September 2020
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Asia Electronics Industry
September 2020 Volume 25, Serial No. 288

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

ocionext Inc., a fabless system on chip (SoC) provider, was established in 2015 through the business integration of system LSI businesses of Fujitsu Limited and Panasonic Corporation. For the global market, Socionext provides SoC products and services that contribute to advanced companies and growing companies to strengthen their international competitiveness, and aims to become their reliable partner.

At present, with the advancement of information and communication network equipment and various embedded systems to have higher and more functionalities, circuits of SoCs that support the advancement of these equipment and systems have been becoming increasingly complex. In addition, major platform providers represented by GAFA, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 companies in the automotive sector are aiming to develop SoCs equipped with original functions to differentiate their products and services, thus, driving the growth of the SoC market and the advancement of technologies.

AEI News
ASE Breaks Ground for Advanced Packaging Fab
groundbreaking of ASE's facility in Kaohsiung
Trade and company officials grace groundbreaking of ASE’s facility in Kaohsiung.
TAIWAN – Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc. (ASE) has broken ground for its new advanced packaging fab facility at the Nantze Export Processing Zone 1 in Kaohsiung. The company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its K13 facility, which were attended by key government and trade officials.

The rapid progress in 5G development has boosted demand for semiconductors, and to meet the explosive industry growth, major semiconductor players have continuously deployed investments. ASE accelerates the process of smart manufacturing and expands the scale of advanced manufacturing and production capacity.

ASE will invest an initial NT$8 billion (US$272.49 million) in the construction of the K13 facility, scheduled to be completed in 2023. The company will invest another NT$18 billion (US$613 million) to expand manufacturing capacity for advanced packaging. Upon completion, ASE K13 is estimated to generate US$500 million annual revenue at full capacity.

In View | This Month
Connector Makers Accelerate Development of On-Board Cameras


apanese connector manufacturers have been accelerating efforts to develop products for on-board cameras with larger pixel counts and are capable of digital signal transmission. Although present market conditions are severe, manufacturers are stepping up efforts to develop connectors for on-board camera modules, setting their sights on on-board sensing cameras, the market of which is expected to flourish amid the progress of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. They aim to expand the on-board camera connector business in the medium to long term.

On-board cameras hold the key for the progress of ADAS and autonomous driving and the number of cameras incorporated in a vehicle has been increasing with higher performance. Recent on-board cameras have been shifting from the 300,000-pixel VGA, which was previously the standard, to i-million-pixel class.

Toyota to Give Free Access to Virtual Human
Body Model Software

oyota Motor Corporation will make available its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) software for free beginning Jan. 2021 as part of its efforts toward a safe mobility society. THUMS is a virtual human body model software program for computer analysis of human body injuries caused in vehicle collisions. Free access to THUMS, and subsequent use by a wider variety of users, is expected to enhance vehicle safety.

Seigo Kuzumaki, Fellow at Advanced R&D and Engineering Company, offered the following comment about free access to THUMS, “We decided to make the software freely available to have more people use it, to further enhance vehicle safety across the entire automotive industry, and to help reduce traffic injuries and fatalities to create a safer society. We look forward to seeing it applied broadly in development sites and others, envisioning a mobility society with automated vehicles and other technologies, moving forward.”

Special | Report
5G Technology Applications typography
5G Communications Open Doors to Critical Use Cases
With 5G’s ultrahigh speed transmission, ultra low data latency and wider bandwith features, a rich lineup of new applications and services can be delivered in various fields, like automotives, medical, entertainment, and manufacturing.

he adoption of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technology has been gaining speed across advanced economies, particularly Korea, United States, Japan, and countries in Europe, and so are application services, thus cracking open the doors to untapped markets.

The inherent characteristic of 5G technology is a far wider bandwidth that can carry more data at a faster speed than its predecessor 4G technology. For example, it can allow users to download 20Gbps or 15MB of full high-definition movies in 6 seconds; This compares to its 4G counterpart that can carry only 500Mbps or the 15MB of full-HD movie in 240 seconds. The super highway-like bandwidth will truly speed up the way data are gathered, stored, and processed, and how people access the Internet, leading up to the creation of new use cases.

ConnecTechAsia Shifts to Virtual Event,
to Evolve as 365-Day Marketplace


nforma Markets said that ConnecTechAsia – Asia’s leading Infocomm Media and Technology event organised in partnership with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), will be held on a virtual platform during the same dates, 29 Sept. to 1 Oct. 2020. This shift to a virtual event is in response to the dynamic situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, where travel and physical restrictions are still in effect globally.

