Europe is key industrial market, says Japan chip firm

Rohm Semiconductor is using its systems expertise to bring a number of new product technologies to the European market.

One example is a blood test system which Rohm has developed in Japan and which is now being sold in Italy through a partnership with a local supplier.

“What is important to us is selling semiconductors, we do not wish to compete with our customers,” Masaki Sakai, sales director at Rohm Semiconductor told Electronics Weekly.

“This is a specific market and we have the necessary in-house expertise to address it,” said Sakai.

Like many Japanese semiconductor suppliers Rohm is trying to build sales outside of Japan after the collapse of the home market for consumer electronics in recent years.

The European industrial market is the main focus for Rohm and it is selling its semiconductor devices into the lighting and power markets.

The firm also has sensor technologies, including MEMS devices, and it sells low power microcontrollers through its Lapis Semiconductor brand.

“The industrial was not previously a focus for us,” said Sakai, “but it is now.”

Its plan is to support sales of its semiconductor devices with systems products it has developed in Japan.

As well as the blood test monitor, it has also developed a hydrogen fuel cell which could be used to power smartphones.

“There are market areas which are not being addressed and we can show our expertise,” said Christian Andre, European president of Rohm Semiconductor.

Europe has become an important target market for Rohm as it develops its industrial product lines. “Without growing sales in Europe we will not grow,” said Sakai.


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