Japan smartphone parts makers bet on miniaturization in 5G era

KYOTO — Electronic component makers in Asia and elsewhere are competing fiercely to supply manufacturers of the latest 5G smartphones. Japanese companies have solid market shares in 4G products and hope to maintain their lead over Chinese and South Korean rivals by honing their skills, especially in miniaturization.

“Given current chip-mounting technology, this is as small as it can get,” said Tsuneo Murata, chairman of Murata Manufacturing, showcasing the company’s new multilayer ceramic capacitor, a key smartphone component it has started making in large volumes.

In smartphones, MLCCs are used to store and discharge electricity to maintain a stable current in a circuit. At just 0.25 mm x 0.125 mm, Murata’s new device is the world’s smallest MLCC, with just one-fifth the volume of comparable products but 10 times the electrical storage capacity.

MLCCs are placed throughout circuit boards in smartphones. About 800 MLCCs are used in a high-grade phone;

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