#2002 / InterNepcon Japan 2020

The largest electronics exhibition in Asia opened January 15 at Tokyo Big Sight. The three day event was larger than last year with more trade show participants as well as visitors. The trade show was not on the main floor this year. Tokyo Big Sight is now home to media that is covering the 2020 Summer Olympics, and hundreds of exhibitions and conventions will have to cancel or change venues. InterNEPCON Japan 2020 was somewhat displaced; the show was divided amongst the different halls at Tokyo Big Sight. This was an inconvenience for visitors and it was nearly impossible to visit all booths during the three day event.
I decided to focus my attention on a few select companies due to logistics and a time constraint. The most popular trade show booths were affiliated with car electronics, ultra high density, wearable devices and 5G Ultra Wideband.
Fine pattern generation is an on-going project for printed circuit manufacturers. Chemical’s suppliers JCU and Okuno demonstrated smaller line pitches than 5 microns produced through a semi additive process. These processes can generate one micron traces, but circuit manufacturers are not ready to use the ultra fine circuits. Current assembling processes and connection technologies that use soldering and wire bonding are not capable to use the ultra-fine traces. Compass, a tape shape flex circuit manufacturer in Hong Kong displayed finer traces than 15 microns designed for driver modules for display devices, and double side COF (Chip on Film) with micro via holes produced reel-to-reel manufacturing process.
Low loss materials for high frequency circuits are an ongoing design project. American laminate suppliers Rogers and Nelco dominate the market for rigid circuit boards. Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) film is leading the flex circuit industry. New low loss materials such as low loss polyimide film, fluoro polymer resins and PEEK resin are looking for the second positions. One problem is the
P-ban.com, an online printed circuit supplier displayed various new products including multi-layer rigid boards, flexible circuits and rigid/flex. One of their main features is a series of flexible thick film circuits produced by screen-printing process, with fine line circuits down to 30 micron line/space. The company also displayed Monocoque Circuits, a unique hybrid 3D circuit produced by thick film technology.
Chinese circuit manufacturers and distributors continue to increase their presence at these trade shows. Most of them claimed they are capable to supply a broad range of circuit products including rigid, flex and rigid/flex. They provided snapshots of their manufacturing plants in China. I was impressed with their buildings and manufacturing equipment; most of their facilities looked better than circuit manufacturers in the U.S. and Japan.
The Chinese manufacturers also displayed typical examples of the circuits. The quality levels of the samples are not at par with Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers. It may take a few more years for them to catch up and have an equivalent quality level.

Dominique K. Numakura, dnumakura@dknresearch.com
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com

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Headlines of the week
(Please contact haverhill@dknreseach.com for further information and news.)

  1. Nikkei Electronics (Industrial media in Japan) 1/20
    Expect that organic EL will be major instead of LCD display in 2020. Micro LED will be next after that.
  2. NTT East Japan (Major telecommunication provider in Japan) 1/22
    Has made a new JV NTTe-Sports to strengthen the services in the globally growing market.
  3. YAMAHA Motors (Major motor cycle manufacturer in Japan) 1/21
    Will enter robot market cooperating Waseda University targeting at least five percent market share.
  4. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) 1/22
    Has been developing a series of VR simulators to realize the HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems.
  5. ZTE (Major telecommunication provider in China) 1/21
    Has launched the first 5G SA network in Eastern Africa cooperating with MTN Uganda.
  6. Renault (Major car manufacturer in France) 1/22
    Has kicked off the new R&D project “INCIT-EV” with 32 companies to develop EV relating technologies.
  7. Toshiba D&S (Major semiconductor company in Japan) 1/23
    Has commercialized new small size MOSFET devices for automobile applications introducing TSOP6F. They reduce SMT space 70%.
  8. Dai-Nippon Printing (Major printing company) 1/23
    Has developed a thin heat sink device “Paper Chamber” for 5G smart phones. Thickness: 0.25 mm. It will generate more spaces for batteries.
  9. Sharp (Major electronics company in Japan) 1/23
    Has unveiled a new 70” touch panel screen “PN-CD701” for the conference room use. It will start to ship in March. Standard retail price: 1,030,000yens.
  10. AIST (Major R&D organization in Japan) 1/24
    Has developed a new thermo couple device based on organic material PEDOT/PSS. It works under low temperature (120 degree C).
  11. Mitsubishi UFJ Bank (Major bank in Japan) 1/27
    Has been introducing arm-type robots to complete the automation of the office works.
  12. Fujitsu (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/2
    Has started the shipment of the super computer “FUGAKU”. It has a 100 times higher speed compared to the previous machine “KEI”.
  13. Toshiba (Major electric & electronics company in Japan) 12/6
    Has developed a new cancer diagnosis system. A drop of blood is enough to detect 13 kinds cancers with 99% accuracy analyzing micro RNAs in two hours.
  14. SMK (Major component supplier in Japan) 12/10
    Has commercialized a new BtB connector series “PB-F2” for floating circuit boards of automobile applications. Volume production will start in April 2010.
  15. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/10
    Has agreed with Nishikawa, bedding product supplier to start support service in March 2020 for comfortable sleeping.
  16. Asics (Major sports wear supplier in Japan) 12/11
    Has co-developed a low cost wearable motion capture suite with Tokyo University for analysis of various sports.
  17. MinebeaMitsumi (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
    Has co-developed a new stepping motor with a high precision with Renesas Electronics for robots, OA equipment, medical devices and more.
  18. TE Japan (Major connector manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
    Has commercialized a new high reliability connector series “SFP + Stack Type Dual Line Connectors” for high speed double side printed circuits.
  19. Toshiba Device & Storage (Semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
    Has commercialized a new system power source IC “TB9045FNG” for automobile modules.
  20. TDK (Major Component supplier in Japan) 12/12
    Has commercialized a new noise suppression filter “MAF1608GAD-L Type” with a high efficiency for smart speakers or tablet PCs.
  21. Taiyo Yuden (Major Component supplier in Japan) 12/15
    Has developed the all solid state lithium secondly battery with SMT package utilizing multi-layer ceramic capacitor technologies. Size: 1005 ~ 4532
  22. Murata (Major Component supplier in Japan) 12/15
    Has developed the smallest chip capacitor. 0.25 x 0.125 x 0.125 mm for 0.1 micro Farads. Volume production will start in 2020.

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