Solution of Social Issues through its Core Businesses
ROHM's Development and Technology Strategies for Attaining SDGs - Contribution to the World by Utilizing Technologies
ROHM Group has been aggressively conducting activities that can create "CSV" leading to the solution of social issues, to help attain global common goals "SDGs."
We provide innovative products by focusing on lower energy consumption, safety, comfort, and smaller size as key words and contribute to society through the supply of our products. In recent years, we have been providing various key devices in a wide range of areas, including the automobile market, where technological innovation has been progressing; the industrial equipment market, where the "Internet of Things (IoT)" has been accelerating; and the IT equipment market, where higher performance has been required. Thus, we have been making products that can lead to the solution of social issues, based on the four CSV strategies.
[CSV Strategy 1] Pursuing Lower Energy Consumption
Realization of large-scale power saving through development of devices ~ Development of devices with the lowest energy consumption in the world and introduction of such devices onto the market ~
Social Issues: Increased Energy Consumption Stemming from a Rise in Population Has Exceeded the Earth's Bio-capacity
It is generally said that managerial resources of companies are "human, material, financial, and informational"; the foundation of managerial resources is the global environment as natural capital. Stability of natural capital is indispensable for creating sustainable value. However, the environment, i.e., natural capital, has been deteriorating due to economic activities of human beings, and consequently, this trend is threatening the stabilization of economic activities. The world population is expected to surge to approximately 8.5 billion in 2030 from 6.9 billion in 2010. If the increased population consumes at the same energy level as today's advanced nations, the Earth must be theoretically three to five times its size to maintain its energy-handling capacity. Considering this, reducing carbon dioxide (CO₂) generated from activities of human beings and lightening the Earth's burdens should be social tasks for us to build a sustainable society and become a sustainable company.
ROHM Group believes in 1) replacing energy we currently use with renewable energy to reduce CO₂ and, 2) as a semiconductor company, promoting technological development focused on further power saving through products that will be introduced onto the market to contribute to solving energy issues.
ROHM's Efforts: Development of Analog Power Devices that can Contribute to Reducing Energy Consumption
Half of the total world power consumption of 20 trillion kWh are used for "motors." Therefore, if efficiency of all motors is improved by 10%, a third of the total world nuclear power generation could be reduced. Furthermore, this is a "power supply" that can play a key role in reducing the remainder of power consumption. Regarding various electronic devices, a loss of 5-20% occurs at the time of fine and precise voltage conversion, and improvement in this aspect of efficiency should be considered as a major issue.
Semiconductors referred to as power devices or power-supply ICs should play an important role as devices for improving the efficiency of these "motors" and "power supplies." ROHM intends to contribute to solving global energy problems by offering the world's most advanced analog power devices, including silicon carbide (SiC).
Power Management/Power Supply ICs
Motor Driver (Motor Controllers)
SiC Power Devices that can Lead to Substantial Power Saving
The loss of SiC is lower than that of conventional Si, and SiC has an outstanding capacity for high-speed motion and high-temperature characteristics. Therefore, SiC is expected to contribute to major energy saving and a reduction in the size and weight of products. ROHM started the world's first mass production of SiC MOSFET in 2010 and full SiC power module products in 2012, promoting the development of industry-leading products.
Currently, these SiC power device products are being used for industrial equipment, automobiles, and consumer equipment, demonstrating their effectiveness and contributing to lower energy consumption and smaller size of products.
We will continue to contribute to smaller size and higher efficiency of various motors and inverters by offering total solutions combining 1) characteristic power devices centered on the world's most advanced SiC, 2) control ICs such as gate drivers that can maximize the performance of these devices, and 3) module technologies.
[CSV Strategy 2] Pursuing Smaller Size of Products
Reduction in the use of raw materials through development of devices ~ Development of the smallest devices in the world and introduction of such devices onto the market ~
Social Issues: Limited “Underground Resources"
Electric appliances and machines which are equipped with electronic components have been used for technologies and infrastructures needed for maintaining the current living conditions and developing them further. At this stage, such equipment, machines and infrastructures are made from natural underground resources, and the fact that these underground resources have the limited number of recoverable years should be a major concern for future people's lives.
Under such circumstances, companies are required to effectively utilize limited resources. In addition to recycling and reuse of wastes, we believe that ROHM as a semiconductor company should develop technologies that help reduce raw materials used for products and wastes perse, leading to the solution of social issues.
