September 2019
Asia Electronics Industry
September 2019 Volume 24, Serial No. 276
ASM Prods Smart
Novel LC Tape
Comprehensive Packaging
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: +63-2-845-0906 Fax: +63-2-845-1829

President & Publisher: Tsutomu Hirayama
Copyright © 2019 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

he Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) held the 3rd Cebu Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition (CSECE) at the Radisson Blu in Cebu on July 30 to 31, in partnership with Knowles Electronics Philippines Co. and Aboitiz Power Corporation. On August 1, the organization also convened at the Mactan Shangri-La for its General Membership Meeting (GMM).

The CSECE is a regional version of the Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition (PSECE) held annually in Manila. Its thrusts are: (1) to enable business through exhibits, business matching meetings and product presentations; (2) to tackle issues in the legislative and regulatory environment that affect the ease of doing business in the Philippines; and (3) to identify opportunities for research collaborations between academic institutions (SEIPI’s Affiliate Members) and the industry (SEIPI’s Regular and Associate Members).

September 2019 Cover Photo

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) and its partners grace the cover of AEI September: (from left to right) Ernesto Engalla, Chairman, SEIPI Visayas & Mindanao, Managing Director, Duck-il Korea Inc.; Engr. Luis Cabatingan, Officer, University of San Carlos; Dr. Napoleon Juanillo, Founder and Convenor, Institute for Research, Innovation, and Scholarship (IRIS); Dan Lachica, President, SEIPI; and Joseph Liwag, Vice President and Managing Director, Knowles Electronics Philippines Co.

Notable highlights in the CSECE include the keynote address of Philippine Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles; technology trends from Joseph Liwag of Knowles Electronics Philippines Co. and Lilith Montayre of On Semiconductor Philippines Inc.; developments in the energy industry from James Byron Yu of Aboitiz Power; and the industry-academe linkage propositions presented by Richard Abendan of the Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) of USAID Philippines; Dr. Napoleon Juanillo of the Institute for Research, Innovation, and Scholarship (IRIS); Luis Cabatingan of the University of San Carlos (USC); and Dr. Ruth Cabahug of the University of Science & Technology in the Southern Philippines (USTP).

AEI News
Applied Materials Acquires Kokusai Electric
UNITED STATES and JAPAN – Applied Materials, Inc. has moved to acquire all outstanding shares of Kokusai Electric Corporation for US$2.2 billion in cash tender from global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR). Kokusai Electric provides high productivity batch processing systems and services for memory, foundry, and logic customers and would complement Applied Materials’ leadership portfolio in single-wafer processing systems.

Kokusai Electric has strong customer relationships, world-class supply chain and manufacturing capabilities in Japan and Asia, and a talented team of employees.

Following the close of the transaction, Kokusai Electric will operate as a business unit of Applied Materials’ Semiconductor Products Group and continue to be based in Tokyo, with technology and manufacturing centers in Toyama, Japan and Cheonan, Korea.;

JSR Breaks Ground for New IC Materials Facility

UNITED STATES and JAPAN – JSR Micro Corporation has expanded the company’s semiconductor materials manufacturing capabilities and capacity as it has started the construction of its new state-of-the-art facility in Hillsboro, Oregon in United States. The project is estimated to cost US$100 million and is scheduled to start operations in 2020.

The new facility will have a complete manufacturing suite including quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC), engineering, and advanced process control capabilities. The site will work in conjunction with JSR’s local R&D team to quickly address issues and provide solutions for future technology requirements.

In recent year, the importance of advanced cleans has increased due to the complexity of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes and the need for continual improvement in defectivity control.

productronica India 2019
ASM Prods Smart SMT Systems at India’s Assembly Sites

SM Assembly Systems gives weight on key central workflows of its Integrated Smart SMT Factory concept when it takes part at productronica India from Sept. 25 to 27. The company’s line of integrated hardware and software systems enable electronics manufacturers to achieve massive improvements in flexibility, quality and productivity in areas ranging from planning and virtual production to process optimization, preparation and production to material management, factory monitoring, and factory integration.

A surface mount technology (SMT) line with two variants of the new SIPLACE TX high-end modules will demonstrate the assembly of super small 0201m components, and the printing process on this line will be controlled and optimized with the ASM ProcessExpert, the first self-learning inline expert system for electronics production. Another live presentation of operator guidance software will demonstrate how many more lines can be supported with significantly fewer people.

electronica India 2019
Nichicon Poises to Meet India’s Power Device Requirements

ichicon Corporation plans to increase sales in India in FY2019 to 1.6-fold of the previous year.

Nichicon positions India as highest priority market, where it sells components for consumer equipment; motorbikes; industrial equipment, such as inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), pumps, motors, and manufacturing equipment; and smart meters, in addition to its mainstay aluminum electrolytic capacitors and DC/DC converters. Nichicon expands sales of small lithium ion rechargeable batteries, which are new products, for internet of things (IoT), wearable, and battery-driven devices.

Positions India as Highest Priority Market
Masanobu Seki, Operating Officer and General Manager, Capacitor Business Headquarters, says, “In FY2019, among Asian countries, the growth of India is the greatest. India has the world’s second largest population of 1.3 billion and is the third largest economy in Asia. Therefore, India is the highest priority market for our company at present and will remain so in the future. We have a sales company in Bangalore, and representative office in Delhi and Pune, and with the support from local staff, agencies around the globe, and Nichicon (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., a sales company in Singapore, we have firmly met India’s growing demand for capacitors, lithium ion rechargeable batteries and power supplies.”

In particular, the Indian government imposed in April 2018 a 10 percent duty on imports of populated printed circuit boards (PCBs) for air conditioners, camera modules and connectors under its Make in India program. This greatly changed the supply chain from importing populated PCBs from China and other countries, to directly getting components locally, where they are mounted onto printed board as printed circuit assemblies. With this, the demand for both mounters and components increased in India.

electronica India 2019

n its capacitor business, Nichicon Corporation has been focusing on the power electronics field and the internet of things (IoT) market, tapping its lithium ion rechargeable batteries as a new business. Leveraging its high technological expertise and reliability, the company has been endeavoring to expand sales of capacitors mainly for inverter application in photovoltaic power generation and wind power generation systems, electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid vehicles (HVs), and railroad cars, as well as in industrial equipment, and white goods. In its Nichicon Energy-Control System Technology (NECST) Business, the company introduces the EV Power Station power grid-connected vehicle-to-home (V2H) systems, which can supply electricity from EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), the market of which has been expanding worldwide, to grids, buildings, and homes.

Small Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries
Small Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries Feature Rapid Charging, Long Life, and Safety

Nichicon has developed small lithium ion rechargeable batteries that enable rapid charging and discharging and feature long life and high safety by applying Toshiba Corporation’s SCiBTM rechargeable battery technology. Leveraging its manufacturing technology for a variety of wound-type products nurtured in the production of aluminum electrolytic capacitors, the company offers in its lineup lead-wire-type products that range in size from a diameter of 3mm and a length of 7mm to a diameter of 12.5mm and a length of 40mm.

In Focus
Leveraging Group Strength, NF to Pitch One-Stop Solutions
Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman of the Board & Group Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation
Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman of the Board & Group Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation

ounded in 1959, NF Corporation started business with high-precision negative feedback control technology, which was not widely used in Japan yet.

Since its founding, NF’s original technologies have expanded to a broad range of fields from leading-edge electronics, such as automobiles and digital home electric appliances, nano technology, and environment energy, to space-related products, such as artificial satellites and rockets.

From April to June (Q1 of FY2020), NF posted higher consolidated earnings and profits. The group management strategy, which the company has been cultivating, has begun to produce results.

