The coronavirus has spread to over 200 countries and claimed more than 30,000 lives.
The virus emerged in China in December and spread around the world. European countries and the US report a significant amount of cases over the last two weeks. The total number of the cases is more than 600,000.
I traveled to our home office in Japan last week. The number of the cases in Japan jumped up significantly in the Tokyo area last week. I have no symptoms of coronavirus infection, but remain in self-isolation for at least two weeks. I will refrain from public transportations including taxicabs.
Market analysts predict a slowdown in the global electronics industry due to the pandemic. Stock markets throughout the world are experiencing extreme volatility with every news report. The Dow Jones fell almost 25% YTD. It’s at its lowest level since December 2016, and is on pace for its worst month since the Great Depression.
The global electronic industry was slowing before the Chinese New Year in January. Smartphone shipments posted a negative number compared to the same month last year, shipments for semiconductor products decreased, and shipments from the Taiwanese circuit board industry show a significant decline over the past few months.
Taiwanese circuit board manufacturers can be considered a barometer for the global consumer electronics industry. A slowdown for them can mean a slowdown for markets throughout the world (and production was slowing prior to the virus pandemic). The pandemic can cause a deeper contraction for the industry.
The US announced a historic coronavirus stimulus bill in the amount of $2 trillion to respond to the pandemic, and Japan announced a stimulus package to be delivered in April. The US Federal Reserve Board reduced interest rate to zero, and the European Central Bank joined other central banks with the announcement of programs to keep the regions financial system functioning. We are all in this together, and this pandemic will end. Stay safe.
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com
DKN Research Newsletter #2008, Mar. 29, 2020 (English Edition) (Micro Electronics & Packaging) *To view the Newsletter archives, click here.
Headlines of the Week
1. NEDO (Major R&D organization in Japan) developed a picosecond pulse laser with deep UV light (Wave length: 266nm) with large power (8W).
2. Tokyo University (Japan) developed a process to form electrodes on organic semiconductor modules. The process is available for broad range applications.
3. Toyota & Hino (Major automobile manufacturers in Japan) agreed to codevelop large-size trucks with hydrogen fuel-cell batteries targeting 600km driving distance.
4. Ohara (Specialty chemical supplier in Japan) succeeded in making battery life of lithium ion battery four times longer by adding special solid chemicals for the electrolyte.
5. Murata rolled out a series of quartz devices with small SMT packages of 2016 for wireless LAN and Bluetooth modules.
6. Tokyo University (Japan) discovered a new super ion conductor. It makes switching by lighting.
7. NEC will sell a 66% share of NEC Display Solutions to Sharp, a major subsidiary of Foxconn.
8. Sony will found a venture company, Sony Electronics, in April. The company covers Imaging Products & Solutions, Home Entertainment & Sound and Mobile Communications.
9. SMK (Major device manufacturer in Japan) released a touch-panel display with capacitance switches built on curved glass panel for instrument panels of automobiles.
10. DNP (Major printing company in Japan) developed a transparent flexible antenna with fine meshes for 5G telecommunications. Surface resistance: 2.5Ω/square.
11. Toyobo (Major material supplier in Japan) developed a thin organic photovoltaic cell with a high conversion rate (25%). A n18cm2 sheet generates 130mW power.