Rohm's activities range from resistors through discrete devices and up to ICs, MEMS and microcontrollers but it has always sought to own almost every aspect of manufacturing from buying-in raw chemicals and pulling ingots to make wafers. But with such a broad product portfolio and technologies becoming ever-more diverse does Rohm have to start outsourcing some aspects of manufacturing?
"The policy remains unchanged; to make from end to end. Basically whatever the product, the policy is the same. It was for resistors in the beginning, it applies to discretes and it applies to MEMS. Our major focus is on analog ICs rather than digital so we are not chasing the leading edge. We are on 130nm on 12-inch wafers. We could go to 90nm We don't have to go further," said Sawamura by way of translation provided by board member Masaki Sakai.
For the last financial year, ended March 31, 2016, the company's sales of about $3.3 billion broke down by technology thus. Roughly half were integrated circuits, including MEMS; a third in discrete diodes and transistors, 10 percent in modules, mainly print-heads and 7 percent others including 4 percent resistors. It is also notable that by application sector about 40 percent of Rohm's sales are in automotive and industrial.
"We are making a global emphasis on automotive and industrial so Europe is important to us," said Sawamura indicating it as a contributing factor as to why Rohm values the biannual Electronica exhibition.
More specifically how is Rohm's MEMS strategy progressing, having bought New York state based Kionix Inc. in October 2009? "We provide gyroscopes and accelerometers, both standalone and combined," said Sawamura. "We use this experience to address automotive applications and in areas such as factory automation where MEMS can detect vibration." Rohm also has a 9-axis magnetometer, accelerometer and magnetic gyrometer, the KMX62G.
Rohm also makes numerous