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90 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Material suppliers have an advantage from electroless plating—they can experiment with new laminates using base materials other than polyimide films or PET films at a significantly lower cost. The plating process could be avail- able for other materials such as rubber sheets, cloth, and papers. Let's not forget the biggest advantage with electroless plating is the metallization of the non-conductive surface of plastic ma- terials. This could be the key process from the semi-additive process to generate ultra- fine traces in high-density flexible circuits. The process is very simple; just dip flexible items in the plating baths few minutes, and that's it! In my opinion, the electroless plating is the key to build high-density flexible circuits, but it is not easy to create stable plating condi- tions. Experiments and trial-and-error activi- ties are necessary to create these conditions. You could consider the process condition and handling as intellectual property owned by the manufacturer. If you are interested in learning more about electroless plating, feel free to contact haver- or me with any ques- tions or comments. Headlines 1. Asahi Kasei Electronics (device manufacturer in Japan) Rolled out small-size, 3D, magnetic smart switch "AK09970D" for wearable devices with 1.35 mm 2 WL-CSP package. 2. Toshiba (electric and electronics company in Japan) Changed the name of Toshiba Memory to KI- OXIA with a new logo and corporate color (sil- ver); Kioku means "memory" in Japanese. 3. Mitsubishi Electric (electric and electronics company in Japan) Developed a trench-type SiC-MOSFET with the lowest resistance rate of 1.84 milli-ohm/ cm 2 for the power devices of home and indus- trial appliances. 4. Tokyo University (Japan) Developed a cooling device, utilizing therm- ionic cooling effects of heterostructure GaAs/ AlxzGaxAs instead of Peltier cooling devices. 5. TDK (Component supplier in Japan) Will display seven categories of products at CEATE 2019, including some related to IoT, mobility, wellness, connection, energy, experi- ence, and robotics. 6. NICT (R&D organization in Japan) Successfully demonstrated 1 petabit per sec- ond switching with the collaboration of multi- core, optical fiber and fundamental optical net- work. 7. NTT Docomo (cellular phone carrier in Japan) Started 4G LTE service with glass antennas developed with AGC, a glass product supplier in Japan. 8. Murata (component supplier in Japan) Built two manufacturing plants in Thailand to expand the production capacity of EMI fil- ters and antenna coils for mobile products. 9. Renesas (semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) Unveiled the arm 32-bit microprocessor RA Family Series for IoT systems. 10. Kioxia (semiconductor manufacturer in Japan, formerly Toshiba) Completed the building of the first plant in Iwate Prefecture; it will start the production of 3D NAND Flash memory in 2020. 11. YDB (market research company in Japan) Forecasted the market of automobiles dis- plays at 201.98 million units in 2023 from 166.46 million units in 2018. FLEX007 Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact haverhill@dknreseach. com for further information and news. To read past columns by Numakura, click here.

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