Pivoting to an online stage, ConnecTechAsia, incorporating BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia, SatelliteAsia and co-located with TechXLR8 Asia, will be a three-day virtual event, which will thereafter turn into a 24/7, 365-day interactive marketplace. Conference delegates can expect to engage at live keynote, Q&A and breakout sessions while the virtual exhibition floor will enable companies to showcase their vertical-specific products to registered attendees.

Special | Report
5G Technology Applications typography
Teledyne e2v Tackles Calibrated Testing of High Frequency 5G Components
The challenge for RF ATE and field test systems is calibration, repeatability, and correlation of measured performance results to verify that they meet required specification limits. TELEDYNE e2v’s latest technology allows for auto-calibration and measurement techniques in either RF ATE and/or Field-Testing environments.

s mobile wireless technology continues its rapid generational development over the last 20 years from 3G to 4G, and now onto 5G New Radio (5G NR) networks, one technological problem has been consistent throughout and this is to address automatic and calibrated testing of required high frequency components.

The latest technology, Teledyne e2v’s EV12AQ605 and EV10AQ190, which come in 12- and 10-bit quad-channel analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with cross point switch (CPS) input circuit technology, enable RF automated test equipment (ATE) and field-tester developments to focus on auto-calibrated test measurements for both single-channel and multi-port 5G NR devices.

Special | Report
5G Technology Applications typography
Reliable Test to Tackle Issues in 5G Chipsets for Autonomous Cars
Incorporating 5G brings challenges in designing chipsets for autonomous vehicles and the use of reliable test solutions will be crucial in addressing issues associated with higher frequencies and wider channel bandwidths.

erhaps the single largest hurdle to a future in which autonomous vehicles rule the road is consumer resistance. Numerous studies provide evidence that autonomous vehicles have a much better traffic safety record than their more experienced and more traditional counterparts, human beings. Nevertheless, consumers are reluctant to have the steering wheel ripped out of their hands, reducing themselves to passengers dependent on machines. This attitude is likely to shift over time — as autonomous vehicle technology improves and becomes more familiar, consumers will likely become less squeamish about it. Until then, though, consumer safety concerns pose a significant challenge.

According to a 2018 study by the American Automobile Association, 73 percent of American drivers reported that they would be too afraid to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, and 63 percent of American adults report that they would feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle.

Special | Report
5G Technology Applications typography
Fujitsu, Qualcomm Partner on 5G Smartphone Reference Design
The latest smartphone design, featuring the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform, is THE thinnest yet for smartphones that support milimmeter wave and sub-6GHz technologies.

ujitsu Connected Technologies Limited (FCNT) has developed the thinnest 5G smartphone reference design (Photo 1) that supports both sub-6GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) technologies utilizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform.

As commercial 5G service begins and local 5G is deployed at scale around the world in 2020, FCNT will utilize and apply this reference design to inexpensively develop and quickly commercialize 5G-enabled smart devices and solutions, meeting the needs of customers who are considering developing products or providing services that utilize 5G.

5G is a next-generation communications technology that offers ultra-high speed, high capacity, and low latency. It is expected to be used in a wide range of industries, including not only the ICT field, but also mobility and healthcare, among others.

Special | Report
Semiconductor Capex Trends Advertisement
Investments in Semiconductor Facilities Pick up Steam
Semiconductor manufacturers are expected to drum up investments on NAND flash memory plants this year, and will sustain it in 2021, while capital spending on foundries is also expected to rebound as semiconductor makers venture into advanced process technologies, like 5nm. Samsung and TSMC are expected to lead the investment race.

ecent data showed that investments in plants and equipment by semiconductor manufacturers have been picking up. Investments in NAND flash memories, which plummeted amid the sluggish market in 2019, have been recovering. In the foundry sector, sustained robust investments have been noted in advanced process technologies, such as 7nm and 5nm processes.

While the industry is still hounded by issues, like the novel coronavirus pandemic and the impacts of the U.S.-China trade tensions, semiconductor manufacturers will likely expand their investments through 2021 seeing the present strong demand for semiconductors, and eyeing the growth in demand in the medium to long term driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and the fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications standard.

Special | Report
Sensor Technologies text
Sensors for Wearable Devices Evolve for Various Uses
Component manufacturers introduce innovations in sensors for wearable devices amid emergence of new uses and new applications other than smartwatch. This article features sensors for barometric and hydraulic pressure, chlorine-resistant sensors and piezoelectric sensors.

s the demand for sensors for wearable devices are expected to surge, electronic components manufacturers have been accelerating development of related technologies. They try to keep up with market needs by developing devices that feature ultra-small size, high precision, low power consumption and low cost at the same time.

