Super Boom of Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor (MLCC) is Continuing boom of MLCC makes major companies feel happy. Earnings and share prices continue their rising streak. The prospects for future demand are also bright due to price increases continued from last year. The industry expects the MLCC boom will continue at least until 2020.
According to the recent analysis of the securities industry, the operating profit consensus of Samsung Electro-Mechanics is expected be KRW746.3 billion this year, considerably surpassing KRW464 billion of year 2013 which was the biggest of all time. Samsung has already recorded the earnings surprise with its first-quarter sales of KRW2,018.8 billion and operating profit of KRW154 billion, increased by 28.5% and 503.0% respectively, compared with the same period of the previous year. Samsung Electro- Mechanics is No. 2 in the global MLCC market following Murata of Japan.
Samhwa Capacitor Co., Ltd. is also expected to experience its earnings surprise in the first quarter. Last quarter, sales were KRW52.2 billion and operating profit was KRW11.7 billion, increased by 18% and 171.3% respectively, compared with the previous year, thereby being expected to record an all-time high.
Daejoo Electronic Materials, which exclusively supplies the electrode paste for MLCC to Samsung Electro-Mechanics, is expected to recover sales of KRW100 billion this year. Daejoo Electronic Materials exclusively supplies copper paste, a core material used for forming the external electrode of MLCC, to Samsung Electro-Mechanics. This year, they expect sales of KRW30 billion in the MLCC conductive materials business only by adding sales of additives.
Cosmo AM&T Co., Ltd., which produces release films for MLCC, is forecast to renew its record-high earnings this year. As the demand of release film used in MLCC production increases in proportionto MLCC, its market outlook is bright. Cosmo AM&T Co., Ltd. recently expanded the production line for release film, thereby expanding its production capacity from 25 million m2 to 40 million m2 per month. The securities market expects sales of release films of about KRW 100 billion won this year, nearly 50% higher than last year.

MLCC, called “the rice of the electronics industry,” is an essential general-purpose product that allows electronic products to operate normally by storing electricity and then transmitting as much current as necessary. The number of MLCCs in a single smartphone is as many as 800 to 1000. As the era of electric cars and autonomous vehicles opens, the number of MLCCs required in a car is expected to reach 12,000 to 15,000. The unit price of MLCC for electric field is four times as high as that for IT. The upward movement in price continues as demand is rapidly increasing while supply is limited.
Dong-won Kim, a KE Securities researcher, explains, “The recent MLCC industry is very similar to the DRAM market, where oligopoly supply systems and new demand are expanded into the electronics field, resulting in the continuous price rise. The global MLCC market is expected to grow rapidly from KRW8 trillion this year to KRW14 trillion, grown by 75%, in three years. | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Present Status of building smart factories in Korea the government has launched the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the revitalization of the manufacturing industry is re-emphasized and a strong policy-drive is being implemented to expand the smart factories. However, due to the companies’ lack of motivation to invest and their low technologies, the country does not have advanced world-class smart factories in reality.
In this regard, Min Sung-hee, a senior researcher of the Korea Development Bank (KDB), recently presented the examples of overseas smart factories in the report, “‘The Examples and Implications for Building smart factories,” examining the problem of introducing smart factories to Korea and announcing an improvement plan.
According to this report, overseas smart factories are being advanced to pursue cost-reduction and reflect customer needs. In particular, it progresses with the aim of reducing production costs with decreasing added values, companies focus on expanding productivity through their own factories as well as extending capabilities as a supplier through technological development.
In addition, they are expected to evolve to minimize the costs incurred in the value chain process while reflecting the needs of customers according to the manufacturing paradigm changes, thus affording a direct link between consumers and producers through a platform and the expansion to an on-demand business model.
On the other hand, Min claims that the strategy of building smart factories in Korea tends to be modeled after those of advanced countries, rather than to set its own direction. He emphasizes that there is a limit to the long-term and continuous construction of smart factories due to the investment conditions of domestic companies.
Min explains further, “The advancement of the overseas smart factories is largely attributed to their long-term accumulation of technology and efforts to attain their objects. Likewise, we need to establish clear goals and long-term plans to keep in the same groove. There are difficulties in establishing long-term and sustainable plans for building smart factories due to limited market scale for large enterprises and SMEs’ perceptions of the smart factory construction policies as similar to IT Support Project of Small Business conducted in the past.”
Min also added, “The overseas smart factories utilize highly intelligent machines with a high-level of technology, while the level of foundation techniques regarding smart factories in Korea is low. Despite the need to expand the investment in technical development, Korean companies tend to maintain a conservative stance on investment in technical development, and a large proportion of development expenses depends on self-funding, making it unavoidable to evade risks in the case of investment losses.”
In order to solve these problems, Min suggested, “It is necessary to raise a specific purpose and interest in building smart factories. The government should establish infrastructure and set a detailed mid- to long-term agenda to induce relevant companies into market participation and share it with those participating, while companies should create a friendly atmosphere with continuous interest from the CEO. Additionally, the financial sector needs to provide differentiated support depending on the scale and characteristics of the smart factories.” | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