ROHM's Efforts: Reduction in the Use of Raw Materials through Development of the Smallest Devices in the World and Introduction of Such Devices into the Market
The progress of mobile devices, such as smartphones and wearable equipment for which more functions have been added, has been supported by ultra-compact, thin electronic components. Since its foundation, ROHM has been progressing technological innovation in terms of smaller size of components by utilizing its own miniaturization technology, and has been providing the smallest devices in the world in a wide range of products from passive devices, discrete devices, ICs to modules, including RASMID® series and PICOLED® series.
Going forward, we will try to minimize burdens on the global environment by reducing materials and wastes through smaller and lighter devices.
0402-size diode :Relative size VS. 0603-size diode
03015-size chip resistor :Relative size VS. 0402-size resistor
Development of the "RASMID Series," the World's Smallest Component, Backed by Innovative Technology
The "RASMID series" world's smallest component of astonishing dimensional precision (±10µm) was created using an unconventional method that utilized our miniaturization technology. Although the size of 0402 (0.4 x 0.2 mm) had been regarded as the limit of miniaturization for electronic components for a long period of time, ROHM successfully developed the world's smallest chip resistor with a size of 03015 (0.3 mm x 0.15 mm) in 2011. In 2012 (the following year), it developed Zener diode with a size of 0402, the world's smallest semiconductor, and started to mass-produce and deliver these products in 2014.
Going forward, in addition to pursuing smaller size of devices, ROHM Group will develop mounters as well as mount technologies such as taping and printed board, contributing to smaller size of various appliances.
- Three Characteristics of RASMID® Series
- Manufacturing the smallest devices by adopting new method
- Dimensional accuracy of ±10µm
- Precise form factor achieved using original processes
We contribute to greater miniaturization and higher performance in applications requiring a thin, compact form factor, such as smartphones and wearable devices.
Extensive History of Diode Miniaturaization
Successful History of Resistor Miniaturization
[CSV Strategy 3] Pursuing Security and Safety
Contribution to realizing a society without traffic accidents caused by products ~ Development of products focused on functional safety and introduction of such products onto the market ~
Social Issues: Increase in Traffic Accidents due to the Worldwide Aging Society
The number of people who die in traffic accidents amounts to approximately 1.25 million annually on a global basis (according to a survey conducted by the WHO in 2013). In Japan, the number of traffic accidents involving elderly people, in particular, is increasing. This is because the number of elderly drivers is increasing due to Japan's aging population. Such aging populations are accelerating globally, and even in so-called "developing countries" the number of people aged 60 years or older is expected to account for one-fifth of the total population in 2050.
Although the number of elderly drivers is expected to continue to increase in the future, we believe automobiles that even elderly people can drive securely and safely should be provided to society, instead of keeping the elderly from driving cars in their daily lives to prevent traffic accidents and ensure safety.
In light of these circumstances, we believe it is necessary to promote technological development to produce a model of car that does not cause traffic accidents, thus providing a solution for a social issue.
ROHM's Efforts: Contribution to Technological Innovation for Automobiles by Steadily Supplying “Quality First" Products
Since its foundation, ROHM has adopted the "vertically-integrated production" system, under which all of the processes from development of products to manufacturing are conducted within ROHM Group, under ROHM Group's motto, "quality first." Under this system, high-quality work is conducted in each process, while ROHM Group contributes to the automobile market by realizing secure traceability and optimizing the supply chain.
In recent years, technological innovation as typified by ADAS (automatic driving) has been accelerating, and thus it is required to attain the safety goal when semiconductors used for automobile components are handled, in order to secure the safety of automobiles.
Under such conditions, ROHM obtained ISO 26262 development process certification, the automotive functional safety standard, as a semiconductor company ahead of other companies in 2018. As the role of electronic components in automobiles has become more important, ROHM Group will make efforts to build safer products and contribute to creating a safe, secure, and eco-friendly automobile society through the provision of its products and the encouragement the acquisition of this certification provides.
Proposing an LCD Panel Chip Set that Contributes to a Secure and Safe Society without Traffic Accidents
Of course, in the bid to produce a high-definition LCD, the specifications and reliability of ICs must be enhanced, and it is also important to take measures to deal with unexpected failure even at the semiconductor level. On that point, regarding ROHM's automobile-use chip set for LCD panels, ROHM Group has succeeded in addressing the functional safety of a device used in LCD panels for the first time in the world by sharing the information for each IC, including the driver IC for a high-definition LCD panel, timing controller, and power source IC that runs these components optimally. The chip set has a function to indicate an abnormality at the time of breakdown, providing the high quality required for automobiles and introducing LCD panels for the speedometer and side view mirror, in which any defective points may lead to a major accident.