Measures Barometric, Hydraulic Pressure
Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. has developed the HSPPAD143A digital waterproof pressure sensor, which can measure barometric pressure and hydraulic pressure using a single sensor, targeting use in wearable devices and internet of things (IoT) devices. It highlights low power consumption by adopting a specialized application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The company commenced mass production of the sensor in 2019.

Special | Report
Sensor Technologies text
Sensing Device Verifies AGV Movements with High Precision
Dai Nippon Printing has developed DX marker, which promotes sensing accuracy of ±1°. Combining image processing software and camera in one device, a low-cost sensing solution is achieved. It is patterned on a glass substrate with thickness of 0.7mm.


ai Nippon Printing Co Ltd. (DNP) has developed the DX marker, a sensing device that enables high-precision sensing with an accuracy of ±1°. It uses an image processing software and a camera to control the movements of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for logistics and other unmanned moving objects.

Development Background, Outline
With the start of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications services, manufacturing companies seriously consider putting up smart factories, which are capable of connecting various machines and equipment in the factory via the internet and controlling them.

Meanwhile, in the logistics sector, attention is now focused on AGVs, such as unmanned forklifts as main elements of a smart factory, because of labor shortage in recent years.

Atomic Layer Deposition Using a High Concentration H2O2 Gas Delivery System


aiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation has verified the effects of oxidants with the aim of improving Al2O3-atomic layer deposition (ALD) and TiO2-ALD processes. The company has demonstrated that good-quality oxide films can be deposited at higher deposition rate by delivering high-concentration H2O2 gas from RASIRC Inc.-made Peroxidizer®, compared with the case when existing oxidants are used.

In general, the Al2O3 layer for high-k dielectrics films or TiO2 layer for double patterning is formed with the ALD method, conventionally with water vapor or ozone gas as oxidant. However, the growth per cycle (GPC) of these processes is generally slow and the film quality deteriorates with lowering deposition temperature.

Taiyo Nippon Sanso focused its attention on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an efficient oxidant that can solve these issues and verified the applicability of RASIRC-made Peroxidizer®, which can stably deliver high-concention H2O2 gas.

TDK’s New TMR Angle Sensor Aligns with ASIL D Safety Standard

DK Corporation has expanded its tunnel-magnetoresistance (TMR) angle sensor portfolio with the new digital TAD4140 sensor. Designed for demanding automotive and industrial applications, the new TAD4140 features full redundancy with two signal processor units and 2×2 TMR bridges in a single TSSOP16 package, compared to its existing digital angle sensor TAD2141.

Both angle sensors are capable of contactless sensing up to 360° within an ambient temperature range of -40 to +150°C, making the device suitable for motor-control applications, such as brushless DC motor commutation in electric power assisted steering systems.

Complies with Automotive Safety Standard
The various internal diagnostic features of TDK’s digital angle sensor portfolio make both the TAD2141 and TAD4140 compatible with stringent automotive applications where functional safety is required. Specifically, TAD4140 meets the requirements of Automotive Safety Integrity Level D (ASIL D) and is able to support failsafe applications due to its electrically isolated signals, high signal availability, and high-diagnostic coverage.

Capacitor-Related Initiatives Gear Toward 5G Market


he next-generation high-speed communication standard fifth-generation (5G) mobile communication system market is slated to expand. Compared with the current fourth-generation mobile communication system/Long Term Evolution (4G/LTE) technology, 5G represents a significant leap forward that brings features, such as high speed, high bandwidth, and a high number of terminal connections together. Consequently, the standard is expected to help realize new services, such as remote medical treatment by enabling transmissions of high-resolution images, and automated driving at level 3, with “local 5G” to serve as an infrastructure technology to support the internet of things (IoT). In 2019, 19 overseas countries rolled out 5G services, while Japan, which is gearing up for the launch of 5G services, deployed pre-commercial 5G services.

Achieving wide-area coverage for the new 5G standard will require the installation of a larger number of base stations than for existing 4G/LTE networks. Base stations may have to be installed in downtown areas where space is limited or in locations that complicate maintenance. Various approaches are currently being considered to improve the reliability of 5G base stations and reduce maintenance, including miniaturization (high-density packaging) and fanless designs. As a result, components used in 5G base stations need to be smaller in size, capable of operating at high temperatures, and offer longer life spans. NICHICON Corporation presents several capacitor-related initiatives that the company has undertaken for the 5G market.