New and Renewable Energy with Cheaper Manufacturing Cost and Less Volatility to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar power generation in 2017 was US$0.10 / kWh, a decrease by 16.7% compared to US$ 0.10 / kWh in the previous year, which is as much as a 75% decrease from US$ 0.36 in 2010.
During the same period, photovoltaic module prices dropped 81% while the cost of the Balance of System (BoS) dropped 73%. Since a stable cost reduction is being achieved within the LCOE range of fossil fuels without any government subsidies, the argument for cost competitiveness seems no longer relevant.
The LCOE of onshore wind also fell 17.6% to US$ 0.06 / kWh, nearing the low end of the fossil fuel’s LCOE range. With the increase of the projects for the commercialization of the concentrating solar power (CSP) and offshore wind, which are gradually increasing their share based on high energy-conversion efficiency, the manufacturing cost has been steadily decreasing.
The conventional base-load power generation is still characterized by high price-volatility of raw materials such as oil and coal, and the increase in radioactive waste disposal costs and environmental costs related to carbon emissions. By comparison, it is therefore expected to contribute increasingly to the establishment of a long-term power policy as a stable and economical power-generation source.
On the other hand, even without additional subsidies from the central government, the profitability of the utilitygrade renewable energy-generation facilities based on the economy of scale and the long-term power purchase contracts remains stable while the market continues to grow.
In particular, as the reference of the utility-scale power-generation facilities increases, the knowledge regarding operation and utilization of decentralized power system accumulates. And the renewable energy-generation facility which has been used only for the existing residential and commercial uses is rapidly increasing for industrial uses lately.
The environment for the distributed power systems remains more favorable than the centralized power generation facilities, e.g., the USA imposing additional protectionist tariffs and China’s policy to continue to provide subsidies to decentralized power systems. Therefore, the production of new and renewable energy generation and energystorage complex facilities for industrial peak power management is expected to rev up rapidly. | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Samsung Galaxy S9 Makes a Single Outing at MWC 2018 Samsung Galaxy S9 was unveiled at MWC 2018 held on the Feb. 26-March 1 in Barcelona. In particular, this new Samsung Galaxy S series outshone all others since major smartphone makers such as Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi did not release new smartphones for MWC 2018.
The main features of the Samsung Galaxy S9 include the 5.8” (Galaxy S9) and 6.2” (Galaxy S9 Plus) Infinity curved QHD Super AMOLED display, super speed dual pixel camera (OIS, F1.5 / F2.4) and dual pixel camera (S9 Plus) with a resolution of 12 megapixels, 10-nano AP, and 4GB (S9) / 6GB (S9 plus) of DRAM. The Samsung Galaxy S9 will be mounting three different storages: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Overall hardware specs are not much different from the previous model. Yet, its improved camera functions and enhanced Augmented Reality (AR) functions such as AR Emoji are recognized as impressive. In particular, the camera is equipped with a super-speed dual-pixel image sensor along with a variable aperture capable of switching between F/2.4 and F/1.5, which allows taking brighter pictures in the dark, and dedicated DRAM, thereby providing a super-slow-motion mode that can shoot videos at 960fps (previously at 240fps).
Other features include AR Emoji, an animated emoji created by using one’s selfies that replicates the movements of a user’s face, available via AR shopping provided in collaboration with major brands such as Sephora, and AR live translation to read and translate words from photos.
In addition, intelligent scan that combines facial recognition and iris recognition and Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers from AKG, a premium audio brand of Harman, are also emerging as successful upgrades on the previous model.
A representative of NH Investment & Securities explained, “Despite its relatively low sales volume forecast, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is expected to be able to bounce unexpectedly. It is because we believe that the competition will weaken due to lack of competition, the return of the replacement cycle of Galaxy S series (in odd numbers) every two years, and Samsung Electronics’ strengthened promotions will be unexpected variables to come.” | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Development of Silver Fiber Flexible Transparent Electrodes

