Strengthening the Bonding Wire Business – TANAKA Denshi Kogyo
The Chemical Daily (Kagaku Kogyo Nippo) , August 19, 2021
TANAKA Denshi Kogyo K.K., part of TANAKA Precious Metals, holds the largest share of the global bonding wire market and continues to achieve further sophistication in its products.
Taking advantage of its full line-up of metal types and wire diameters, the company is attempting to capture high-growth markets such as the next-generation telecommunication and automotive electronics, as well as power semiconductors, which are beginning to use copper. The company is also entering the markets of non-devices, such as lithium ion secondary batteries (LIBs), as well as new areas where it can put its wire technologies to use. In addition, by taking advantage of its business continuity plan (BCP) based on five key sites around the world, the company plans to capture the global market which will keep growing long term.
Also Promoting BCP Support
TANAKA Denshi Kogyo manufactures bonding wires at one Japanese site and four overseas sites. The company is essentially the only manufacturer with a complete product line-up that includes gold, palladium coated copper (PCC), copper, silver, and aluminum, and solidly maintain a market share between 25% and 35% when measured in total wire length.
The company’s business began picking up in the second half of 2020, ending the year at about the same level as 2019. Partly due to supply chain confusion, its 2021 business has been flat, after peaking in March, but the demand is expected to remain solid. Growth in the NAND flash memory used for die-to-die connection or the like should also help.
In logic devices, there is an increase in the number of devices using face-down attachment, such as flip-chip (FC), in which no wires are used and the substrate side is provided with connection areas. Meanwhile, demand for the face-up type using wires also continues for high-power applications in cutting-edge areas, because heat can be easily dissipated to the substrate. Against the backdrop of the expected long-term growth of the overall semiconductor market, the company plans to demonstrate its strength by achieving product sophistication, providing high-purity products that utilize its metal-melting technologies, and taking careful actions that capitalize on its solid performance.
Capturing High-growth Markets – Next-generation Telecommunication and Power Semiconductors
In power devices, TANAKA Denshi Kogyo is promoting product proposals that include thick wires and ribbons. In addition to growth in aluminum products being used in a large number of products, copper, with its excellent electrical conductivity, has begun to be used in cutting-edge products such as insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). Materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are also promising. Since copper products are hard and difficult to mount, the company will utilize its know-how for mounting cooperation. In telecommunication devices, R&D for next-generation telecommunication technologies such as 5G and 6G is underway.
Since radiofrequency (RF) devices possess the skin effect, where the electricity flows on the surface rather than the interior of a conductive material, the company will proceed to verify its wires in collaboration with device manufacturers. For communication chips, trying to reduce their size and convert them to the face-down type will encounter a cost issue, and the company expects an increase in wired products as a shift occurs toward multiple frequencies and larger output.
In automotive applications, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) will expand, as will conventional devices. Wire bonding will also be used for connecting electrodes in LIBs, and the company expects the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) to bring a significant increase in its business volume. The level of reliability required of its products has also increased by an order of magnitude, and the company plans to respond to the need for higher functionality by promoting collaboration with downstream companies throughout the world.
The company will also promote exploration of new areas. It considers ultra-small ribbons for medical applications, among other products, to be promising, and will search for markets by collaborating inside TANAKA Precious Metals. Since the number of online inquiries has also increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is strengthening measures such as enhancing its website. While absorbing the destabilizing factors such as a decrease in the number of airfreight services with a globally-based structure, the company will increase its presence in all areas, including product development, stable supply, and volume handling.