Step up Efforts in New Businesses
NF posted year-on-year double-digit increases in consolidated income and profit, in Q1 of the term ending March 2020. It posted sales of ¥2.889 billion, an increase of 36.1 percent, operating profit of ¥187 million, an increase of 24.6 percent, recurring profit of ¥191 million, an increase of 27.7 percent, and current net profit of ¥121 million, an increase of 30.5 percent.

In Focus
Leveraging Group Strength, NF to Pitch One-Stop Solutions

ounded in 1959, NF Corporation started business with high-precision negative feedback control technology, which was not widely used in Japan yet.

Since its founding, NF’s original technologies have expanded to a broad range of fields from leading-edge electronics, such as automobiles and digital home electric appliances, nano technology, and environment energy, to space-related products, such as artificial satellites and rockets.

From April to June (Q1 of FY2020), NF posted higher consolidated earnings and profits. The group management strategy, which the company has been cultivating, has begun to produce results.

Step up Efforts in New Businesses
NF posted year-on-year double-digit increases in consolidated income and profit, in Q1 of the term ending March 2020. It posted sales of ¥2.889 billion, an increase of 36.1 percent, operating profit of ¥187 million, an increase of 24.6 percent, recurring profit of ¥191 million, an increase of 27.7 percent, and current net profit of ¥121 million, an increase of 30.5 percent.

Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman of the Board & Group Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation
Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman of the Board & Group Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation
NF Steps up Efforts in New Inverter Business

F will step up efforts to meet the demands of electronic measuring instruments and power supply systems, and Hardware-in-the-Loop-Simulation (HILS) field. NF has made existing businesses stronger by merging the strengths of its group companies. At the same time, the company’s efforts and the development of products in new markets, such as life science, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), toward the future, have begun to produce results. Among them, the inverter business for the energy storage systems in partnership with ITOCHU Corp. has already produced significant results.

ITOCHU focuses attention on energy storage systems, which constitute a core system for distributed energy. Since 2013, the company has been selling a compact, large-capacity home-use lithium ion storage battery system, which was jointly developed with NF, in Japan.

The latest model, SmartStar L has a rated capacity of 9.8kWh, which is enough to enable the system to supply power for approximately one day to a standard household with power consumption of about 10kWh. The system also comes with a function to operate 200V equipment, such as an air conditioner, even in the event of power failure, or during isolated operation of the system. Furthermore, ITOCHU also collaborates with Moixa Energy Holding, a British venture company, in the sales of GridShare platform technology software, in which AI technologies, including machine learning, are adopted in storage battery for general households. The software operates optimum control of distributed energy systems.

NF Logo
DP Series AC Power Source
DP Series AC Power Source
A powerful and reliable AC power source

The DP Series has performance and functions required of a power supply while meeting various needs.

  • It has stable output with capacitive and inductive loads, and covers a variety of applications with high robustness.
  • Both conduction noise and radiation noise are very low, making it ideal as a power source for an anechoic chamber.
  • Single-phase 1.5kVA to three-phase 144kVA models are available.
  • Meets regeneration/reverse power flow requirement (DP Series Type R)
  • Various peripherals and software for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)/other application testing system are available.
BP Series Power Supply
BP Series Power Supply
Wide output range and various application

The BP Series works as a power supply for testing automotive electrical and electronic components, such as motor, solenoid, and large capacitors, and as an electronic load for testing power supplies or batteries.

  • Wide range voltage output: ±60V (max. ±115V by shifting the range)
  • 10 Models: ±10 to ±100A
  • High speed: DC to 150kHz
  • Two-mode selectable, constant voltage (CV)/constant current (CC)
  • Response calibration function
  • Voltage/current limiter, measurement function
Semicon Taiwan
Smart Innovations to Offer Respite Amid Gloomy Chip Market

EMICON Taiwan 2019 will run from Sept. 18 to 20 in Taipei on the backdrop of a gloomy picture of the global semiconductor industry ecosystem.

Big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), smart manufacturing, and autonomous driving are opening up huge opportunities for the whole semiconductor ecosystem from chipmakers to equipment and raw material makers.

Trailblazers in the industry will again convene at SEMICON Taiwan in September.
Trailblazers in the industry will again convene at SEMICON Taiwan in September.
However, the U.S.-China trade war, trade frictions between Japan and Korea, and slower-than-expected penetration of 5G technology are combining to put a heavy weight on these market prospects, threatening to undermine the mid-and long-term growth of the global semiconductor industry.
Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Plasma Dicing Technology Poises for 5G, IoT Era
Panasonic proposes plasma dicing as an alternative option for chip dicing in addition to blade and laser dicing processes, and highlights the benefits of plasma dicing in terms of cutting efficiency and flexural strength of chips.

he society is now living in the era of internet of things (IoT), wherein things, such as devices equipped with various sensors and communication function, communicate with each other via the internet.

Against this backdrop, product trends of semiconductor devices that support IoT are expected to dramatically change in the coming years (Fig. 1).

Main IoT-related devices in an IoT society
Fig. 1: Main IoT-related devices in an IoT society
Device Product Trends in IoT

Small-size devices
IoT requires devices incorporated in mobile products and module components to become even smaller and thinner. For example, chip resistors incorporated in smartphones will be downsized to 0.2×0.1mm and smaller. For radio frequency identification (RFID) tag packages, the wafer thickness needs to be reduced from 50 to 30μm or thinner. Furthermore, these products are shipped in mass volume and are subject to severe price competition. Hence, an increase in the number of chips produced from a single wafer is also required.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Through Silicon Via Propels 3D Chip Integration
Recent trends of Electronics packaging point to 3D integration of TSV chip as a key enabler that meets the requirements of the future internet-of-everything society.

configuration in which chips are stacked in layers and interconnected vertically to a substrate such as a laminate or interposer is called three-dimensional (3D) packaging. The history of the 3D packaging dates back to the early 1990s. The first patent describes a 3D packaging configuration in which lead wires are used to interconnect the substrate from both ends of each chip stacked in four layers. After a while, due to advances in wire bonding technology, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. reported stacking of 16 chips in 2006 and Toshiba Corporation reported stacking of 33 chips in 2009.

Bonding wires using copper alternative to aluminum have been investigated and the diameter has been gradually reduced. However, the design for interconnection only from the peripheral portion of the chip remains unchanged. On the other hand, the flip chip bonding technology that can interconnect from the entire surface of the chip via solder bump array has greatly contributed to the development of the 3D packaging. Even now, research on fine-pitch bumping, on bump material, and on reliability analysis are reported frequently.

Recently, much attention has been given to fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP) technology that uses a resin wafer with chips embedded in an epoxy mold compound (EMC) to improve the performance of the holistic system. In this technology, inter-chip wiring can be formed using wafer-level microfabrication technology. Communications between chips can be given by the shortest distance at the fat wire pitch on the top level of the chip. In flip-chip packaging on organic substrates, miniaturization is challenging and long inter-chip wirings are required. It has been reported, on the other hand, that not only the package height can be reduced, but also the performance of the holistic system is drastically improved by FOWLP even with conventional chips are used although it is the technology governed by the price.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Latest Electronic Devices Turn to Atomic Diffusion Bonding
Atomic diffusion bonding technology has been attracting attention as it can be applied to various kinds of metals and substrate materials. It is being applied to smartphones, LEDs and MEMS sensors, and is being adopted in high-power devices for heat dissipation.

he atomic diffusion bonding method (Figure) is a room temperature bonding technology developed in Japan by a research group in Tohoku University. It can be used for bonding all kinds of similar and dissimilar materials at room temperature, whether they are substrates with a flat bonding surface and small surface roughness, including metal and ceramic blocks (substrates), as well as semiconductor and ceramic wafers (Photo 1).

