SEMICON Japan 2014
The largest exhibition for the Asian semiconductor industry was held at Tokyo Big Sight December 3. The three-day show was previously held in Makuhari Messe. The Japanese semiconductor industry remains stuck in a recession. For this reason, I was expecting new trends; unfortunately, I was disappointed.
With most major trade shows and events, crowds of people can be seen walking from the train and bus stations to the convention center, but there were no crowds at this event. I wondered whether I had the wrong place or the wrong date. I was expecting long lines of visitors registering for the show and was surprised to see no lines. I did not have to wait to register.
My disappointment began immediately when I entered the exhibition hall. The size of the show had shrunk considerably compared to previous years. Only five halls of the Eastern Pavilion were occupied with approximately 600 companies. Even though the space was cut in half, vacant spaces could still be found on the show floor and organizers widened the aisles to fill in the space. Applied Material and Tokyo Electron--two giants of the industry--had relatively large booths, but featured no new product displays or other technologies. Intel, IBM, and Sharp reserved smaller booths as well. These companies were promoting Internet of Things (IoT). Unfortunately, I did not understand their presentations.
Companies affiliated with assembly and packaging reserved remarkable parts of the space in previous years; however, this year, there weren’t many companies representing this category. A couple of equipment suppliers and other companies from Korea and Japan were present, but I did not see any packaging firms or material suppliers. I may have walked right by them though, as many exhibitors decreased the size of their booths as an exercise in cost-savings.
Technical seminars were sparse this year and most were free to attend. The topics did not seem to be all that interesting and they were not well attended.
In the past, many visitors from Korea and Taiwan gathered information about leading-edge technologies from Japanese and American companies. Now that Korea and Taiwan are the major semiconductor producers in the world they are the ones from which others try to gather information.
This show was similart to CEATEC Japan 2014 held in early October. Japanese electronics companies continue to lose market share in the consumer electronics market; nowadays, there's no volume production in Japan. Electronics giants such as Panasonic and Sony are now very conservative and most of their efforts are aimed at financial issues. They are no longer leaders in the global electronics industry and their booths were a reflection of this.
My concern with the industry is a lack of passion from Japanese electronics companies. Most of the representatives from these companies seemed to be going through the motions with no energy at all. There wasn’t even a rallying speech from any of the show's promoting organizations. The semiconductor and consumer electronics market could disappear from Japan over the next few years if these manufacturers continue to approach each day without drive, determination, and passion.
Dominique K. Numakura, firstname.lastname@example.org
DKN Research, www.dknresearchllc.com
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Headlines of the Week
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1. Yaskawa Electric (Major equipment supplier in Japan) 11/27
The supplier has opened the" Robot Center" in Indonesia for local technical service in Asian countries.
2. Murata (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 11/27
The manufacturer has commercialized a new SMT type LC hybrid EMI filter “BNX Series” for automotive, industrial, and medical applications.
3. Hitachi Metals (Major metal supplier in Japan) 12/1
The supplier has developed a new soft ferrite core material for automotive devices. The new material has stable properties up to 130 degrees C.
4. Fujitsu (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/1
The company has begun foundry business of semiconductor devices at its subsidiary companies in Mie and Aizuwakamatsu.
5. JSR (Major electronic material company in Japan) 12/1
The company will invest 4 billion yen to create a new manufacturing subsidiary in China for special LCD panel materials.
6. Toyota Tsusho (Major trading company in Japan) 12/4
The company has begun the volume mining of lithium carbonate in Salar de Oraloz, Algentina with an annual volume of 17,500 tons.
7. Dai Nippon Printing (Major printing company in Japan) 12/8
The company has begun the volume production of Biomatic B-PET film for general packaging, including paper cups.
8. Tohoku University (Japan) 12/10
The university has developed a productive electrode for a hydrogen generator without the use of rare earth metals by introducing porous graphene.
9. Chi Mei (Major display manufacturer in Taiwan) 12/16
The manufacturer will postpone the manufacture of polarization sheets for LCD panels in China.
10. Hitachi Chemical (Major electronics material supplier in Japan) 12/16
The supplier has developed a new UV curable anisotropic conductive film (ACF) for connections of FPD panels capable for 400 square micrometer pads with a five micron gap.
11. Sony (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/17
The company has developed a new 0.23” OLED panel with 640 x 400 pixels for wearable display devices.
12. Ricoh (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/17
The company has unveiled a new gel jet printer, “RICOH SG 3100KE,,” with a hybrid technology of ink-jet printing and laser printing.
13. Pioneer (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/17
The company has shipped the world's smallest and lightest laser blood flow meter for a touch medical sensor.
14. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/18
The company has started the business of large scale data archive “LB-DH8 Series.” The system has 638.4TB capacity in one unit with a 216 MB/s data transfer speed.
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