Japan Semiconductor Innovation 50

The world semiconductor industry started from the invention of transistors in the U.S.A. in 1947. The first transistor in the invention was point-contact type, and had many problems in its structure and performance. And the real development and growth of the industry had to wait for the various innovative technology developments which followed the invention. Military and computer fields were the major application areas which drove these innovations in the US, whereas the consumer applications such as radios, TVs and calculators played the main roles in Japan.
The difference of major application areas in the two countries gave impact on the directions of technology development.
The US overwhelmed in the high performance technologies, and also led the industry in the high integration technologies to realize miniaturization for military applications.
In Japan, on the other hand, we see strong focus on the realization of low cost and low power consumption to meet consumer application needs. The outstanding events as those examples include; establishment of the world wide top position in Germanium transistors owing to the demand of transistor radios, the first mass-production of LSIs in the world, which targeted at desk-top calculator applications, and the first real commercialization of high-speed CMOS LSIs which made revolutionary shift in the industry from NMOS to CMOS.
We can assess and evaluate the innovations in semiconductor industry in various different aspects. And we, as SHMJ, took up the subject by summarizing the innovative achievements in Japan in the next three categories:
Development and commercialization of products, in which new values were created by exploiting the unique features of semiconductors.
Invention, development, and productizaton of new semiconductor devices which led the global industry, and reengineering of existing products which brought about revolutionary improvement.
Outstanding technologies in process, packaging, materials and manufacturing equipment which contributed to semiconductor industry.

We carefully selected "50 outstanding and shining innovations in the global scale, and created in Japan", from the collected innovative achievements in the above three categories, and exhibited them in the Semiconductor History Museum of Japan, as gJapan Semiconductor Innovation 50.h These are the essence in the development of Japanese semiconductor industry, and we praise the efforts and the achievements of pioneers by this exhibition.
The SHMJ Committee executed the selection, and SSIS authorized it with the careful review by industry experts.


Tsugio Makimoto, Ph. D
Director of SHMJ

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