The Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, also know as CEATEC, is Japan’s largest IT and electronics exhibition and conference. The five-day show was held at Makuhari Messe – a Japanese convention center outside of Tokyo. The show is held every year in October, and this year’s show completely changed from previous years’ as the electronics industry in Japan has dramatically slowed.
The theme of CREATEC Japan 2013 was “Smart Innovation – Technology for Future Society and Lifestyles.” The exhibits that had to live up to this slogan came from car electronics, 4k TV and healthcare.
More than one third of the floor space was occupied by automobile manufacturers and module manufacturers. These companies showcased their products and demonstrated the use of EV (Electric Vehicles) and Telematics technologies (auto electronics). A large section of space was reserved for concept vehicles of the future. Nissan’s car on display featured a commercially-viable Autonomous Drive technology. The driver did not touch the steering wheel or break and gas pedals while the car was running. The car detects traffic signs and other vehicles in traffic, and chooses the safest route. Toyota and Honda also showcased concept cars that looked more like moving robots.
The most popular product on display from electronics exhibitors were 4k TV -- ultra high definition television. The large panels TVs on display were LCD screens and OLED screens, and were very appealing to the eye with their clear resolution and brightness; however, there was not much difference among manufacturers. 3D TVs evaporated from the scene completely; it seems everyone forgot about the aggressive advertising campaigns and promotion a few years ago touting the benefits of 3D TV. Most Japanese electronics companies at the show did not present very much about smartphones and tablet PCs. Could this mean they are giving up on this segment of the market? Unfortunately, the alternative business avenues are not very clear – it seems the only viable candidate is 4k TV.
Manufacturers for passive components, connectors and materials were very aggressive with sales pitches during the show (semiconductor manufacturers were not very aggressive). They promoted modules or systems to use instead of simple components that moved upstream and downstream. Their targeted audience for some of their applications was customers who dealt with healthcare equipment including medical devices. Their products were uniquely different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Kyocera, one of the major device manufacturers, featured a high quality film speaker based on a unique piezo material.
In summary, the exhibitors included Japanese automobile manufacturers, large electronic companies, and device manufacturers. The automobile and device manufacturers developed new electronics that should carry them into the future. Japanese electronic companies have no clear visions for both long term and short term markets. Let's hope the 4K TV is their lottery ticket.
DKN Research, www.dknresearchllc.com
DKN Research Newsletter #1326, October 6th, 2013 (www.dknresearchllc.com)
1. Denso will invest 21 million euros to expand capacity of its R&D centers in Germany for European customers.
2. Teijin developed a phosphorous base flame retardant reagent for styrene and polyamide resins used for electronics and automobile applications.
3. Hitachi Appliance commercialized a new photovoltaic cell module (210W) with single crystal silicon for home use.
4. Denka will build a new manufacturing plant of high purity carbon black as the conductor material of the electrodes of the lithium batteries.
5. Fuji Film codeveloped a new photo resist with sub micron resolution for the lithographic process of the organic semiconductors.
6. Toppan Printing codeveloped a new heat resistant IC TAG for severe circumstances such as construction. The new tags survive 450 degree C for ten minutes.
7. Panasonic opened an R&D center in Singapore for the customer service of encapsulation materials of power semiconductor devices.
8. NEC codeveloped a next-generation lithium ion battery with a high energy density of 271 Wh/kg using Fe/Mn electrodes for EVs.
9. Toray developed a new photo resist for photolithography process of power devices. It will simplify ion implantation process of SiC base semiconductors.
10. Kyocera completed the acquisition of Toppan NEC Circuit Solutions, one of the major manufacturers of the printed circuits and semiconductor substrates.
11. Panasonic rolled out a new low cost connector series “L2” for the wiring of the LED lighting systems.
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