Standard 3D integration process with via-last TSV at GINTI
Figure: Schematic illustration of the process of atomic diffusion bonding. (A) Bonding in ultrahigh vacuum, (B) Bonding in atmosphere
Examples of wafers bonded by atomic diffusion bonding in ultrahigh vacuum
Photo 1: Examples of wafers bonded by atomic diffusion bonding in ultrahigh vacuum
In this technology, a thin metal film with nanometer thickness is formed by sputtering on the mirror-polished surfaces of two materials to be bonded, such as wafers and substrates. Then, the two metal films are brought into contact with each other and bonded in the same vacuum. Bonding at room temperature becomes possible due to the large surface energy, large surface atomic diffusion of the metal film, and crystal lattice rearrangement that occurs at the bonding interface. In addition, for some thin films, like gold (Au), the wafer or substrate on which the thin film is formed can be taken out to the atmosphere before bonding.
Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Minimal Fab Paves Way for Low-Profile Package Foundry Services

yushu Semiconductor & Electronics Technology Innovation Association (SIIQ) takes part in SEMICON Taiwan this year at the Kyushu (Japan) Pavilion (Booth#13231) with the aim of promoting semiconductor-related companies located in Japan’s Kyushu district. One of the highlights of SIIQ’s exhibit is PMT CORPORATION’s foundry services using Minimal Fab equipment that handles half-inch wafer.

Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation also promotes Minimal Fab equipment, while PHYTEK Corporation is a distributor of Minimal Fab equipment and PMT’s foundry services in Taiwan.

Minimal Fab
Minimal Fab is a new concept established by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) under a Japan national project [1],[2], which aims to create a minimal semiconductor factory. The word “minimal” here means to operate a factory that consumes the least resources, like energy, materials, and cost, but requires quick development.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Novel LC Tape Makes Durable Flip-Chip Packaging Devices
LINTEC’s technology for die backside protection tape avoids wafer breakage and chipping, and suits flip-chip packaging.

ortable communication devices represented by smartphones and tablet terminals are required to become thinner and lighter with higher performance. With the scaling down of semiconductor devices, flip-chip packaging has become recognized as a useful packaging method. Flip-chip packaging has advantages, such as small occupation volume, and excellent electrical connection reliability. However, as the entire chip is not sealed with resin, chips are vulnerable to external shock, and dies breakage tends to occur. To overcome these drawbacks, LINTEC Corporation has commercialized an LC tape that protects the backside of dies, and features high thickness accuracy and excellent process suitability. This article introduces the company’s new LC tape.

LC Tape and Process Flow
Figure 1 shows the step-by-step process of using LC tape: (1) Grind silicon wafer; (2) Peel back grind (BG) tape; (3) Laminate LC tape (backside protection layer) on the ground surface of silicon wafer; (4) Heat cure the LC tape; (5) Laser marking onto the surface of backside protection layer; (6) Mount dicing (DC) tape onto the surface of the backside protection layer; (7), (8)Wafer is diced into dies, which are then picked up; and (9) Dies are bonded onto printed circuit board via bumps.

Packaging is completed through these processes.

Conventionally, a paste coating agent is coated to form a film on the wafer. However, this makes difficult the control of thickness, resulting in poor yield and low productivity. By contrast, an LC tape has excellent uniformity in thickness as it is available as a tape and achieves further simplification of the manufacturing process.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Resistance Test Validates Materials in Reactive Gases
As the Reactivity of materials is highly dependent on the atmospheric gas condition, a suitable evaluation technology To verify the material’s durability is discussed in this article.

n the manufacturing process of electronic components like semiconductors, gases such as halogen-based gases, amine-based gases, and plasma exited gases have been widely used in the micro processing (etching reaction) of silicon (Si) and other materials. Having high reactivity, these gases are effective for the synthesis, reform and surface treatment of resins, ceramics, and metals; and industrial fields that desire to use these gases have been expanding.

Meanwhile, in order to use these gases in new fields, it is important to verify the effects of these gases in those fields, and the resistance of materials that come into contact with these gases in the new use environments. This article introduces the evaluation of materials in a reactive gas atmosphere being conducted at Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation.

Materials Evaluation Method

Gas exposure facility
The durability of materials is affected by various factors, including the kind of reactive gas used, as well as coexisting gas, temperature, pressure, and gas flow passage in equipment. Performing absolute evaluation without using actual machines is difficult. In addition, conducting resistance tests using actual machines is not practical. Hence, as a rule, Taiyo Nippon Sanso has used a cylindrical reaction field and relative comparison in order to deliver simple discussions.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Dicing Tapes Respond to Evolving Semiconductor Process
Amid the evolution in chip packaging process, new technologies for dicing tapes are being discovered to address challenges related to the complexities of materials and adherends.

ue to the convenience being provided by adhesives, various kinds, like dicing tapes, are being used in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Dicing tapes are used in the dicing process of various materials, including silicon and compound wafers, glass, and packages.

Table 1 shows the product lineup of standard dicing tapes offered by Maxell, Ltd. The lineup includes the high adhesion type, which can suppress chip flying, and the easy peeling type, which facilitates die pickup. Maxell proposes products that suit customers’ requirements based on the kind of wafer, surface condition and chip size.

Table 1: Lineup of dicing tapes
Lineup of dicing tapes
Unit of adhesion: N/10mm

In recent years, amid the advancement of semiconductor packages and processes, the dicing process also has to consider the chip size of adherend as well as material shapes and surface conditions, on top of the kind of material. In addition, higher quality has come to be required, and therefore, dicing tapes that suit those materials and processes are being sought.

This article introduces the characteristics of dicing tapes that can be used for complex adherends and processes.

Sumida Shores up Expansion in Indian Market

umida Corporation has ventured into full-scale development of its business in the Indian market, following the establishment of Sumida Electric (India) Private Limited in Bengaluru, Karnataka in southern India as sales office. The company targets sales expansion mainly in the automotive and industrial fields.

According to the company, the demand for automobiles and motorcycles in India is anticipated to grow in the long term. In the industrial field, continued investments in plant and equipment will drive up demand for parts. Based on this expectation, the company taps its coil business with a focus on in-vehicle and industrial fields. This year, the company started operation of its sales office in India.

The company has formulated a master plan for its management strategy from FY2012 to FY2021. By FY2017, it has completed stages I and II, and is now on stage III since FY2018. At the onset of stage III, the management has emphasized the importance of the expansion of the Indian market in achieving the targets as stipulated in the master plan.

Based on the master plan, the company targets to achieve ¥10 billion in operating profit on the final year, comprising ¥ 8.5 billion from existing businesses and ¥1.5 billion from mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Total sales are projected to reach ¥118.0 billion from existing businesses and ¥20 billion from M&A for the same period.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Yamaha Motor Robotics Builds Value From Integration
the new company combines the strengths of yamaha motors in mounters, shinkawa’s flip-chip bonders, and apic yamada’s molding machines.

ast July, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. inaugurated and commenced operations of Yamaha Motor Robotics Holdings Co., Ltd., which emerged through the business integration of SHINKAWA LTD. and APIC YAMADA CORPORATION.

The technological merger spanning the semiconductor assembly process industry and the electronic components mounting industry has been gaining ground. SHINKAWA, which handles bonding machines, belongs to the semiconductor assembly process industry, and mounters, which are the main products of the industrial machinery and robot business, are one of Yamaha Motor’s main businesses. More recently, boundaries between industries are getting blur just as in semiconductor equipment.

Collaboration of Strength
Yamaha Motor and SHINKAWA have concluded a partnership contract under which SHINKAWA sells, under its own brand name, flip-chip bonders. These flip-chip bonders are being developed and manufactured for the semiconductor market by Yamaha Motor applying its mounter technologies.

In June 2018, PFA Corporation, a manufacturer of inspection equipment for electronic components, and manufacturing equipment for crystal devices and camera modules became a subsidiary of SHINKAWA.

