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No. 357, June 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


SEMICONDUCTORS

Commercial supplies of indium-gallium-phosphide epitaxial wafers — the fastest-growing segment of the gallium-arsenide epitaxial wafer market — will be available this summer from a new source. SUMITOMO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, LTD. has signed a long-term agreement with EMCORE CORP. to collaborate on the development and the production of these wafers for use as heterojunction bipolar transistor devices in digital wireless applications. The wafers will be produced at Emcore's Somerset, New Jersey wafer foundry, which has the capability to provide 3-inch, 4-inch and 6-inch wafers in the volumes that the wireless industry requires to compete on cost with traditional ion-implantation-device fabrication methods. SEI will market the wafers in Japan. Emcore specializes in the design, development and output of compound semiconductor wafers and the tools and the processes to make them.

Six weeks after they agreed to team up on North American sales of light-emitting diodes, STANLEY ELECTRIC CO., LTD. — a big automotive lighting manufacturer and one of the world's largest suppliers of LEDs of all types — and SLI, INC. of Canton, Massachusetts decided to form the first U.S. company for the production of surface-mount-device LEDs. SLI, which has a dominant share of the miniature lamp market in North America through its Chicago Miniature Lamp division, will own 70 percent of the joint venture. The site of the LED encapsulation facility has not yet been selected. The partners project fast-expanding demand in the next few years for SMD LEDs in value-added systems assemblies. Their goal is to rival HEWLETT- PACKARD CO., the North American LED market leader.

With the aim of speeding time-to-market for feature-rich, cost-effective Internet Protocol telephony products, HITACHI, LTD.'s U.S. semiconductor operation is working with ELEMEDIA, a LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC. company, to cospecify, develop and market IP telephony technologies and reference platforms. In particular, they will share expertise in the areas of embedded processor design and embedded signal processing and communications protocols. elemedia, one of the first venture businesses that Lucent launched, markets software platforms used in the development of carrier-grade systems and applications for IP telephony. This technology will be combined with Hitachi's SuperH RISC (reduced instruction-set computing) processors, which provide both IP and signal processing capabilities.

An exchange rate of ¥122=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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