Dominique Numakura’s Newsletter from Japan
Jan 26, 2004
2003 PWB production in JapanMETI released the November PWB production data in Japan last week. There was a small decline from October, but it looked stable. Usually, December production does not change drastically from October and November. Now, we are able to estimate the whole PWB production of 2003 in Japan with good accuracy. The total production value of 2003 could be slightly smaller than 800 billion Yen with the METI’s members. It is very close to 2002, probably in +/- 2%. However, the total volume of 2003 could have a 3 to 5 % decline from the previous year. It means the Japanese PWB manufacturers have been shifting to the high end products.There are several significant changes from 2002 of the products categories. The single side rigid board declined 20% by revenue and 25% decline by volume. It has been disappearing from the Japanese market. The double side rigid board declined 6 to 8% from 2002 in both revenue and volume. The 4-layer board which was the major part of multi-layer rigid boards also declined 6 to 8% by volume. The revenue decline more than 25% from 2002. But this number is not practical because of the questionable number of 2002. The 6-8 layer boards had a 7 to 9% decline by revenue and a 25 to 30% decline by volume. This category could have a significant change to higher margin products. Higher layer products than 10 kept the same level by volume, but it increased more than 10% by revenue. Japanese PWB manufacturers have been moving to higher layer counts.The build-up boards have been becoming the major products in the Japanese market. It had over 110 billion Yen sales in 2003. It had an increase of about 15% by revenue and 35% increase by volume. It means build-up products had a serious price down in 2003.Flexible circuits had a significant growth especially with double side flex and multi-layer rigid/flex in 2003. The single side flex grew 10 to 15% by revenue and about 10% by volume. The double sides flex and rigid/flex had a 45 to 50% growth by revenue and more than a 40% growth by volume. The data was showing the evidence from my current information that Japanese flexible circuit manufacturers have been moving to higher density and higher layer counts to keep the higher margins and larger profits.Totally, the decline of the rigid board business was balanced by the significant growth of flexible circuit business.The final data will be confirmed in middle February.DVD Demands:A couple weeks ago, I spoke to you about the rapid growth of the DVD (Digital Video Disc) market in Japan in the last few years. And I was expecting the trends to be similar in Korea and Taiwan. However, DigiTimes has a different idea. It is estimating more than 200% demand growth in 2004 compared to 2003 from 4.4 million units to 13.5 million units. A key point is that the major demand growth is in the U.S. and Europe. The growth in these areas is almost 400% from 2 million units to 10 million units. I do not why, but the current market size of Taiwan and Korea is minor. And it will have a big growth this year, but it is still minor in the global market. Probably, the DVD demands in Korea and Taiwan are two or three years behind. China could need anther two years. Anyway, DVD will be one of the major consumer electronic products in a short time. It will be a huge market for the component manufacturers, circuit board manufacturers and EMS companies. Especially for the flexible circuits, that will be another big factor for the shortages of manufacturing capacities and materials. DVD needs flexible circuits for its moving parts of the wiring. Currently, only major Japanese manufacturers and some Taiwanese EMS companies have been contributing to the business. Certainly, Korean manufacturers will join the club. The volume assembly will move to China in the future. It will repeat the same story again for the new consumer electronics. The U.S. and Europe will generate a big consumer market for DVD products, but they do not contribute to the manufacturing. Dominique Numakura Headline NewsMitsubishi Chemical Media (Memory device manufacturer) Will start the supply of the new 3.5" MO disc which satisfies the green procurement of the industry.Sumitronics (Electronics trading company in the Sumitomo Shoji Group) Will expand the EMS business in China without manufacturing. It will utilize its strong business network in China.Mitsubishi Material (Major chemical company) Has founded a new joint venture with Nanya Plastic for manufacturing and marketing of drilling bits for the PWB industry.Kuraray (Major chemical company) Developed a new light guide board for the next generation LCD devices.ESPEC (Test equipment manufacturer) Will develop new high-speed test