Special | Report
SEMICON Taiwan Special
Comprehensive Packaging Solution Caters to Leading-Edge Devices

s a bonding equipment provider, the group company Yamaha Motor Robotics Holdings Co., Ltd. (YMRH: formerly Shinkawa Ltd.) prepares various solutions, including the FPB Series thermo compression bonder (TCB) with multi device handling and SCM-100G strip compression molding system, and offers total packaging solutions in the advanced semiconductor area.

Packaging of system in package (SiP) devices has been required to have higher integration and multi-functionality.

Solutions were prepared for the bonding and molding processes in the production of these advanced SiP devices.

FPB Series Thermo Compression Bonder

Flexible device, process bonding solution
In the bonding field, the FPB Series is compatible with various processes, such as thermo compression-capillary underfill (TC-CUF), thermo compression-nonconductive paste (TC-NCP), thermo compression-nonconductive film (TCNCF), C4 flip-chip, and fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP). High accuracy in both face up and face down placement (2.5μm/3μm) is achieved with this equipment. In order to respond to expanding package diversity, SHINKAWA LTD. (Shinkawa), a subsidiary of YMRH, has proposed a system solution for multi-supply, large-die TC bonding in a 2.5D configuration, and a solution for high-accuracy FOWLP bonding. This system integrates in line operation from bonding to inspection using a measurement inspection (MI) module. Photo 1 shows an example of a 2.5D packaging line.

Fast Inline X-ray Inspection Yields Reliable Void Detection

here are a variety of factors responsible for the formation of voids, and X-ray is the only non-destructive method available for accurately detecting small and large inclusions in solder joints. One factor is the behavior of solder pastes with different compositions, and another is the surface finish of the printed circuit board (PCB) and components that they are soldered to during the production process. Pollutants, which remain on the PCB after cleaning, are also a cause of voids. Furthermore, the quality of solder paste can degrade if it is kept in storage too long, potentially increasing this effect.

What also has to be taken into account is that the joint quality is impacted by the specific reflow oven parameters selected during production. If there is insufficient time for flux in the solder joint to escape during reflow, voids may form. The standards set by IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries serve as guidelines for process optimization: IPC J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 specify the requirements for soldered electrical and electronic assemblies and the acceptance criteria for electronic assemblies, respectively. Helpful information specific to voids and void measurement for BGAs can be found in IPC-7095D.

Inline X-ray inspection with a very fast PCB transport
Photo 1: Inline X-ray inspection with a very fast PCB transport

Thresholds Backed by Experience
Viscom AG’s inspection software for BGA solder joints uses a default threshold setting that does not permit the total area of all voids to exceed 25 percent of the solder area. “This default threshold is based on years of experience at Viscom, but can naturally also be adjusted to meet any specific inspection needs of production,” explains Axel Klapproth, Head of Application in Viscom’s Serial Products Division. 3D inline X-ray is capable of obtaining horizontal and vertical slice images of inspection objects. This opens up new and interesting possibilities in void measurement, such as measuring the void-substrate and void-component distances.

Edge AI Technology Solutions Enable FPGA Implementation

ver the past several years, artificial intelligence (AI) has begun to be used in various fields. Even though those technologies are collectively called AI, they are diverse, giving various definitions to AI.

This article broadly classifies the implementation of AI into the cloud and edge, and introduces Synkom Co., Ltd.’s edge AI technology and solutions. Synkom offers consigned semiconductor design and development services, and develops AI solutions.

Two Categories of AI
AI is classified into two categories: cloud AI, which is implemented on the cloud, and edge AI, which is implemented at the terminal side or the edge. Cloud AI enables advanced analyses, making use of abundant resources on the cloud based on big data. Google Lens by Google is an example of cloud AI.

However, in recent years, AI has been required to be implemented on limited calculation and power resources, such as autonomous driving of vehicles and drones, and predictive maintenance of machines and robots. In these fields, the requirement for real-time property is high, making edge AI that performs computations in a hardware device, a good choice.

Multifunctional mmWave Radar Device Taps 79GHz Band

period of revolutionary change is expected to arrive in the automotive industry over the next few years, and the keyword for the mega trend is Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, and Electric (CASE). Kyocera Corporation has been deploying a vertically integrated business covering materials, components, systems to services, and has been working on research and development of automotive-related products. This article introduces the company’s efforts, focusing on automotive sensors that function as the eye of cars in the upcoming era of autonomous driving.

Autonomous driving, represented by “A” in CASE, is anticipated to reduce accidents through improved safety as a standard and also to reduce the load on the driver and smooth the traffic flow. Autonomous driving is achieved through the process of recognition, judgment, and control, and the combination of these technologies is very important. Recognition involves checking the surrounding conditions of the car; judgement means to determine how to operate the car on the basis of the results; and control involves operating the axel, brake, and steering wheel. Automotive sensors are necessary for recognition, which is the starting point of this series of processing.

In general, autonomous driving is classified into six levels from Level 0 to Level 5 on the basis of the technology attainment and the limit of the drivable area. As the level rises, more precise performance is required of automotive sensors (Table 1).

NICHICON’s New Energy Storage Complements IoT Demand

he market for the internet of
things (IoT) is expected to grow substantially in the coming years with IoT technology being adopted in increasingly broad situations. This is prompted by the launch of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system, which enables high-speed, large-capacity, low-inactivity, and multi-connectivity networks. It allows for the spread of low-cost, low-power-consumption communication networks, such as low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks.

SLB Series of small lithium ion rechargeable batteries
SLB Series of small lithium ion rechargeable batteries

When IoT sensors are installed in areas where stable supply of power is unavailable, the use of energy storage devices is required. Primary (non-rechargeable) batteries are often used, but they need to be replaced due to their short lifespan. Replacing primary batteries with secondary rechargeable batteries and integrating them with energy harvesting devices that convert light, heat, vibration, and radio wave energies into electricity can create an independent, maintenance-free system to power IoT sensors. This has increased the market demand for rechargeable batteries optimized for IoT sensor applications.

Novel Characteristics, Features
NICHICON Corporation has introduced the SLB Series of new energy storage devices ideal for IoT applications. It is capable of low current charge and high current discharge and has an extended lifespan with excellent cycle characteristics. The SLB Series has a lower internal resistance than traditional lithium ion rechargeable batteries. The currents generated by energy harvesting devices are usually small, giving the SLB Series an advantage over other rechargeable batteries. The SLB Series can discharge high-current power instantly due to its low internal resistance.

DENSO, Toyota Push Advanced Development of In-Vehicle ICs
The new company, which will capitalize on the partnerships the two companies have entered early on, aims to build stronger system for research and development of semiconductors essential to next-generation vehicle technologies.

ENSO Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have started to establish a joint venture for research and advanced development of next-generation in-vehicle semiconductors. The two companies will further study the details and aim to establish the new company in April 2020.

The latest agreement comes after the two companies agreed in June 2018 to consolidate the electronic components production and development functions to DENSO. Based on this agreement, they have been working to achieve a speedy and competitive production and development system.

Stirs Future of Mobility
Recently, electronic controls have been increasingly implemented into vehicles. Furthermore, the number of in-vehicle semiconductors has also grown, and the performance of these semiconductors has continuously improved. To create a future of mobility that is safe and sustainable, it is necessary to develop next-generation semiconductors that are integral to technology innovations, such as connected cars, automated driving, sharing mobility and electrification.
Toyota Form Comprehensive Partnership for New Energy Vehicle Batteries
Using the respective technologies acquired by the two companies, the Toyota and CATL agreement covers not only the supply of batteries, but also foster the evolution and development of batteries to a wide range of fields.

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has entered an agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) for the supply and development of new energy vehicle (NEV) batteries. The agreement also covered discussions on the supply of batteries, new technology development, product quality improvements, and the reuse and recycling of batteries.

