Brief History of Murata

Brief History of Murata

Murata, a Technology Company

In 1947, Murata began working with Tetsuro Tanaka then an assistant professor at Kyoto University. The company had begun by supplying insulating ceramics, and this collaboration finally resulted in the development of a practical barium titanate capacitor. In 1951, Murata was the world's first manufacturer to commercialize a practical barium titanate piezoelectric transducer for fishfinders. Murata also improved the service life of ceramic capacitors, helping dramatically reduce the number of telephone trunk line disconnections. During the post-war confusion, Murata found itself delivering faulty products one after another due to the poor quality of the raw materials it had to work with. To resolve this problem, the company fabricated a measuring equipment on its own to ensure quality.

Hand-made Q-meter employed for 100% inspection and piezoelectric transducer for fishfinders, around 1952

In 1955, Murata's research department became a separate company. The tiny company introduced state-of-the-art equipment such as an electron microscope and a spectrometer, which were disproportionate to its monthly net sales of only 10 million yen. In 1961, the Murata research department was the world's first manufacturer to commercialize a ceramic filter (CERAFIL®) and a barium titanate semiconductor with a positive temperature coefficient (POSISTOR®). The Murata Technology Research Laboratory was absorbed by Murata Manufacturing in 1962.

The electron microscope introduced in 1956. Upper right: The world's first ceramic filter for AM radios. Lower right: The POSISTOR® with completely new functions employed in isothermal heaters and motor starters (photo shows products produced around 1980)

Later, Murata Manufacturing became the world's first manufacturer to mass-produce a SAW filter for consumer products (1975) and a dielectric filter (1975) for consumer products. In 1990, Murata developed an innovative structure for gyro sensor technology, which had previously used in air navigation equipment, to successfully commercialize a low-cost and small-sized version for general customers. The new sensor was designed for image stabilization in digital still cameras and for the detection of the travel direction in automobiles. At the press conference, Murata presented a small robot cyclist fitted with this sensor to detect inclination. It attracted such enthusiastic attention that it was even covered by TV news. The MURATA BOY robot was eventually featured in TV commercials, at scientific events, and during school visits by Murata engineers.

The SAW filter for FM radios (top) and the dielectric filter for car phones. Right: Robot cyclist presented at a 1991 press conference