Overcoming Silver Nanowires’ Limitations and Enabling Flexible OLED Introduction

While OLEDs are emerging as a new display technology, there are many reasons why nanowires used for OLED production have limitations. Accordingly, Korean researchers have developed a technology to overcome this shortcoming.
The National Research Foundation of Korea (Chairman Cho Mu-je) announced that professor Ju Byeong-kwon (Korea University) and Professor Park Yeong-wook (Sun Moon University) of developed flexible transparent electrodes for displays with remarkably improved luminous efficiency by producing silver fibers 100 times longer than silver nanowires.
Silver nanowires feature silver wire network structures with sections whose diameters are in centimeters. While current ITOs are not flexible, silver nanowires are flexible and have excellent conductivity and transparency as ITO electrodes. Due to this fact, silver nanowire is gaining popularity as a promising material for flexible transparent electrodes for next-generation flexible displays and lighting devices.
However, the length of nanowires is limited to several dozen micrometers (µm), which limits improvements in conductivity and transparency in utilizing silver nanowires in OLED displays and surface roughness increase due to line joining, giving rise to a limitation of being electrically unstable.
Using an electrospinning process, the team developed silver fiber electrodes with a length of several centimeters (centimeters) in length and no junctions, ensuring conductivity, transparency and electrical stability.

The electrospinning process is a process by which fibers produced by injecting a polymer solution into an electric field. As the process is simple and can produce a large area of fibers, this process can thus be applied to large OLEDs for display and illumination.
The research team maximized conductivity and transparency by controlling the thickness and density of silver fibers, resulting in 19% higher energy conversion efficiency than OLEDs using ITOs.
“This research is the first case of developing a silver electrode that overcomes the limitations of silver nanowires and introducing them to OLED,” explained Professor Ju Byeong-kwon. “It is expected that the silver fiber will contribute to securing the core technologies in wearable display and lighting market.”
“Silver fiber flexible transparent electrodes can be applied to various optical electronic devices such as LEDs, solar cells, touch screens, and optical sensors in addition to OLEDs. Silver fibers with excellent conductivity and transparency have great potential in various application fields, “Silver fiber electrodes can be produced to have wide areas and have low resistance. Therefore, when a silver electrode is applied to OLED lighting, which is being researched as next-generation lighting, we can solve problems such as high driving voltage and non-luminescence. | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics to Lead Boom in Semiconductor Industry Next Year paradigm shift to the 4th industrial revolution is fueling investment in big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of things (IoT). As a result, the semiconductor industry, the most important hardware component in the development of these new technologies, entered an uncharted area this year.

In 2017, the global semiconductor market is expected to grow 21% year-on-year to $408.6 billion. Therefore, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose by 43 percent this year, surpassing the 16% growth rate of the S&P 500.

Memory semiconductors are at the center of the company’s record semiconductor growth. The marketsize of the memory semiconductor industry is expected to show record growth this year. Moreover, the memory semiconductor market is expected to run to $123.5 billion this year, which is 61% higher than last year.

The paradigm shift to the Fourth Industrial Revolution will probably be not a game that will end in a year or two. This is because leading companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent, are expected to steadily expand research and development activities for and investment in data centers, big data, cloud and machine learning.

Only a year ago, AlphaGo knocked humankind for a loop by crushing the best go player, Lee Sedol. However, only one year later, an upgraded AlphaGo won by a landslide (100 to 0) in a go game match with the original AlphaGo.

This means that performances in the fields of big data and machine learning including artificial intelligence in the next two to three years can give rise to gaps among global companies in the next 20-30 years. Slowing investment in big data and artificial intelligence technologies right now can mean giving up on the future.

With Moore’s Law reaching its limitations, the growth of semiconductor supply has significantly slowed down, more than ever before. Moore’s Law that the line width is reduced to a certain level each year and, in other words, bit supply increases as many times as the square of an annually reduced line width. However, as Moore’s Law is practically limited, semiconductor technology is seeking its development in a direction to increase the degree of integration through 3D stacking rather than chip size reduction.

However, increasing the number of layers means that bit supply will stay at a linear increase, which means an increase in accordance with the number of increased layers, not the square of the number of layers. In other words, it should be remembered that the supply growth rate of semiconductors is significantly slowing down compared to the past in 20-nano processes.



Demand for memory semiconductors became less volatile as price fuctuations declined and supply elasticity dipped as supply grew closer to technical limitations. In conclusion, it is necessary to revise viewpoints on supply and demand cycles of memory semiconductors. If memory semiconductors are understood as a capex-driven industry as was in the past, it can be said that they entered a proportionreduction stage.

However, even if the capex expanded, supply growth is failing to support it and demand is expected to remain stable despite high prices. Accordingly, stable supply and demand situations for memory semiconductors are likely to continue in 2018 against some concerns.