Critical Supply, Development
CATL is a leading supplier of drive battery systems for vehicles with competitive advantages across the globe. In recent years, as vehicle electrification has accelerated worldwide, the company has won recognition from many automobile manufacturers both in China and overseas. Toyota was one of the first companies to promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles and the use of a rich array of technologies and experience in the development, production, and sales of electrified vehicles.

To further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, CATL and Toyota agreed that a stable supply of batteries is critical and that battery technology must be further developed and advanced. To this end, the two companies intend to establish joint systems and engage in specific initiatives together.

Through this broad-ranging collaboration, CATL will combine its battery development and supply capabilities with Toyota’s electrified vehicle and battery development technologies. With this combination, the two companies will engage in the development of electrified vehicles that are attractive to customers and to further promoting their widespread adoption.

DENSO’s Innovation Lab Advances MaaS Platform
The Seattle Innovation Lab aims to accelerate the company’s research and development strategy and advance its mobility-as-a-service model.

ENSO Corporation has marked the grand opening of its Seattle Innovation Lab, which the company is positioning to strengthen its development of connected technologies and advance its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform. The lab supports DENSO’s recent expansion into software-based solutions to complement its hardware expertise, bolsters its North American research and development (R&D) strategy, and helps actualize its long-term plan aimed at creating new value for future mobility.

The new facility also propels DENSO’s exploration of new business domains, like MaaS, to propel its technology development and contribute to better, safer and more sustainable transportation solutions.

Alliance With Other Tech Companies
Yoshifumi Kato, Senior Executive Director, Engineering Research and Development Center at DENSO said, “Throughout DENSO’s 70 years, we’ve worked hard to reinvent our solutions and maintain a leadership role in the automotive industry. A large part of that is investing in R&D.”

MaaS involves the integration of various forms of transportation services through connected technologies that are accessible on demand to travelers. In this area, DENSO is already developing cloud computing technology that collects and analyzes data from car-sharing fleets and shares it with mobility service providers through the cloud to help improve fleet management.

Japan’s NEDO Leads EV Road Trials with Sharp, Toyota
The series of tests on electrified vehicles will aim to dig deeper on the potentials of high-efficiency solar batteries toward reduced CO2 emissions in the transport industry.

apan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO) along with Sharp Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation, have started public road trials of electrified vehicles in Japan. The trials aim to assess the effectiveness of improvements in cruising range and fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries.

To facilitate the execution of this trial, Sharp has modularized its high-efficiency solar battery cells*1, which has conversion efficiency of 34 percent *2, previously developed for a NEDO-led project*3, to create an onboard solar battery panel. Toyota had installed this panel on the roof, hood, rear hatch door, and other parts of its Prius PHV and produced a demo car for public road trials. By enhancing the solar battery panel’s efficiency and expanding its onboard area, Toyota was able to achieve a rated power generation output of around 860W*4, which is approximately 4.8-times higher in comparison with the commercial model Prius PHV (equipped with a solar charging system). In addition to substantially boosting its power generation output, the demo car employs a system that charges the driving battery while the vehicle is parked and also while it’s being driven, a development that is expected to lead to considerable improvements in electric-powered cruising range and fuel efficiency.

Photo 1: Prius PHV demo model equipped with solar battery panel
Photo 1: Prius PHV demo model equipped with solar battery panel
Faurecia Sustains Steam in Car Technology Development
The group company, including Faurecia Clarion, has been introducing innovations in automotive development, including automated remote retrieval system of vehicle and next-generation smart cockpit for vehicles.

larion Co., Ltd. became an affiliate of Faurecia in 2019, a leading French automotive components company. Clarion intends to launch full scale activities toward developing solutions by focusing on cutting-edge technologies, for example, an automated remote retrieval system of a vehicle called Long Range Summon, which responds to the age of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric (CASE), and Voice-Activated Cockpit, a next-generation smart cockpit called using voice recognition technology, which no other company can offer.

Steps up Development Solutions
Faurecia Clarion Electronics became the fourth business group of Faurecia in March. Faurecia Clarion aims at becoming a global player in cockpit electronics-related technologies and low-speed advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The company plans to step up the development of solutions for automobile manufacturers highlighting its new technologies.

Faurecia Clarion has introduced the Long Range Summon automated remote retrieval system of vehicles for the first time in Japan at its headquarters in Saitama Prefecture. The company also exhibited the next-generation smart cockpit, Voice-Activated Cockpit, which uses Android-based voice recognition technology.

Polyplastics Expands Technical Centers for Automotive Plastics
To complement the robust automotive market, the company is beefing up its reliable support system and serving the needs of customers in the initial stages of design processes.

olyplastics Co., Ltd. has opened a new Technical Solution Center in a suburb in Detroit, United States in a bid to boost the development of its engineering plastics business for automotive solutions.

As one of the leading manufacturers of engineering plastics used in electronic components, such as connectors, Polyplastics produces a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) called LAPEROS; polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin called DURANEX PBT; polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin called DURAFIDE PPS; and other plastics. The company has set up a meticulous support system from the initial stages of customer’s product designing processes, such as designing a shape and mold optimal for resin, to secondary processes, such as the forming process and bonding process.

Provide Optimal Solutions
For its product application strategy, Polyplastics has been stepping up development activities of automotive solutions in addition to IT-related solutions for products such as personal computers and smartphones. As durability and environmental performance are important for automobiles, the company puts high priority in providing the technical solutions required by customers such as durability and reliability evaluation and life prediction.
Component | Materials
KOKI Pitches Unique Solder Products for Market Expansion
Adding to its manufacturing base is the opening of the Poland factory, which will become the company’s consolidated base in Europe.

OKI Company Ltd. has been expanding its global business by offering solder products with distinctive characteristics. As part of strengthening its international manufacturing system, the company started the operation of a new factory in Poland in June.

KOKI has reinforced the development of products such as low-void and halogen-free solder paste to meet market demands.

Strengthening Global Factories
KOKI has been working steadily to expand the global business of its solder products by setting up manufacturing bases in China, South Korea, and Denmark. In China, the company manufactures its products at a new factory in the Suzhou Industrial Park of Jiangsu Province.
Manabu Itoh, President of KOKI
Manabu Itoh, President of KOKI
KOKI is actively engaged in manufacturing activities at its Denmark factory, which serves as the manufacturing base in the European region. To cope with the expanding demand for solder products, such as those used for automotive components manufactured in Europe, the company has newly set up a factory in Poland in order to reinforce its manufacturing capacity. The company plans to consolidate production in the European region at the Poland factory.
Component | Materials
New Material Deflects Dirt by Blending Plastic
The Dual Barrier Coating reduces adhesion of hydrophobic dirt and hydrophilic dirt by simply blending the material in plastic.

itsubishi Electric has developed a new material called Dual Barrier Coating jointly with Maveric Partners, a Teijin Group affiliate. This coating material reduces adhesion of both hydrophobic dirt and hydrophilic dirt by simply blending this material in plastic. Mitsubishi Electric intends to apply this coating material to a wide range of electronic products, such air conditioners, for dirt and dust protection.

Until now, a plastic blended only with hydrophilic material repels hydrophobic dirt, like soot and oily smoke, and at the same time suppresses static electricity. However, in this material, it was difficult to remove hydrophilic sand and dust once such dirt get attached. In the case of a plastic blended only with hydrophobic material, on the other hand, it was difficult to expose a sufficient amount of the stain-resistant material on the plastic surface in comparison to the coating method. For that reason, there was no material that can be blended in plastic and could reduce both hydrophobic dirt and hydrophilic dirt.