equipment for temperature performance of the electronic components. The new equipment will have a ten time faster speed than traditional machines.I-Pulse (Mounting machine manufacturer) Will roll out 2 models of the new SMT mounting machines. "M4a" is targeting the Asian market for low cost and high speed. "M4e" will target the European market for its’ wide flexibilityToshiba (Major electronics company) Developed a new MCP (Multi-chip Package) technology for mobile equipment. The new technology can stack 9 bare dies in a 1.4 mm high package. Harima Kasei (Material company) Will start the production of solder paste materials in Malaysia and the United States in this springMitsubishi Electric (Major electric and electronics company) Has developed a new lead-free package for the hybrid power module devices. Mitsubishi also developed lead-free IGBT for the automobile applications.Sumitomo Osaka Cement (Major cement supplier) Will increase significantly the manufacturing capacity of the functional films for plasma TV. The company is planning to increase the business 3 times larger in the next 2 years.Sony Has developed the new TFT-LCD modules for the cellular phones introducing SOG (System on Glass) technology. 7 ICs are on one glass LCD substrate.Sony Reported serious damages on the stainless steel parts of the soldering equipment by lead-free solder after the long operations.Noda Screen (Screen and PWB manufacturer) Will start the production of printed circuit boards in China by the end of 2004. Noda will also expand the equipment business in China.Nippon Micronics (Electronics manufacturer) Will introduce the ceramic base multi-layer thin film circuit technology from NEC Computer Technology for its probe card products.Matsushita Electric Industry (Major electronics company) Co-developed a new plated metal removal process from the surface of plastic by plasma technology with Kumamoto University.Sumitomo Metal Mining (Metal product company) Will found a manufacturing and marketing subsidiary for bonding wire in Shanghai, China to cover the growing market in China.Senju Metal (Soldering material supplier) Developed a new conductive adhesive material "Eco Attach" as the alternative technology of high temperature lead-free soldering.Nihon Genma (Soldering material supplier) Co-developed a new melting temperature lead-free solder with Sony. The new alloy does not include silver. The melting temperature is 199 degrees C.RinTech (Material manufacturer) Rolled out two new pressure sensitive tapes "Tac Liner TL-415S-06" and "Slim Liner" to fix the flexible circuits in the cellular phones.Kyocera (Major device manufacturer) Will found an R&D company, Kyocera Display Institute to develop the new organic EL display for the portable electronics.Hirose Electric (Major connector manufacturer) Has been introducing a series of miniature size coaxial cable connectors for the high speed wiring of the hinge area of the folding type cellular phones instead of flexible circuits.JST (Japan) Developed a new piezo electric material which has a 40 times higher efficiency than the traditional material. The new material has no lead content.Pioneer (Major electronics manufacturer) Started the volume production of the new passive type multi color organic EL display devices for the car audio systems targeting the North American market.CMK (Major PWB manufacturer in Japan) Rolled out the metal hybrid PWB "CMK-COM-MB/MC Series" with inorganic fillers such as aluminum oxide and silicon oxide for automobile applications.Matsushita Electronic Components (Major component supplier) Developed the world’s smallest push button switch for cellular phone applications.10.15 square mm with 1.4 mm high.Matsushita Kotobuki (Major electronics manufacturer) Developed a new lead-free solder alloy with a low melting point. (200 degree C)NEC (Major electronics manufacturer) Started "Green Procurement Actions" in January 2004. 100% green procurement will be completed by 2005.YAMAHA (Mounting machine manufacturer) Will introduce a new compact size module SMT mounting machine "Slim II". High speed (0.28 seconds for a 0603 component).Nikkei (Major newspaper) Japanese PDP-TV manufacturers have been entering the size war. All manufacturers will increase the manufacturing capacity for the size larger than 60".Mitsubishi Material (Major chemical company) Founded a subsidiary in Taiwan for the manufacturing and marketing of drilling tools for the PWB industry.All original news items were written in Japanese. Volunteers are choosing the topics and translating to English for free delivery. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the news. Quick news is the first priority of the headlines, therefore, we can not eliminate all of the mistakes in the translations.