Dominique Numakura's Newsletter from Japan
Feb 07, 2006
Update of the IC Substrate Industry in Japan
Semiconductor Industry News, a major industry media in Japan, is reporting the latest activities of the IC substrate suppliers in Japan. Both rigid boards and flexible circuit manufacturers are actively expanding their production capacities to catch up with the growing demand. Technical competitions have been becoming finer and finer.
Major rigid substrate suppliers such as Ibiden and Shinko Electric have aggressive expansion plans for thin substrates to meet the glowing demands of microprocessors and memories for cellular phones and digital cameras. Ibiden will expand the manufacturing capacity of thin substrate for the stacked packages in Japan and the Philippines. Shinko also plans to expand the capacity of their Wakaho Plant. Eastern will invest 1.8 billion yen to increase the capacity of the thin substrates. Total investments of the major companies in 2006 could be over 10 billion yens.
The rigid substrate manufacturers are currently producing 40 micron line/space traces as the standard and 20 micron line/space as the high end. But they have been developing 10 micron line/space for the next generation substrate. The current standard thickness of the substrates for stacked packages is around 130 microns but the manufacturers are expecting thicknesses of 100 micron or less for the next generation stacked packages.
Flexible substrate suppliers are more aggressive because of booming demands of the flat panel displays. Mitsui Metal Smelting, the largest TAB manufacturer will invest 10 billion yen to build a new plant for the large volume production of TAB and COF. The new plant will produce 120 million substrates per month. Shindo Denshi, the second largest TAB manufacturer already started the operation of the new plant in Mito, Ibaraki-ken for TAB and COF. Hitachi Cable, the third largest tape product manufacturer is planning to invest 5 billion yen to increase the capacity of COF in Kofu Plant targeting the 30 billion yen business in the near future. The major flex circuit manufacturers such as Nippon Mektron and Fujikura also have aggressive plans to expand the capacity of COF substrates and assembling the display applications.
Currently, the whole PWB business is not very strong but the substrate business for the IC packaging has been growing remarkably; therefore the major circuit board manufacturers have been shifting the business to the high margin business. The major rigid board manufacturers and flexible circuit manufacturers in Taiwan and Korea are following the Japanese trends aggressively.
Headlines of the week
JSR (Major electronics material supplier in Japan)
Has built a new clean room facility (55 thousand square feet) for the R&D works of the next generation devices such as semiconductor and FPD.
Kitagawa Seiki (PWB equipment manufacturer in Japan)
Will invest 500 million yens to found the new company KST for the new business of EDLC. (Electric Double Layer Capacitor)
Yamanashi Matsushita (Major PWB manufacturer in Japan)
Has unveiled new thin multi-layer boards made by build-up process for the high density SMT. It is available for 0.4 mm pitch CSP devices.
Renesus (Major semiconductor manufacturer in Japan)
Has been developing transparent molding materials for the packaging of the optical semiconductor devices.
Seiko Epson (Major electronics company in Japan)
Has developed a new frequency variable filter by a MEMS technology. The new device can be much smaller than current devices.
TOK (Major photo chemical supplier in Japan)
Will start the volume production of the photo resist in China for LCD manufacturing process in June 2006.
Sumitomo Metal (Flexible laminate supplier in Japan)
Will invest 7 billion yen to increase the manufacturing capacity of the adhesiveless laminate to 6.5 million square meters from 4.6 million square meters for the booming demands of COF substrates.
Hitachi, Matsushita & Toshiba (Major electronics companies in Japan)
Will start the operation of the new LCD manufacturing plant two months earlier than original plan because of the strong demands of large size LCD TVs.
Yokowo (Mechanical device manufacturer in Japan)
Has commercialized a new connector for the power supply cable of the cellular phones.
Dai-Nippon Screen (Equipment manufacturer in Japan)
Has rolled out a new AOI machine "PI-8700" for the high density printed circuit boards. The new machine is capable to inspect 12.5 micron lines. (half mils)
SMK (Mechanical device manufacturer in Japan)
Has commercialized the smallest horizontal switch "MT Switch-II" for the portable electronics. 2.2 mm wide with 14.75 square mm SMT space.
LG Electronics (Major electronics company in Korea)
Has started the operation of the new 7th generation LCD panel plant P7. LG plans to increase the capacity to 90,000 sheets of 1950 x 2250 mm work per month in 2007.
Samsung Electronics (Major electronics company in Korea)
Is planning to increase the manufacturing capacity of the new 7th generation LCD plant 7-2 to 75,000 sheet of 1870 x 2200 mm work per month by July 2006.
Renesus (Major semiconductor manufacturer in Japan)
Announced that it would double the shipment of the SiP product in 2007.