Dual Barrier Coating material
Dual Barrier Coating material
Component | Materials
Teijin to Buy Benet, Boost Automotive Hold in Europe
Teijin will capitalize Benet’s expansive presence in the automotive supply chain in Europe to strengthen its foothold of the automotive composites market.

eijin Limited will acquire Benet Automotive s.r.o. (Benet), a tier one supplier of composite materials for the automotive industry based in the Czech Republic, and specializes in reinforced reaction injection molding, a low-pressure process using polyurethane; and both conventional autoclave and resin transfer molding.

Benet, headquartered in Mlada Boleslav offers advanced technologies for carbon-fiber-reinforced and glass-fiber-reinforced plastic molding, as well as the painting and assembly of vehicles. It has three facilities in Czechia and one in Germany that serve European automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Skoda.

Benet Automotive s.r.o.
Benet Automotive s.r.o.
Benet has strategic proximity to the central and eastern regions of the European market where key German and other European OEMs operate production facilities. The company’s well-proven supply record will provide a solid foundation for Teijin to further strengthen its solution development capabilities and sales channels in Europe.
Component | Materials
Fujikura Sets up Mass Production for Rare-Earth Superconducting Wire
The rare-earth high-temperature superconducting wire does not use liquid helium, and can be used to develop future high-temperature superconducting devices.

ujikura Ltd. has developed a mass-production technology for the highest-performance rare-earth high-temperature superconducting wire with a critical current density in low-temperature magnetic field exceeding 400A/mm2.

Superconductivity technology is known for its use in equipment, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the medical field and in the pullers for silicon crystal furnaces in the field of semiconductors. While conventional superconducting devices use a metallic low-temperature superconducting wire that uses liquid helium (-269°C) for cooling, liquid helium is a rare natural resource, and concerns about rising prices and procurement problems surround its use. For this reason, Fujikura plans to put the rare-earth high-temperature superconducting wire into practical use as an important product for realizing next-generation high-temperature superconducting devices that do not use liquid helium.

Exterior view of rare-earth high-temperature superconducting wire (a 4-mm-wire-width product)
Exterior view of rare-earth high-temperature superconducting wire
(a 4-mm-wire-width product)
Exterior view of rare-earth high-temperature superconducting coil (Reference photo of Fujikura product)
Exterior view of rare-earth high-temperature superconducting coil
(Reference photo of Fujikura product)
Component | Materials
JSR Releases Insulation Material for 5G Transmission
The new material features low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor.

SR Corporation has developed and introduced an insulation material with a low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor for use in high-frequency printed circuit boards for 5th-generation (5G) mobile communication system.

The insulation material maintains good electric properties in hot and humid conditions. It possesses high adhesiveness to the base film of flexible copper clad laminate (FCCL) and low roughened copper foil. It has a thermosetting material with high resin fluidity, which enables the lines to have excellent ability to be embedded and processed under 200°C using a standard facility. The new insulation material also possesses excellent processability of via hole of printed circuit board and good adhesiveness to plating.

The company has applied the insulation material to a low loss thermosetting polyether FCCL as a sample product.

Anritsu Partners with Bureau Veritas for 5G Conformance Tests
Using ME7873NR, Bureau Veritas can perform 5G NR RF conformance testing that is certified by GCF and PTCRB.

nritsu Corporation has partnered with Taiwan’s Bureau Veritas S.A.’s Customer Products Service Division under the Electrical & Electronic, Automotive, Wireless Business Line for 5G new radio (NR) Global Certification Forum (GCF) and PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) conformance testing using Anritsu’s ME7873NR NR radio frequency (RF) conformance test system.

Bureau Veritas is a leader in testing, inspection and certification. Its Electrical & Electronic/Wireless laboratory in Taiwan is recognized by mobile terminal certification organizations, such as GCF and PTCRB. By adopting the new ME7873NR 5G NR RF/RRM test system, Bureau Veritas is cooperating with Anritsu in obtaining GCF and PTCRB conformance test certifications (test platform validation), helping to accelerate Anritsu’s activities in 5G NR RF/RRM testing.

T&M Makers Boost Product Line for Next-Generation Vehicles
New products, like emergency call system from accidents and evaluation system for battery materials are being introduced.

he development of electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies in the global automobile industry is heating up. Against this backdrop, electronic measuring instrument manufacturers are increasing their development efforts for next-generation vehicles.

Measuring instrument manufacturers are accelerating the development of new products that support automotive technologies, such as electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid vehicles (HVs), and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) of autonomous vehicles. They are keenly focusing on demand for measuring instruments for self-driving cars and connected cars equipped with communication functions.

HIOKI’s CT6877AC/DC current sensor
Photo 1: HIOKI’s CT6877AC/DC current sensor
Emergency Call System
Specifically, Anritsu Corporation has developed eCall, an emergency call system that analyzes data automatically transmitted from a car in a traffic accident, and requests early dispatch of ambulances. Since last year, eCall has become mandatory for all new cars in the European Union (EU). Various other countries including Japan are ready to introduce such systems. The company has expanded the department that propose solutions, such as a base station simulator that evaluates in-vehicle devices by simulating a communication environment necessary for eCall operation. A new base-station simulator software has been developed. It can deal with the eCall next-generation version using fifth-generation (5G) mobile communication system, which is 100 times faster than the 4G data transmission rate.
Nittoku Engineering Ventures Into Global Precision FA Engineering

tarting August this year, Nittoku Engineering Co. Ltd. adopted NITTOKU as company name as it accelerates business expansion from a manufacturer of automatic coil winding machines to a global precision factory automation (FA) engineering company.

Nobushige Kondo, President of NITTOKU, said, “The company has been engaged in business activities as a manufacturer of automatic winding machines for coils used in various fields, such as motors, transformers, and speakers. Presently, the growth of the FA business, such as automatic transfer equipment is expected. In the future, therefore, the company aims to expand its business into the field of precision FA engineering by applying the technology cultivated in automatic winding machines. The company name was changed for the purpose of accelerating globalization.”

In the development of the company’s original transfer system LITs for factory, the company has applied the core technology of the automatic coil winding machine. With open innovation, an FA system was commercialized with the LITs at its core.

Until now, the company has developed and commercialized small dicing wire saws, multi-coil production facilities for full digital speakers, ultrafine cable manufacturing equipment with dispenser functions used for smartphone charging and medical CCD cameras, and in-vehicle connector production facilities, among others.

Kondo said, “We would like to expand our business into the field of precision FA engineering through open innovation together with unique companies and accumulate achievements in the field with growth potential.”

Nobushige Kondo, President of NITTOKU
Nobushige Kondo, President of NITTOKU
Japanese Electronics Trading Firms Enhance FA Solution Business
Aside from dealing with semiconductor, trading companies are now diverting their business interests particularly on FA solutions.

apanese electronics trading companies are working on enhancing the value of its factory automation (FA) solution business by combining their own technologies with manufacturing system, and others to offer solutions. Such solutions can be applied from industrial robots and laser processing systems to internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M).

So far, Japanese electronics trading firms have grown mainly through semiconductor business. Over the years, there have been a series of mergers and acquisitions of semiconductor manufacturers, which are suppliers of the trading firms. Under such increasingly heightening competition, they are devising their own strategies, including expanding new products and solution business, to win in the market, competing particularly on FA solutions.

Developments on Electronic Trading Firms
Marubun Corporation has enhanced its laser processing systems for manufacturers. It has started to sell atmospheric pressure plasma units (manufactured by FUJI Corporation) in earnest. It is increasingly selling these products specifically to automotive-related companies, and is proactively marketing them abroad particularly in China.
Smart Factory Solutions Parade at Manufacturing Event
At NEPCON Asia, Japanese companies displayed their innovative solutions to enable an integrated smart factory – some in partnership with other mounting manufacturers.

apanese mounter manufacturers have been accelerating proposals for smart factory solutions. In addition to the development and commercialization of state-of-the-art equipment, they also focus on offering proposals for total mounting lines in cooperation with other companies. At NEPCON Asia 2019, they exhibited their recent solutions for the smart factories.

