Modules

Main products

Connectivity modules, MetroCirc, RF modules, Power supply modules, etc.

Operating results

Sales increased year on year as RF modules for smartphones significantly grew despite a decrease in MetroCirc and connectivity modules for high-end smart phones.

Net sales (Billion yen)

FY2015 446.8Billion yen, FY2016 370.8Billion yen, FY2017 443.9Billion yen, FY2018 466.7Billion yen, FY2019 478.6Billion yen 

Connectivity modules

 

Business Opportunities

  • Spread of 5G
  • Full-fledged consideration of Beyond 5G
  • In an IoT society, automobiles and various types of devices will have wireless communication functions.

Risks

  • Intensified competition among competitors
  • Saturation of the demand for smart phones

Connectivity modules are essential compound components that wirelessly connect various devices. These are mounted on familiar home appliances used in our daily lives, such as smart phones, tablet PCs, digital cameras and air conditioners, in-vehicle devices such as car navigation systems and in various settings, including enabling users to download and upload photos and music from the Internet, and hands-free calling while driving.

With the rapid progress of the IoT society where all types of objects around us are connected to the Internet, new wireless communication standards such as WiFi® 11ax, Cellular LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) and UWB (Ultra Wide Band) are also expected to spread. In the automotive market, the installation of wireless communication functions and the evolution of communication functions are advancing every year under the keyword CASE (Connected Autonomous Shared & Services Electric).

5G services launched this year. 5G includes communications using millimeter wave bands, namely 28GHz and 39GHz, and Murata can offer high-property communication modules that use proprietary multilayer resin substrates to keep transmission loss low. Discussions regarding Beyond 5G (6G) standards have already started and we can expect that a world in which everything can be connected through higher-speed communications will be further expanding.

The growth of smart phones, which has been significantly rapid so far, is expected to slow down in the future, at the same time, competition among competitors is intensifying. Under such circumstance, Murata’s connectivity modules continue to provide value in response to various changes, such as 5G and new communication standards, by taking advantage of our strengths including proprietary multilayer resin substrates technology, and design technologies to realize compactness , higher-performance, high reliability, and software technologies to enhance connectivity, we will build a partnership that makes us the customers’ number one choice by promptly supplying products that comply with all wireless communication standards. We will contribute to the development of an IoT society as our mission in creating the future of electronics.

MetroCirc

 

Business Opportunities

  • Expansion of the high-frequency communications market as represented by 5G
  • Resolution of customers’ issues by utilizing the characteristics of MetroCirc, such as low water absorption and shape retention property

Risks

  • Intensified competition
  • Changes in the demand due to changes in customers’ design

MetroCirc is a thinner multilayer resin substrate comprising LCP (liquid crystal polymer) sheets.

It is characterized by exceptional RF characteristics, low water absorption, and the ability to handle a flexible bending process because it does not require an adhesive layer, and high multiple layers are possible by using Murata’s multilayer technology.

It is possible to design circuits by inserting copper foil sheets between LCP sheets, and these circuits are used as transmission wires, coils, and other functional components in smart phones, wearable devices, and other applications, contributing to smaller, thinner, and higher performance devices.

Millimeter waves and other high-frequency waves are used in 5G, which has widely spread, so it may be expected that MetroCirc will be further used in substrates for millimeter wave modules, millimeter wave transmission lines, and other applications that utilize the low transmission loss properties at high frequencies that is a feature of MetroCirc.

In addition, we believe that there will be more opportunities for a wide range of customers to favor MetroCirc in the future as the frequencies used become higher, because this will further highlight MetroCirc’s competitive superiority in terms of transmission loss compared with competing technologies, and we believe that we can take the lead even in an increasingly competitive environment.

Looking ahead, it is likely that customers will face more issues related to high-frequency communications as the number of devices using 5G increases; however, by using MetroCirc, which has the strengths mentioned above, we can make a variety of proposals depending on customers’ designs and issues.

We will further contribute to resolving customers’ issues, through the combination of high-performance materials and Murata’s unique ideas, developed based on our multilayer technology.

RF modules

 

Business Opportunities

  • Spread of 5G
  • Modularization of electric components

Risks

  • Potential moves by customers and component suppliers due to U.S.-China trade friction
  • Entry of low-price module manufacturers into the market

RF modules are multi functional and highperformance electronic component units that realize an analogue high-frequency circuit that controls communications among wireless devices by integrating various key devices.

This module is comprised of passive devices such as SAW filters that demultiplex high frequencies and LC filters, high power amplifiers in transmission, low distortion amplifiers in reception, antenna changeover switches, and other semiconductor devices, and is actively used for various types of wireless devices including smart phones and tablet PCs.

Murata, which internally develops various key devices that form the basis for module configuration and package technologies for modularization, is able to carry out integrated production. As a result, Murata has a strong competitive advantage in terms of business speed, production capability, and quality, in addition to performance.

With the arrival of 5G, which enables “highspeed large-capacity communication,” “multiple concurrent connection communication” and “low latency real-time communication,” RF modules for realizing further high frequency, expansion of frequency bands and dual connectivity, in addition to multiple frequency bands and carrier aggregation for communication systems up to 4G, will become necessary. In addition, the modularization of electronic components is expected to advance in line with the miniaturization and increased functionalities of wireless devices.

It is expected that the unique benefits of 5G are to promote the diversification of IoT devices and bring many conveniences to life and work. We consider that the expansion of IoT devices brought about by 5G will expand business opportunities not only with customers special izing in the communications market, such as smart phones and tablet PCs, but also with customers in new markets that we have not been involved with before.

In the 6G era, which is also called Beyond 5G, “ultra-low power consumption” and “ultra-reliable communication” are required. In order to survive in the global competition, we will continue to strengthen our “high technological capabilities” and “high-quality monozukuri (manufacturing)” that are the pride as a Japanese company that Murata has cultivated over the years.

Murata will promptly identify future market and customer needs, while also leveraging our competitive advantages to propose RF modules most suitable to customers, as we aim to be a company selected by customers.