DRAM demand in 2018 is expected to grow to 13.86 billion gigabytes, up 21% year-on-year, despite burdens from rising prices. On the other hand, DRAM supply in 2018 is expected to run to 13.69 billion gigabytes, a 21% increase, despite a surge in CAPEX.

As a result, in 2018, the DRAM supply / demand ratio is expected to remain steady at 0.988, a small increase or a tight level as was the case this year. In 2018, the DRAM market is expected to reach $90.9 billion, up 26% from $ 72.2 billion in 2017.

NAND flash supply hinges on NAND flash makers’ 3D chip yields. However, unlike DRAMs, which have very low price elasticity, demand for NAND flashes is likely to increase significantly if prices fall.

In other words, a change in supply can be a very important variable in changing demand. So, it can be said that it is quite a challenge to forecast demand and supply. However, our forecast for NAND supply/demand is a 37% increase in demand and a 40% increase in supply, which means that supply will increase slightly more than demand.

In 2018, total demand for NAND flashes is expected to reach 235.7 billion gigabytes while total supply remains at 238.2 billion gigabytes. Their ASP per bit is expected to slide about 12 percent next year. In terms of chips, the NAND flash market is expected to grow 23% to $58.1 billion in 2018 from $47.5 billion in 2017.

Accordingly, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which represent the Korean semiconductor industry, are expected to have their banner year in 2018.

This year, Samsung Electronics dethroned Intel, which had enjoyed the No. 1 ranking in global semiconductor sales for 25 years, to become the world’s top semiconductor maker, The securities industry expects its 2018 earnings to reach 280 trillion won in sales, 69 trillion won in operating profit, and 51.7 trillion won in net profit.

SK Hynix’s 2018 earnings are expected to hit 38 trillion won in sales, 18.3 trillion won in operating profit and 14.7 trillion won in net profit. In the global semiconductor industry, its sales and operating profits are expected to stand just below those of Samsung Electronics, Intel and TSMC, but its market capitalization is quite low, standing out of the top 10. | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

128-gigabyte (GB) Automotive embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has embarked on the mass production of the 128-gigabyte (GB) automotive embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) for the first time in the industry.
The eUFS is considered the next-generation NAND flash memory succeeding the embedded Multi-Media Card (eMMC) currently used in mobile devices such as smartphones. It has started replacing eMMC in premium smartphones thanks to its faster processing speed.
The Korean tech giant, which is also the world’s largest chip maker, first ventured into the eUFS market after mass producing the mobile 128-GB eUFS for smartphones in January 2015. Now with the launch of the automotive eUFS, the company has become the first chip maker that can mass produce it, moving a step closer to lead the eUFS sector.
The new eUFS solution by Samsung Electronics meets the standards required for automotive memory, which should last longer than that used in smartphones and be more resistant to heat, shock and vibrations, the company said in a statement.
The company also claimed its eUFS is optimized for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), dashboards and infotainment systems that power smart cars.
The 128-GB automotive eUFS boasts the fastest data transfer speed for an embedded memory. Its sequential reading speed is about 3.4 times faster than eMMC 5.0 solutions at 850 megabytes per second (MB/s), while its random reading speed is about 6.4 times faster at 45,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). It also offers double capacity while maintaining the same size as the eMMC 5.0, the company said.

Configured on the latest JEDEC UFS 2.1 standard, the Samsung eUFS delivers superior system reliability by supporting advanced data refreshing and temperature notification, features required to meet the next-generation UFS 3.0 standard, according to the company.
Data refreshing is a process of periodically transferring data to new memory cells to extend the storage period. This prolongs the memory lifespan and boosts its reliability, which is crucial for automotive memory applications.
Car engines generate a lot of heat while driving but the new eUFS is equipped with a temperature sensor inside the controller to ensure reliable thermal management, the company said.

 < Source: KITA> | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Korean battery makers to invest 2.6 tn won at home by 2020 Korea’s top three battery makers announced plans to invest a combined 2.6 trillion won ($2.31 billion) over the next three years to cement leadership in the rechargeable battery industry and received assurance from the government for full support on the external and domestic front.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy met with the chief executives of LG Chem Ltd., Samsung SDI Co. and SK Innovation Co. along with leaders of secondary cell and other parts manufacturers at a battery industry conference on Friday.

“Rechargeable battery is a high-growth sector with massive impact on other related industries,” Trade Minister Paik Un-gyu said. “We need to develop innovative technologies in mid- and large-sized secondary cells to become a leading player in the global market.”

The three major battery makers said they would spend two trillion won to expand production facilities in response to theburgeoning electric car and energy storage system markets.