Mercedes, NVIDIA to Build Compute Platform for Automated Cars
The partnership will enable the two companies to plan and develop what they consider as the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture and enable software-upgradable, next-generation fleet with artificial intelligence, and autonomous capabilities.


erman premium passenger car maker Mercedes-Benz and accelerated computing forerunner NVIDIA have agreed to partner on revolutionary in-vehicle computing system and AI computing infrastructure. This will be rolled out across the fleet of next-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles starting 2024, enabling them with upgradable automated driving functions.

The new software-defined architecture will be built on the NVIDIA DRIVE platform and will be standard in Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation fleet, enabling state-of-the-art automated driving functionalities. A primary feature will be the ability to automate driving of regular routes from address to address. In addition, there will be numerous future safety and convenience applications. Customers will be able to purchase and add capabilities, software applications and subscription services through over-the-air software updates during the life of the car.

LiDARs Take on Next-Generation Advancements to Meet Demands
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems are destined to play a crucial role in the enablement of autonomous driving, and developers are racing to improve their technological capabilities to address issues that may hamper the systems’ full adoption.

ext-generation technological development continues to advance in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), which is an indispensable remote sensing device for self-driving vehicles with Level 3 or higher. Recent advancements in the development of the solid-state variant of LiDAR, which is smaller and less fragile than existing mechanical LiDAR and is superior in cost, has become active. Particularly, the number of companies involved in the development utilizing the MEMS technology is increasing.

Adoption of Solid State Variant

LiDAR is the technology that measures the distance of an object by shining laser light and measuring the time until its reflection returns. It is required for autonomous vehicles of Level 3 and higher. It is expected that about six LiDARs will be installed in Level 4 autonomous vehicles. The market size of LiDAR in 2024 is expected to be around ¥660 billion (US$6.30 billion).

Amazon Solidifies Autonomous Driving Foray, Acquires Zoox
The acquisition will enable the two companies’ vision of accelerating autonomous ride-hailing transportation that is safe, clean and enjoyable.


mazon has acquired Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. Amazon considers Zoox as a forward-thinking team that is pioneering the future of ride-hailing by designing autonomous technology from the ground up with passenger safety as top priority.

Aicha Evans, Chief Executive Officer at Zoox, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, will continue to lead the team as they innovate and drive towards their mission. Zoox will operate as a standalone business as they innovate and drive towards their mission.

Research Alliance Yields Use of Photonic Crystal Laser in LiDARs
The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems in smart mobility applications are becoming more imminent and the research team from Kyoto University and HOKUYO have found out the use of photonic crystal laser shows great potential as light source.

yoto University and Hokuyo Automatic Co., Ltd. (HOKUYO) have collaborated and succeeded in developing a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system equipped with a photonic crystal. The endeavor was the first successful attempt in the industry and demonstrated the photonic crystal laser is extremely effective for smart mobility applications.

LiDAR is extremely important for realizing smart mobility, that is, automatic driving of robots, agricultural machines, construction machines, automobiles, among other applications, in the super smart society.

High Beam Quality, Narrow Divergence Ange
For the light source at the heart of the LiDAR system, it is essential to utilize a semiconductor laser that is small and inexpensive. However, the beam quality of the conventional semiconductor laser tends to be significantly deteriorated at high output. Furthermore, due to astigmatism and large beam spread, the beam shape should be properly corrected for actual use with a complicated lens system. Therefore, among the challenges lies on high costs for parts and precise adjustment and of deterioration of the spatial resolution.
Tesla Nears Production of Fully Autonomous Vehicle
The U.S. carmaker said it is confident to introduce the fully-automated variant towards the end of this year that will comply with the Level 5 class automatic driving standard of the SAE International.

t the recent World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC 2020) in Shanghai, China, Tesla Motors, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said basic functions will be completed critical to the development of a fully autonomous vehicle towards the end of this year. During the forum which the U.S. carmaker’s top honcho attended virtually, Musk said the company’s fully autonomous car will meet the Level 5 class.

Level 5 (fully automated driving) is the highest level in the six levels of the automatic driving standards from levels 0 to 5 as set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International).

New JAE Airbag Connectors Guarantee Safety, Reliability
The AK2 standard-compliant squib connectors come with improved workability and eliminate incomplete mating with a spring-operated self-rejection structure.

apan Aviation Electronics Industry, Ltd. (JAE) considers airbag connectors as one of the priority fields of automotive connectors and is actively developing squib (igniter) connectors for in-vehicle airbags. Since its entry into the squib connector market, the number of models and customers adopting the connectors of the company has steadily increased. The company aims to expand further the share of squib connectors in its medium-term connector business plan.