[CSV Strategy 4] Thoroughly Pursuing High Quality and High Efficiency
Reduction in environmental burdens through production innovation ~ Production innovation aimed at becoming the best factory in the world ~
Social Issues: Global Warming due to Emissions of CO₂
The sea level of the earth had risen by 19 centimeters from 1901 to 2010 because of acceleration of global warming due to human-induced factors such as greenhouse gases. It is estimated that if global warming advances, there could be further climate change, a collapse of the ecosystem, food shortages, and the spread of communicable disease. This means that the foundation of society could be shaken and the pace of economic activities could deteriorate.
Under such circumstances, companies are required to solve and alleviate worldwide environmental problems, including climate change resulting from emissions of CO₂ and resource/energy issues, and reduce energy consumption. ROHM intends to contribute to solving social issues as a semiconductor company by constructing new system and production technology that can reduce environmental burdens through production innovation.
ROHM's efforts: Production Innovation Aimed at Becoming the Best Factory in the World
ROHM Group is minimizing global environmental burdens (chemical substances, wastes) through production at a factory where the ISO14001 environmental management system has been used.
Furthermore, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming, ROHM is creating systems and production technologies for reducing the impact on the global environment, such as implementing smart factories and using renewable energy.
*At present, efforts are being made to obtain certification for SBT (Science Based Targets) by establishing reduction targets based on scientific evidence to contribute to the achievement of the “2°C target” established in the Paris Agreement.
“Production Innovation” Aimed at Becoming the Best Factory in the World
At ROHM Group, in light of further improvement in quality and higher production efficiency, all production sites at home and abroad are making their respective factory/factories smarter in accordance with the individual sites. All four "M" items at production sites, i.e., "manpower," "machine," "method," and "material" have been converted to electronic data. ROHM Group has now adopted integrated management by converting handwritten data to paperless online data.
It has optimized the system by carefully listening to opinions from engineers and staff members at the production sites, aiming for improvement in business efficiency and construction of a system under which there will be "no defective products." Now, information can be shared in real time not only by people at production sites and management centers in factories but also by ROHM Group as a whole.
This integrated management is extremely useful for improvement in quality and management of costs and delivery dates, and also for further efficiency of overall processes and business improvement. Furthermore, ROHM has started to deal with predictive maintenance, which combines ROHM Group's own abundant sensor technologies and wireless communications.
This is a "machine health" system through which operating conditions and malfunctioning of production facilities are monitored in real time, so that any failure or stoppage of devices can be prevented. ROHM Group has introduced the system in various existing facilities by using its own devices and utilizing its strong point, which is that it can be retrofitted easily. ROHM Group is making efforts to attain "zero defect" by converting all factories to smart factories using production solutions developed based on ROHM Group's knowledge as a manufacturer.
Introduction of Renewable Energy
Transformation into a post-carbon society is essential for realizing the 2°C target established in the Paris Agreement. ROHM is proceeding to introduce renewable energy in its production sites with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby conducting recycling-oriented management.
Renewable energy has been introduced for some of the energy used in production activities at ROHM Apollo Chikugo Plant located in Fukuoka prefecture, which is working on the wafer process(*1) for ROHM Group’s mainstay products such as ICs and transistors. 30,500MWh (equivalent to 11,500t of CO₂) of renewable energy was introduced in FY2019, and 60,000MWh (equivalent to 23,000t of CO₂) is planned to be introduced in FY2020. The total amount of renewable energy used over these two years is equivalent to the annual power consumption of approximately 20,810 households(*2). In addition, ROHM Hamamatsu located in Shizuoka prefecture began power generation using a solar power generation system in March 2018. The amount of power generated is 233kWh, making it the largest clean power generation facility in ROHM Group. This is mainly used to power air conditioning and lighting in the administration and welfare building, and contributes to a 95,000kg reduction of CO₂ per year.
ROHM Group will provide more eco-friendly products to customers and contribute to the realization of a post-carbon society by further increasing the percentage of renewable energy used in the energy required for business operations.
Semiconductor manufacturing can generally be divided into the front-end and back-end, and this process falls under the front-end (the back-end is the assembly process). It refers to the process of forming electronic circuits such as LSIs and transistors at high density on a silicon wafer surface.
*2.Method of converting the renewable energy used in the Chikugo Plant into annual power consumption by household:
91,500,000kWh (amount of renewable energy used in the Chikugo Plant ÷ 4,397kWh (annual power consumption per household(*) = 20809.6 households
＊In the Ministry of the Environment’s “Nationwide Trial Survey on Estimation of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Households (October 2014 - September 2015),” annual power consumption per household is 4,397kWh when converted into specific units (kWh).