Other components

Main products

Inductors (coils), EMI suppression filters, Connectors, MEMS sensors, Thermistors, Lithium-ion batteries, etc.

Operating results

Although sales of inductors (coils) for smart phones and PCs increased, sales of lithium-ion batteries for smart phones and power tools were sluggish, resulting in a yearon-year decline in sales.

Net sales (Billion yen)

FY2015 231.0Billion yen, FY2016 2223Billion yen, FY2017 3223Billion yen, FY2018 3922Billion yen, FY2019 3630Billion yen 

Inductor (coil)

 

Business Opportunities

  • Increased demand and higher performance due to the introduction of 5G-compatible smart phones
  • Electrification of automobiles and electrification through ADAS and automated driving

Risks

  • Stable supply to meet increasing demand due to the introduction of 5G

A chip inductor is one of the passive components that make up an electronic circuit, along with a capacitor and a resistor. Major products include power inductors used for the power supply circuit and RF inductors used for the high-frequency circuit.

Power inductors are largely related to power conversion ef f iciency, which is an impor tant performance of dc-dc converters, and the required performance differs depending on the property of the relevant converter to be used. In addition to traditional processes such as ferrite windings and ferrite multilayer, Murata has added the Metal Alloy process owned by Saitama Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (formerly: TOKO, INC.), which became our wholly owned subsidiary in 2016, to its product lineup to achieve further miniaturization and increased per formance as well as wellbalanced performance at high currents, which is a characteristic of metal alloy technology, and stable performance during operation. By taking advantage of such higher performance of power inductors and Murata’s monozukuri (manufacturing) capabilities as our strength, we are growing our business areas while expanding our sales channels not only into the communications market but also into the in-vehicle system market.

RF inductors are expected to be used as an inductor for high-frequency circuits for 5G communications. The product series that uses the film manufacturing method, which is Murata’s unique process, has been highly regarded due to their unparalleled characteristics, which are compact and have a high Q (quality factor) value, and adopted in many highfrequency circuits. As for 5G communications, the market is expected to expand for RF inductors through their use not only in conventional smartphones but also in new applications such as IoT, and it is considered that the quantity of RF inductors used will increase. Meanwhile, the market for RF inductors is also expanding in the automotive field due to the shift toward electrification such as the introduction of electric vehicles and ADAS and the addition of advanced communication functions of automobiles such as telematics and V2X. As for RF inductors, which are characterized by compactness and high performance, Murata is expanding its lineup of highly reliable designs for automotive applications. With the demand for inductors significantly increasing, we will strive to grasp the market trends and promote the expansion of our production capacity in order to provide a stable supply to meet the demand of our customers.

Lithium-ion batteries

 

Business Opportunities

  • Trends toward cordless power tools and gardening tools, and shift from gasoline engines to batteries and motors
  • Small batteries for automotive, medical and wearable applications
  • Utilization of natural energy, in-house consumption of electricity, and backup power supplies such as data centers

Risks

  • Entry of South Korean and Chinese competitors into Murata’s target markets

Murata’s lithium-ion batteries are classified into three types: laminated, cylindrical, and coin type batteries. Laminated type batteries are employed in mobile equipment including smartphones, tablets, wearables, and gaming devices; sizes can be freely changed owing to the laminate film exterior material. Murata’s gel electrolytes have safety characteristics because they are leakage-free and do not easily swell compared to liquid electrolytes used by other companies. On the other hand, cylindrical type batteries have advantages particularly in high output applications and are used for a wide range of purposes such as gardening tools, power tools, electric bicycles, and cleaners. Moreover, the use of coin type batteries for wristwatch and automotive applications and in fields such as the medical field is increasing due to their compactness and high reliability.

The fiercely competitive environment is expected to continue in the lithium-ion battery market but Murata will address market and customers’ needs by supplying Murata’s products that combine safety and high output. In addition, by integrating storage battery modules equipped with cylindrical cells with power converter technology, etc. to provide an energy management system centered on the housing and industrial markets, we will promote utilization of natural energy.

In the future, we are planning mass production of fully solid-state batteries, which are expected to act as next-generation batteries. We shall develop our business primarily around applications in areas such as wireless earphones and wearables, by applying the manufacturing technologies that we developed for multilayer ceramic capacitors.

In the lithium-ion battery market, the demand is expected to grow continuously. We will provide batteries that can satisfy our customers and society by leveraging the competitive advantages of our batteries, such as high safety and high input/output characteristics.