In the summer of 2019, JAE has introduced the MX72A/B Series as an expanded product lineup of airbag connectors. This product is not only compliant with the AK2 squib connector for in-vehicle airbags, which has become the global standard, but also has greatly improved workability. Moreover, it helps prevent incomplete mating and therefore contributes to the reliability of the airbag system.

The company also offers various other products for airbags, such as the MX67 Series ECU connectors and the MX36/37 Series relay connectors. It will continue to provide safety-oriented connectors for airbags.

Component | Materials
New Measurement Technique Eyes Conductivity of Materials in Ultra Wideband
AIST has developed an electromagnetic field analysis algorithm that can measure conductivity of advanced materials for circuits used in ultra wideband to support reduction of power consumption in 5G and 6G systems.


he National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed a technology to easily measure the conductivity of metallic materials used in high-frequency planar circuits for an ultra wideband up to over 100GHz. It is expected to accelerate the development of advanced materials for low power consumption in 5G and 6G mobile communications.

The fifth-generation high-speed communication standard enables ultra-high-speed wireless communication with a maximum transmission speed of 10Gbps. As a frequency band for 5G, the 28GHz band has already been allocated in Japan, and allocation up to 71GHz has been agreed internationally. Furthermore, research and development have started worldwide for 6G, which is expected to be introduced around 2030.

NIMS, TCI Develop Novel Technology for Next-Generation Glass

he National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), in collaboration with Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (TCI), have developed a synthesis process for stable supply of metallo-supramolecular polymer, a material that changes color when electricity is applied. This material will be sold to the general public from TCI under the product name Poly (Fe-btpyb) Purple.

The spread of this material is expected to expand the market for dimming glass windows that can be electrically switched between a light-shielding state and a transparent state. In a dimming glass window that uses electrochromic (EC) material that electrically switches between a colored state and a transparent state, the glass itself functions as a blind or a curtain. Therefore, research into practical use has flourished worldwide as a next-generation glass window that creates a neat office space and living space.

NITTOKU Promotes Open Innovation Based on Transfer Systems
The company recognizes that the merger of technologies from different companies to create unique products will enable survival of companies in the future.

ITTOKU Co., Ltd. has been promoting open innovation with other companies using the transfer system for production lines, which it has developed through the application of various technologies it has nurtured in the production of automatic coil winding machines as a platform. This strategy has enabled the expansion of its global business into becoming a precision FA engineering company.

Recently, NITTOKU has been chosen to be included in the 2020 New Global Niche Top Companies Selection 100, upon approval by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). This is the second time the company has been included in the prestigious list following its first selection in 2013.

Nobushige Kondo Headshot
Nobushige Kondo, President, NITTOKU Co., Ltd.
Test | Measurement
NF to Shift to Holding Company Structure
With this decision, the company aims to operate its individual businesses with autonomy and speed.

F Corporation will transition into a holding company in October as it targets respective companies of electronic measurement and control, power supply systems, electronic devices, and applied systems to operate independently and with speed.

Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation, says, “We have swiftly made the decision so that we will be able to post positive results even amid the coronavirus crisis.” In an interview with AEI, Takahashi described the company’ adoption of digital marketing, its future direction, and other business strategies.

Tsuneo Takahashi Heashot
Tsuneo Takahashi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, NF Corporation
Test | Measurement
NF’s High-Speed Bipolar Amplifier Stably Drives DUT
The power amplifier can evaluate capacitive and inductive loads, like MLCC, in a way that ordinary power supplies and amplifiers cannot.

F Corporation has released the HSA42011 high-speed bipolar amplifier.The power amplifier features 4-quadrant operation and can freely output high speed, wide bandwidth, and positive and negative voltage and current. It can stably drive devices under test (DUT) that cannot be driven by ordinary power supplies and amplifiers.

Features of HSA42011
Having high-speed response and high slew rate performance, it faithfully reproduces high-speed repetitive and transient phenomena with good step response.

In general, the rise time of capacitive and inductive loads is delayed due to output impedance of the power supply. HSA42011 maintains low output impedance over the entire frequency band and minimizes voltage drop caused by the connection of load, and exhibits high-speed performance. It can output direct current (DC), therefore, it can support applications to output positive/negative asymmetric signals or signals in which alternating current (AC) is superimposed on DC.