They pledged another 610 billion won in research and development to build more advanced batteries for electric vehicles.

The large-scale investment is likely to generate many quality jobs, in line with President Moon Jae-in’s campaign that has put job creation at the top of its economic agenda along with clean fuel energy policy.

The government said it would help local battery manufacturers cope with the recent spike in raw material prices and suspension of Chinese subsidies.

Korean battery makers received a blow in recent months when the Chinese government announced it would not subsidize electric cars powered with Korean batteries. | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Steady growth of the world’s market size for wearable devices world market for wearable devices is expected to grow from 30 billion dollars in 2015 to 150 billion dollars in 2026.
Wearable devices are smart devices that are attached to the body in order to input, output and process information, such as smart watches, smart glasses and smart bands. It is a fusion technology industry that combines materials and parts such as semiconductors, sensors and displays with IoT, virtual/augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Currently, the wearable device market is formed around accessories like smart watches, but in the future, experts predict that the devices will be attached to the body or implanted along with growth of VR/AR and health medical devices.

The Fusion device industry such as wearable devices is an industry that requires cooperation among departments more so than in any other field. So far, the Ministry of Science Technology Information and Communication and the Ministry of Industry have made efforts through cooperation for the development of the wearable devices industry. They have come up with ‘Future Growth Power – Industry Engine Comprehensive Implementation Plan’, ‘Manufacturing Industry Innovation 3.0 Strategy Implementation Policy’, ‘K-ICT Smart Device Promotion Measures’.

From the last year, they are working together for ‘Wearable Smart Device Core Parts and Element Technology Development Project’.

In relation to this, the Ministry of Science Technology Information and Communication and the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Resources will host ‘Wearable Device Technology Development Workshop’ at Yangjae L Tower on the 13th to examine and explain the current status of research and development in the wearable device industry and to strengthen cooperation between the two ministries.

At the workshop, recent wearable device trends and market forecasts will be shared. Technology development projects under the two ministries are divided into three sections, health medical, biometric data, and terminal, so that experts from these related fields may get together for in-depth discussions for future technology development cooperation measures.

During the discussions by sections, a total of five projects including ‘Development of Multiple Wearable Software Fusion Module and Application Platform to Support Integrated Management of Body Activities’ from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication and a total of twelve projects including ‘Development of Core Technologies for Open Type Wearable Development Kit Applicable to Various Services’ from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will be shared among staffs for technology development status to discuss future commercialization and technology cooperation.

These two ministries have declared their common interest for the need to strengthen cooperation for the vitalization of wearable device industry through these workshops.

A government official declared that, “Even in the future, the two ministries plan to make efforts together not only for technology development, but also for personnel training and corporate support, to commonly utilize development results and promote commercialization continuously.” | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods

Samsung Elec Unveils World’s LargestCapacity V-NAND Chip and New SSD world’s largest memory chip maker Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled its new Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory with the world’s biggest storage capacity of 1-Terabit (Tb) along with next-generation solid state drive (SSD) solutions.

At the Flash Memory Summit 2017 recently held at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center, Samsung Electronics presented its new 1-Tb V-NAND chip.

V-NAND is the flash memory technology used in data storage devices including mobile phones and digital cameras. The V-NAND in a stacked structure can provide higher single-die density than those with 2-dimensional (2D) cellarrays, and demand for it is growing rapidly along with rising applications of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT).

The company said in a statement that with the new 1-Tb V-NAND chip that boasts twice larger storage capacity than the existing 512-Gigabit (Gb) chip, it is possible to construct2-Terabyte (TB) memory in a single V-NAND package by stacking 16 1Tb dies.

Considering that 1 Tb is equal to 128 GB, and a typical two-hour-long HD movie takes up 1.5 to 2 GB of memory capacity, about 60 to 70 movies can be stored in a single V-NAND chip.



Samsung aims to introduce the world’s largest-capacity SSD applying 1-Tb V-NAND memory technology next year. At the summit, Samsung Electronics also presented its new SSD technology, dubbed Next Generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF) SSD, which is expected to dramatically improve the memory storage capacity. With the new NGSFF SSD, four times larger memory storage capacity can be secured in the same server, so data centers and customers using the server can build more efficient system, according to Samsung, said Samsung. The company plans to begin mass producing it in the fourth quarter of this year.

An SSD is a storage device that can replace a hard disk drive (HDD). It uses high-speed memory semiconductors such as NAND flash memory or dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips for storage that ensure high processing speed, low heating and little noise.

<Source : KITA> | Blog Magazine of korean electronics, brands and Goods