The IT industry is inexorably approaching maturity. Sure, the recent surge in orders for semiconductor production equipment may lead people to imagine that the go-go times are about to return. But unless the electronic device industry finds new growth vectors, the future won’t be bright,” said Akira Minamikawa, one of Japan’s most respected semiconductor industry analysts.
The electronic device industry has been enjoying brisk growth, underpinned by plenty of business centering on PCs, TVs, and smartphones. However, the demand for these products appears to be plateauing. The big exception is the rapidly expanding market for smartphones, whose worldwide boom is expected to continue for a while. But what’s next? It seems the industry has yet to find powerful new applications capable of taking over once smartphones lose their mojo. Rising to the challenge, the Nippon Electronic Device Industry Association (NEDIA)—formed last October when the Japan Semiconductor Ventures Association (JASVA) combined with three semiconductor-related industries associations—will hold a forum in Kyoto on October 30-31. It will be the largest event of its kind ever held in Western Japan.
The forum will break new ground by focusing on electronic components, meaning pretty much everything except semiconductors and display panels. So the event will cover passive components—resistors, condensers, coils transformers and the like, as well as connectors and switches, power supplies and ultra-compact motors, while also including PCBs, sensors, MEMS, and functional components. Kyoto-based companies are active across the domain of the electronic component. The city is home to several manufacturers that are global champions in their markets, such as Murata Manufacturing in laminated ceramic condensers or Nidec for micromotors. Kyocera, a leading supplier of package materials, is also from Kyoto.