Toyota’s Stamping-Type Plating Machine Lowers Environment Impact

oyota Motor Corporation’s new stamping-type plating technology uses a polymer membrane to efficiently apply plating, like a stamp, only to areas that require it. A polymer membrane or solid electrolyte membrane allows metal ions to pass. The technology is used in the plating process for forming copper, nickel, and other metal coatings on substrates in the process of manufacturing electronic parts.

Toyota has also announced a collaboration with Mikado Technos Co., Ltd. and Kanematsu Corporation to manufacture and sell new plating machines based on this new technology.

Significantly Reduces Waste, Plating Time
This new stamping-type plating machine (Photo 1) eliminates the need of a dipping process where parts to be plated are completely immersed in multiple baths of plating solution, which is required in most common plating processes (Photo 2) at present. As a result, waste solution can be dramatically reduced to about one-thirtieth and CO2 emissions to about one-third, thus contributing to a significant reduction in environmental impact. The technology also reduces plating time and process footprint.

Technology | HIGHLIGHT
Toshiba Technology Raises Bar of Solid-State LiDAR

ddressing the growing trend towards autonomous driving, Toshiba Corporation has introduced a high-resolution, long-range light-receiving technology for solid-state LiDAR systems. By removing the need for bulky mechanical components, the technology realizes cost and space savings and enhances operational reliability.

At its heart is Toshiba’s proprietary compact, high-efficiency silicon photomultiplier (SiPM). In general, SiPM are suitable for long-range measurement as they are highly light sensitive. However, the light-receiving cells in SiPM require recovery time after being triggered, and in strong ambient light condition they also need several cells because they must have reserve cells to react to reflected laser light.

Boosts Present LiDAR Systems
Toshiba’s SiPM applies a transistor circuit that reboots the cells to reduce the recovery time. The cells function more efficiently and fewer are needed, securing a smaller SiPM (Figure 1). This realizes a higher-resolution SiPM array while maintaining high sensitivity (Figure 2).

Ultra-Thin Hall Effect ICs Improve Design of Automotive Parts

BLIC Inc. has introduced five automotive Hall effect ICs — S-57GD, S-57GS, S-57GN, S-57TZ and S-57RB —in one of the thinnest packages of 0.5mm. These full range of products allow customers to select the product that best suits their individual needs.

This new lineup of ABLIC’s automotive Hall effect ICs are delivered in a 0.5mm HSNT-6(2025) package, which is roughly half the thickness of the company’s previous package as well as other companies’ packages. With the ultra-thin package, the adjustment dials of air conditioners, navigation systems, and other modules can be designed thinner and smaller for better operation, while thinner power window motors can be more design-friendly.

Image of Ultra-thin package for high-density mounting
Figure: Ultra-thin package for high-density mounting
Although these products come in an ultra-thin package, the pins protrude from the sides of the outer lead package to allow automated visual inspection to confirm that the pins are properly soldered to the board. A TSOT-23-3S package permitting automated visual inspection is also available.
Alps Alpine Highlights Compact, High-Linearity Force Sensors

lps Alpine Co., Ltd. has added a new model to its HSFPAR Series of force sensors. The company already started mass production of the HSFPAR007A Force Sensor, which is one of Alps Alpine’s smallest products to date.

Smartphones, in-vehicle controls, reservation, and ticketing machines in public facilities are among devices increasingly seen in public places that use touch input. Incidentally, foldable smartphones have started to become popular and encompass the market with new added value, merging the basic features of a tablet computer and a smartphone.

Conventional smartphones underwent their own advancements in technology for full-screen displays, including punch-hole and notch-less designs. Evolution of larger displays and touch input is expected to continue.

Chip Manufacturing Equipment to Log Record Revenue in 2021, Sustains 2020 Growth

lobal sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are projected to jump 6 percent to US$63.2 billion in 2020 compared to US$59.6 billion in 2019, before logging record high revenue of US$70 billion in 2021 on the strength of 10.8 percent growth, based on the projections by SEMI.

Growth across a number of semiconductor segments is expected to drive the expansion. The wafer fab equipment segment, which includes wafer processing, fab facilities, and mask/reticle equipment, is expected to rise five percent in 2020 followed by 13 percent growth in 2021 driven by a recovery in memory spending and investments in leading-edge equipment and by China. Foundry and logic spending, accounting for about half of total wafer fab equipment sales, will see single-digit increases in 2020 and 2021. Both DRAM and NAND spending in 2020 will surpass 2019 levels and each is projected to grow by more than 20 percent in 2021.

