and experienced how smart operator pools work much more efficiently and reliably with guidance from ASM Command Center software and state-of-the-art augmented reality techniques.

“The Chinese market and volume-driven factories are extremely demanding in terms of performance, quality and efficiency. At the NEPCON trade show in Shanghai we brought to life the immense progress we have made in the integrated smart factory,” explains Herbert Hofmann, Vice President and Managing Director ASM Assembly Systems China at ASM.

ASM Academy Online Training Gets Industry Recognition

SM Academy online training resource by ASM Assembly Systems has received Circuits Assembly magazine’s NPI Award. Declared the winner in the Training Materials category, ASM Academy has effectively set the benchmark for deep on-demand digital learning experiences, enabling skills development for thorough equipment and software management and maintenance.

ASM Academy is a modular, multi-sensory interactive virtual training portfolio, provides scheduling flexibility and addresses various learning styles. High-resolution graphics, animation, step-by-step coaching, video instruction and tutorials deliver a robust learning experience in a customizable format that currently contains over 150 modules supporting more than a dozen SIPLACE placement and DEK stencil printing equipment platforms and software programs. ASM Academy is presently available in four languages (English, German, Chinese and Spanish) with more coming, and several of the technical modules offer virtual reality (VR) hands-on features for a realistic experience.

Product | News
Semiconductors & ICs
MM3852 Series Protection IC
by Mitsumi Electric
MM3852 Series Protection IC
Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd. has developed the MM3852 Series of protection ICs for single cell lithium ion and lithium polymer secondary batteries. It has a built-in temperature protection function through an NTC thermistor, improving the accuracy of the overvoltage detection and increasing the chargeable range. It also has a built-in function for the cell over-charge, over-discharge, and over-current protection. This small and low-profile device makes it suitable for smartphones and tablets, wearable devices including wireless earphones, and other mobile devices.
Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd.
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