Nexim-Powered Solutions
FUJI Corporation has been expanding the FUJI Smart Factory in the global market. It is based on Nexim, an integrated production system using internet of things and machine-to-machine system (IoT/M2M).

FUJI will release the NXTR new concept mounter in the spring of 2020. With NXTR, the status of mounting operations can be monitored in real time, and stress control on electronic components and circuit boards can be performed simultaneously. It is a high-end machine that has further evolved cooperation with Nexim, and was developed with the aim of fully automating the surface mounting line in corporation with Nexim.

FUJI Enters 3D Printer Market, to Start Trial Production
The 3D printer is capable of 3D resin molding, electronic circuit printing, and component mounting.

UJI Corporation enters the 3D printer market and will start contract trial-manufacturing service using the prototype developed prior to the actual sales of the product.

FUJI has been developing a total solution for mounters, from component storage systems in the front process to automatic send-out machines, in the end process of the surface mounting line. The company has also commercialized industrial robots and devices of surface modification for bonding using plasma, and are expanding peripheral devices related to manufacturing.

Looking ahead into the future of uniform digital fabrication, FUJI develops devices that enable everyone to easily make electronic devices. 3D printers constitute part of such developments.

Intelligent Stereo Camera Enhances Driving Safety of Unmanned Vehicles

he intelligent stereo camera from Japan-based ITD Lab Corporation (Takao Shigaki, President, Chief Executive Officer) is a revolutionary device completely different from conventional stereo cameras. In general, conventional stereo cameras have been deemed as expensive, impractical, and take time for adjustments. ITD Lab has completely transformed the concept of stereo cameras with the launching of an intelligent stereo camera, featuring low price, compact size, low power consumption, lightweight, high-speed responsiveness, high-performance object recognition (contour extraction), and fully automatic calibration. It is an indispensable device for collision prevention and autonomous driving of automobiles, drones, construction equipment, robots, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

A product sample of the intelligent stereo camera
Photo 1: A product sample of the intelligent stereo camera

Auto Calibration as Dream Function
In ITD Lab’s intelligent stereo camera, a single chip of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) performs all calculations, from distance measurement, obstacle detection, collision time, and white line detection to complete the fully automatic calibration function at high speed (60 to 160fps). Processing all calculations using a single FPGA chip allows the company to reduce the price, achieve compact design, low power consumption and lightweight product. Moreover, fully automatic calibration is an ultimate function that fundamentally solves the weakness of conventional stereo cameras, that is, adjustment is complex and cumbersome. This function will dramatically advance the popularization of stereo cameras as general-purpose devices that require no adjustments.

Cu-Based Tandem Solar Cells Rival Power Efficiency of Conventional Si Cells

oshiba Corporation has made a breakthrough in photovoltaic power generation by developing a low-cost tandem solar cell fabricated with transparent cuprous oxide (Cu2O) that surpasses the power conversion efficiency of monocrystalline silicon (Si) solar cells.

Tandem solar cells improve overall power conversion efficiency by layering different types of solar cells, as top and bottom cells, and using both to generate power. As a leader in tandem solar cells development, Toshiba has recorded significant advances with cells using copper (Cu). In Jan. 2019, the company fabricated the first low-cost transparent cell with Cu2O, and simultaneously developed a tandem solar cell that used the transparent Cu2O cell as the top cell. It attained a power conversion efficiency of 22 percent, which is equivalent to that of a monocrystalline silicon cell. In its latest advance, Toshiba has developed a tandem cell that surpasses the efficiency of the monocrystalline silicon, and raised the power conversion efficiency rate by 1.8 percent to 23.8 percent.

Maxim Powers EDMI’s Digital Isolator Solution

DMI Limited, a smart metering solutions provider, uses best-in-class technologies and demonstrates a strong commitment to quality, reliability, and compliance. The company’s electricity meters are tried and tested to meet and exceed customer expectations. Its wide range of products cover residential, commercial and industrial, transmission and distribution, and sub-metering markets. All of these metering product families meet general requirements prepared by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) technical committee 13 for electrical energy measurement and control.

EDMI Limited is a company under Osaki Electric Co., Ltd. and has its headquarters in Singapore.

Getting Reliable Isolation
There are two circuits in a meter: mains and non-mains. The mains circuit is conductively connected to and energized directly from the mains, while the non-mains circuit is not. EDMI needed isolators to maintain communication between these two circuits with no degradation of signal integrity under interference. The company also required a solution that would be able to maintain the isolation reliably. Optocouplers are relatively inexpensive, but their performance degrades over equipment lifetime, and most are not made to meet the most stringent impulse ratings.

Business | Strategy
Allion, SGS to Foster Advanced Test Services for Connected Cars

aiwanese Allion Labs, Inc., a global provider of third-party testing solutions, has teamed up with SGS S.A., a global inspection, verification, testing and certification company based in Geneva, Switzerland. The strategic collaboration will encompass the field of connected car pertaining to test, inspection, and certification solutions.

The companies will enhance their respective advantages through synergistic effects, and will improve services for testing, inspecting and certificating next-generation connected cars.

One-Stop Solution
Allion’s entry in connected cars testing started in 2014, making use of its 20 years of experience in the field of information technology (IT)-related verification and testing in Japan. Aside from its presence in Taiwan and Japan, the company also has testing facilities in South Korea, China, United States, and countries in Europe, thus has strong global footprint for its testing services.

Industry | Report
KANEKA Boosts Technology to Counter Plastics Pollution


nvironmental pollution caused by plastic products, in particular, marine pollution brought about by microplastics, is a major global issue and poses dangers to the ecosystem. At the recent G20 Summit held in Osaka, Japan, this issue has been given high regard and was one of the major topics. Without a doubt, comprehensive regulations on the use of plastics are becoming more necessary.

Even before formal regulations are set out, KANEKA CORPORATION has started amplifying the production of polyester biodegradable plastic, which the company has developed and comes in the product name KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer PHBH.

KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer PHBH is a hundred-percent plant-based bioplastic and features excellent biodegradability. Microorganisms take plant oils and accumulate them as polymers in their bodies. PHBH is produced by refining and extracting the polymers. Thus, it is produced by culturing microorganisms, and the products are shipped as pellets like general-purpose resins and can be supplied using ordinary transportation method.

ROHM Delivers Power-Efficient Buck-Boost DC/DC Converter

OHM Co., Ltd. has developed a buck-boost DC/DC converter, which has achieved industry-leading power-saving performance, for battery-powered devices that use 5V or lower lithium ion battery or alkaline battery. Mass production will start in October.

The buck-boost DC/DC converter has achieved power conversion efficiency of 97 percent during the operation of battery-powered devices (at load current of 200mA) by incorporating a low-loss MOSFET and using a low-power-consumption circuit. It has an ultralow current consumption of only 2.8μA, a top class in the industry for buck-boost power supply ICs.

The new DC/DC converter, BD83070GWL, incorporates a low-loss MOSFET, which adopts the 0.13μm BiCDMOS process. BD83070GWL has achieved the industry-leading power conversion efficiency of 97 percent at load current of 200mA, at which various battery-powered devices, such as electric toothbrushes and shavers, operate. In other ranges from light load to maximum load (100μA to 1A), it also delivers high efficiency of 90 percent or higher.

Show | Preview
CE China | 2019
CE China Connects Global Brand to Asian Retailers


E China, a global event by IFA, is designed to link premium brands to important retailers and other major players in the world’s largest retail industry. The show is a vibrant platform that unites global brands with Chinese and pan-Asian retailers that are keen to bring new products to their customers.