ASM’s New Solutions Pave Way for Integrated Smart Factory

mid the global threats of the dreaded corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, ASM Assembly Systems presented its traditional latest product releases and updates for the first time via internet livestream for its ASM Impact – Release Summer 2020. The online event, which was held in Munich, Germany, was attended by over 900 interested parties including media and touched on all segments of surface mount technology (SMT) production and introduced hardware and software innovations.

Guenter Walter Lauber, Chief Executive Officer of ASM’s SMT Solutions, noted that while the world is impacted by the pandemic, this should not hinder but rather accelerate advancements in manufacturing systems. Lauber noted that over the past weeks, the industry saw proof of concept for the integrated smart factory through remote support and that smart operator concepts have supported safe working conditions in many factories.

Picture of ASM Impact
Photo 1: From left to right: Alexander Hagenfeldt, Head of Product Marketing; Thomas Bliem, Director R&D Placement Hardware Engineering & Project Management; and Fuyan Yang, Senior Manager Product Management Placement Systems, ASM SMT Solutions
“Our drive is to keep going for you (ASM customers), going forward. I believe our shared passion will see us emerge from this crisis, the thrive for innovation. I am a supporter of smart factory, I am certain integration and automation in our shop floors are the way forward. I am proud many of you are exploring these options and ASM is one of the first names on your mind,” Lauber said.
Business | Flash
Dongwoon’s Saliva-Sensing Solution to Change Game of Glucose Testing

wo years after he was diagnosed with diabetes, Kim Bong Suk, in his early 50s, has a painfully exhausting daily routine of pricking his fingernails with a needle to squeeze drops of blood to check his glucose level. “It’s painful and disgusting to squeeze drops of blood every day. As it is a matter of life or death for me, however, I can’t help but to do it routinely. I am looking forward to another alternative (solution),” Kim narrated.

Kim’s daily distress might soon come to an end with the discovery of a much patient-friendly glucose testing and measuring solution.

Korean analog chipmaker Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. has developed a glucose measurement device for diabetes using saliva, seeing it as a game changer in the several-billions-a-year global glucose testing and measuring market. The company leveraged on its 15-year-old expertise in the design of analog chips to expand into the new highly prized healthcare devices market.

Japan’s MIC Paves Road Leading to 6G to Boost Competitiveness

he Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan has drafted strategic proposals targeting the early introduction of Beyond 5G (6G), the succeeding generation to 5G communications standard, and to secure international competitiveness in 6G. Setting sights on 6G’s practical use around 2030, MIC will focus intensively on the research and development of core technologies and the establishment of environment for implementing 6G over the next five years, while building up basic technologies in stages. MIC plans to showcase results of these efforts to the international market at OSAKA-KANSAI JAPAN EXPO to be held in 2025.

The proposals have been compiled by Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium, a panel of experts under MIC.

Japan’s Progress in 6G
In Japan, the commercial services of 5G started this spring. While Japan lagged behind other countries both in terms of start of commercial use and technological development, Japan has smoothly introduced 6G early on through country-wide efforts. It aims to secure a 30 percent share in 6G’s infrastructure market, where overseas telecom operators presently get an overwhelming share.

Murata, Kyocera R&D Bases to Leverage on Open Innovations

urata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Kyocera Corporation accelerate their research and development (R&D) activities targeting growth markets in Minato Mirai 21 District in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo.

Murata Manufacturing will complete the construction of Murata Works Minato Mirai Innovation Center in October, which will work on the R&D of products for automotive, energy, and medical and healthcare equipment markets, on top of communications market and internet of things (IoT) products.

Kyocera steps up R&D for co-creation focusing on intangible products using Minatomirai Research Center as an open innovation base for co-development and collaboration with external research institutions, universities, companies, and startups.

Korea Opts for Localization of Raw Materials as Trade to Japan Sours

ne year after the Japanese government imposed trade restrictions on exports of key raw materials for chip manufacturing to Korea, the trade frictions have made big crack in the two neighboring countries’ decades-old division of labor system.

With the new trade set-up, Korean semiconductor raw materials makers as well as chemical gas makers have been seeing new market opportunities to replace Japanese imports, standing an unprecedented chance to flex their research and development muscle on chemical solutions and raw materials.

Meanwhile, Japanese makers, who had supplied those key elements for decades, have been losing long-held growth momentums, helplessly seeing their shipments to Korea sliding deeply.

Taiwan Leverages ICT Expertise in Battling COVID-19

he government of Taiwan has been focusing its promotion efforts on artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications standard in recent years.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the demand for quarantine solutions, which apply AI technologies, and services that accommodate the new normal has been increasing.

Jang-Haw Leu, Director General, Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, spoke about government-led efforts of Taiwan in keeping COVID-19 infections to a minimum.

