Author: Tronserve admin
Monday 2nd August 2021 12:50 AM
Japan's Electronics Sector Opens Wallet To Guard Turf In 5G Parts
Japanese companies are putting hundreds of millions of dollars into developing components for 5G telecommunications equipment, dreaming to safeguard their dominance after falling behind Chinese and South Korean competitors in finished mobile bases and smartphones.
Fifth-generation networks, with speeds 100 times those of existing 4G networks, launched in the U.S. and South Korea this year. The global market for 5G gadgets, such as surveillance cameras and drones, could top the equivalent of $241 billion in 2023, in accordance with the Fuji Chimera Research Institute.
To pick up increasing demand, Sumitomo Electric Industries will invest 20 billion yen ($184 million) by 2020 to double capacity for antenna parts at Yamanashi Prefecture processing facilities. Made of gallium nitride as an alternative to the more normal silicon, the products will likely require much less electricity and allow for smaller, cheaper base stations. Clients include Ericsson and Huawei Technologies.
Rohm has produced new power semiconductors used to switch 5G bases on and off. They are half the size of present models and can minimize electricity losses to 3% from 7%. Sample shipments will begin as soon as the autumn of 2020. Murata Manufacturing plans to invest at least 10 billion yen over two to three years to boost capacity for 5G smartphone parts. It has a roughly 50% share in LC filters, which pick out signals from specific frequencies.
"The 5G smartphone market will grow 20% to 30% a year for the next two to three years," Senior Executive Vice President Norio Nakajima said.
Some others are looking at acquisitions. Kyocera plans by December to take a 51% stake in Ube Electronics, which has created ceramic filters for use in 5G bases. Mass production as early as 2020 is the milestone. For the time being, Advantest is betting on the 5G boom to lift demand for its chip-testing equipment. April-June orders for its system-on-a-chip testers went beyond preliminary projections by roughly 15 billion yen.
"As products become more advanced, demand for testing equipment grows," an Advantest executive said.
However this isn't unusual for front-runners to fall behind when an industry goes through crucial change. Huawei is creating its own 5G chips and mobile operating system amidst the U.S. campaign to blacklist the company. Domestically sourced components could provide an optional to Japanese parts. Japanese companies fell behind the pack in smartphones and other finished products because they failed to correctly anticipate where the market was headed. 5G poses the next test of their relevance.