According to eMarketer, China’s retail industry will have a projected value of US$5.6 trillion in 2019, growing 7.5 percent with ecommerce being the major driver. Ecommerce sales are expected to grow more than 30 percent to US$1.99 trillion, representing 55.8 percent of all online retail sales globally. Retail giant Alibaba will lead the ecommerce sales in China with 53.3 percent share.

IFA Retail University
IFA Retail University
Moving the show to a new date and location makes it more effective for CE China as Guangzhou stands at the heart of China’s trade and manufacturing business. This year, the show will be held from Sept. 19 to 21 at the Guangzhou Poly World Trade Center (PWTC) Expo.
Show | Preview
Taitronics | 2019
TAITRONICS to Propel Taiwanese Firms to Global Market


ith the constant adjustment of industrial structure and the emergence of technology innovation, this year’s 45th edition of TAITRONICS and the 2nd edition of AIoT Taiwan are anticipated to become a major display and networking platform for electronic products, system integrators, and global startups. By focusing on cross-industry cooperation and tight integration between hardware and software, the exhibitions will play a significant role in assisting in the transformation of Taiwan’s electronics industry to a new era of intelligent electronic and diverse application solutions.

Set to happen from October 16 to 18, TAITRONICS 2019 will showcase product and technology developments from more than 350 exhibitors in the field of industrial process and automation; power supplies; smart manufacturing; system integration, test and measurement instruments, and cloud and broadband communication.

With the vast opportunities ahead, TAITRONICS will connect Taiwan’s electronics industry and support its manufacturers to develop business opportunities for the global market.

Show | Preview
Taitronics | 2019
AcBel Taps Taiwan, Philippine Plants to Ramp up Production


rom an electronic products distributor, AcBel Polytech, Inc. has grown to become an established and multi-awarded designer, manufacturer, and seller of power management solutions for the global market. In response to the growing market demand for its products, the company has tapped its plants in Taiwan and the Philippines to build up production, aiming to considerably enhance capacity.

Growing Manufacturing Base
The company is expanding its present capacities in Taiwan and Philippine plants to enhance their present levels. The company targets to infuse considerable amount in capital investment for both plants for building the facility, tooling, equipment and labor. The Taiwan plant will manufacture high-end, high-voltage products for electric vehicles and high-performance computing and mainframe. The company aims to maintain Taiwan as a manufacturing base for high-end and high-value products. The company’s Philippine plant, on the other hand, will focus on the production of transformers and cables. It will also include an in-house design facility for the design of power supply products.

Show | Preview
Taitronics | 2019
Tenmars Aims at Global Market, Taps In-Demand T&M Tools

enmars Electronics Co., Ltd., an ISO-9001 certified manufacturer and designer of test and measurement instruments, is bent on increasing the recognition of its brand, leveraging high-quality and highly safe digital instruments.

High Quality as Standard
Tenmars places importance on making quality products, and so puts significant investments to heighten its research and development (R&D) capability. At present, the company maintains an in-design facility at its office in Neihu Technology Park in Taipei, Taiwan and has a specialized pool of R&D personnel with more than 30 years of experience.

The company’s manufacturing plant is optimized to produce 30,000 units per month. Its manufacturing facility includes assembly lines, temperature and humidity calibration chamber, full anechoic chamber, light meter calibration room, and an ISO17025-certified calibration laboratory.

Show | Preview
Taitronics | 2019
GW Instek Sets Sights on South Asia for Expansion


uality test and measurement has become synonymous to Good Will Instrument Co., Ltd. (GW Instek), leveraging its long experience in research and development, manufacturing, and marketing of high-quality and high-precision test and measurement instruments. The company recognizes the importance of keeping up with market demand, and has recently released a high-voltage model of its single-channel programmable DC electronic load, and aims to create high-bandwidth products for 5G mobile communications system.

The adoption of 5G communication standard has inspired the company to develop high-bandwidth products. “We are moving on high-bandwidth products, right now we specialize in 3.25GHz, and we need to prepare our tests facilities for that frequency. At present, we invest 10 percent of our revenue in research, that is equivalent to US$700,000 (from an annual revenue of US$70 million),” says Peter Wang, Marcom Specialist, Marketing & Service Division, GW Instek.

Show | Preview
Taitronics | 2019
Protech’s Innovative Solutions Heighten User Experience

rotech Systems Co., Ltd., a manufacturer and designer of single-board industrial PCs, internet of things (IoT)–enabled automation products, and embedded computers, continue to innovative its products to improve the delivery of services of its customers worldwide. It provides high-performance solutions in a broad range of industries from automation and transportation to hospitality, retail and medical fields.

Protech’s business model works in two ways: development of standard products, like point of sales (POS) systems, and creation of customized solutions. “We embrace a two-pronged business model. First we design standards products, which consist 70 to 80 percent of our products, and these go to the marketing department. Second is we design customized products based on the requirements of customers,” says Simon Teng, Vice President for Sales Division, Protech Systems.

Evolution of Standard Products
The company’s standard products includes the self-service payment kioks (Photo 1), which are installed in major convenience stores worldwide, and POS systems.

Show | Preview
FA Techniques Underscore Labor-Saving Measures


ajor factory automation (FA) and measuring instrument companies participated in the FOOMA JAPAN 2019 (International Food Machinery and Technology Exhibition), a comprehensive food technology exhibition held in Tokyo, Japan in July and organized by the Japan Food Machinery Manufacturers’ Association.

These companies promoted technologies to make works at production sites more efficient by utilizing robots and artificial intelligence (AI). Exhibitors are aiming to expand business opportunities by responding to the demands of labor-saving measures at work sites, which are growing due to labor shortages.

Hygiene management in accordance with the international food hygiene management standard HACCP, which has been started to be required in Japan especially when the Food Sanitation Law comes into force in June 2020. In anticipation of this trend, each company tried to appeal technologies and systems that can manage the need for both hygiene and labor saving.

Humans, Robots Work Together
Yaskawa Electric Corporation demonstrated making fancy cake using the collaborative robot MOTOMAN-HC10DTF. This machine takes full measure against contamination of foreign substances and is equipped with a robot that can be taught to perform any operations. It corresponds well to labor-saving needs of the food industry, where the work contents change frequently because different products have to be processed.

Product | News
Components & Devices
JAE’s AC01 Series Connector
JAE’s AC01 Series Connector
Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited (JAE) has released the AC01 Series board-to-board connectors, which are available in 2.5mm and 3.0mm stacking heights, suitable for mounting layouts required in factory automation and medical equipment, such as ultrasonic diagnostic equipment. The AC01 Series is offered in a wide range of pin counts, that is, 50, 60, 80 and 100 positions, and has a structure with excellent contact reliability and proven durability of 50 cycles. They feature contact resistance of up to 40mΩ and minimum insulation resistance of 100MΩ, while dielectric withstanding voltage of AC 500Vr.m.s for 1 minute and rated current of 0.3A/position (AC, DC) have been reached.
Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited

ZKU Series Capacitors by Panasonic
ZKU Series Capacitors by Panasonic
Industrial Solutions Company of Panasonic Corporation has commercialized the new ZKU Series of large-capacitance conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors for use in automotive electronic control units (ECUs). The largest product of this series measures ϕ10×10.2mm and smallest product measures ϕ5×5.8mm with rated voltage available in 25V and 35V. By adopting its electrode foil large-capacitance technology, Panasonic has achieved the industry’s largest capacitance, that is, 50 percent larger than the ZC Series and 20 percent larger than the ZK Series, leading to reduced number of capacitors for the ECU board. These capacitors maintain the large current and high reliability of conventional products.
Industrial Solutions Company of Panasonic Corporation
Thanks for reading our Preview September 2019 issue