Government Response to Pandemic
This spring, amid the expansion of novel coronavirus infections around the world, the shortage of face masks in various countries has been noticeable. The Taiwanese government speedily responded to this issue.

Jang-Haw Leu headshot
Jang-Haw Leu, Director General, Industrial Development Bureau, Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs
Looking Ahead, ROHM Lays Down Foundation for 10-Year Vision

OHM C., Ltd. through its President Isao Matsumoto, has presented the company’s 10-year vision (comprising two five-year stages), which starts in FY2021, and the policies to achieve this. Among the policies laid down by Matsumoto includes focusing efforts on building up its business continuity plan (BCP) and strengthening of supply chain management (SCM) capability, as well as on the construction of a matrix organization by reinforcing corporate-wide cross-organizational function. Matsumoto has also made clear that he plans to add application specific standard products (ASSPs) including analog ICs, power devices, and products for standard products, such as small signal discrete semiconductors and resistors, mainly for automobiles and industrial equipment as priority markets, to the company’s lineup of mainstay products.

Isao Matsumoto headshot
Isao Matsumoto, President, ROHM Co., Ltd.
Business | Strategy
Nippon Mektron Expands Role of FPCs in Automotive, xEVs

ippon Mektron, Ltd. has been stepping up the development of flexible printed circuits (FPCs) for automotive use following the dramatic increase of electrified vehicles (xEVs) in the automotive field. Although global production and sales of automobiles have slowed down, the ratio of xEVs has been increasing steadily, signifying the growing concern to promote environmental protection and efficient energy use.

Nippon Mektron has developed an FPC, which monitors the voltage of lithium ion batteries, and started to promote the sales of the new product on full scale.

Fortifies Plants, Equipment
The company’s sales for the fiscal year ending March 2020 stood at ¥283.1 billion (US$2.7 billion), decreasing 4.8 percent from the previous year. The demand for FPCs for smartphones, the main market of FPCs, has been sluggish, while sales of FPCs for automobiles, the global production and sales of which registered negative growth, levelled off.

Tatsuhiko Saito headshot
Tatsuhiko Saito, Senior Operating Officer, Nippon Mektron, Ltd.
DELTA, Idemitsu Kosan Open Complex-Type EV Charging Station in Japan

ELTA ELECTRONICS (JAPAN), INC. and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. jointly opened Delta EV Charging Station (Yokohama) as a demonstration test shop for “Park & Charge” complex-type EV charging services in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan.

Delta EV Charging Station (Yokohama) has been established to verify a new complex-type EV charging service model, which is targeted to improve users’ convenience, and sustainability of the service. The companies have started the demonstration test by providing a parking lot and DELTA ELECTRONICS’s EV charger set using the vacated site of Idemitsu’s service station. Delta EV Charging Station (Yokohama) enables users to use the café and neighboring facilities while their EVs are being charged. The companies make efforts to create new experiences for customers.

Photo 1: CH. Ko, Executive Director, Delta Electronics (Japan), Inc. addresses the audience at the opening ceremony.
Photo 1: CH. Ko, Executive Director, Delta Electronics (Japan), Inc. addresses the audience at the opening ceremony.
Product | News
ICs, Semiconductors & Modules
ROHM’s Detection IC
ROHM’s Detection IC
ROHM Co., Ltd. has developed a zero cross timing detection IC, the first in the industry that detects 0V point (zero cross point) of AC waveforms to efficiently control motors and microcontrollers of white goods. ROHM formed the zero cross detection circuit comprised of a photocoupler and a transistor for zero cross detection using an IC, thereby reducing standby power of the zero cross detection circuit from 0.5 to 0.6W of conventional circuits to 0.01W, bringing it infinitely close to zero. The zero cross timing detection IC meets the needs of internet of things (IoT) white goods equipped with communications function, such as Wi-Fi, and are required to be charged all the time, to reduce standby power.
ROHM Co., Ltd.
FDK Gears up for All-Solid-State Battery Mass Production

DK Corporation has announced that it will start towards the end of this year the mass production of SoLiCell, a surface mount device (SMD)-compatible small all-solid-state battery. The company will establish a production system for monthly production of 300,000 units by the end of FY2020, planning to expand to a scale of 2 million units a month by FY2022.

As the first iteration of mass-production product, FDK said the SMDcompatible small all-solid-state battery measures 4.5×3.2×1.6mm and will have high industry-level features of 3V and 0.5mAh. The company is already revving up its Kosai Plant in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture in time for the start of mass production, which was supposed to happen in Q3 of FY2020.

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