The electronics market is very competitive and for some time, Japanese products were regarded as the best in the industry. In recent years, however, other countries in Asia have been catching up and now have surpassed Japan in many of the core consumer electronic products. Even though they might have fallen asleep when it comes to consumer electronics, Japan is still the world leader in specialized components. The announcement of the world’s smallest monolithic ceramic capacitor at 0.25 mm x 0.125 mm by Murata only proves the point; the company broke its own previous record set in 2004.
The capacitors will eventually be used in different modules for small devices such as smartphones, scientific equipment and new applications that have yet to be invented. Sample shipment is planned for the end of fiscal year 2013, but the technology is so new, devices to use the capacitors have not been designed.
Hardware manufacturers and software developers are pushing the limitation of the devices they produce. One way of meeting the demand is by decreasing the size of all the components so more functions and features can be added.
Mr. Yukio Hamaji, executive vice president of Murata Manufacturing said, "Murata has successfully developed the 0201 <millimeter size> size monolithic ceramic capacitors by combining element technologies the company has built up over the years. As a leading ceramic capacitor vendor, we will continue to pursue development of ultra-small ceramic capacitors with larger capacitance and lead the electronics industry even in overall services including product quality and supply framework."
The company is number one in production capacity in ceramic capacitors and market share controlling about 35 percent of the market. Its next biggest competitor is Samsung (News - Alert) Electro-Mechanics Co. a division of Samsung with 20 percent of the market. This field is also very competitive as other Asian countries are making headway in highly specialized components. Combined with cheap labor and a strong yen Japanese products are having a hard time competing in the global market.
A capacitor is a device used to store up an electric charge in order to discharge it into a circuit. It consists of an insulating material called a dielectric separating two conducting plates. The dielectrics can be made from plastics, glass, paper, air or ceramics. The Murata ceramic capacitors are regarded as being the best in the world with high level of reliability used in mission critical equipment by artificial satellites, the International Space Station and submarine optical cable relay stations.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey