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Taiwanese and Japanese firms (1): Sustainable development

Colley Hwang, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Credit: DIGITIMES

The strategic partnerships between Taiwan and Japanese companies have been heating up during the epidemic. In the past, the Japanese always prioritized the needs of Japanese companies, but with the mature development of Taiwan's supply chain, Japanese companies are not only knocking on the door, but are also sending personnel to Taiwan to serve somewhat as product managers for better communication. With such developments, Taiwan-based companies have seen concrete progress in both automotive electronics and compound semiconductors.

In the past, due to various considerations such as production efficiency, technical capability, and cost, the production of electronic products was often not in line with the concept of sustainability. However, now that energy saving and carbon reduction have become the consensus of the industry, more protocols can be invoked for corporate development. Kazuhide Ino, managing executive director of Rohm Semiconductor, visited Taiwan during the epidemic and participated in a cross-border, cross-industry online discussion with Delta Electronics' vice chairman Mark Ko.

I have visited Rohm in Kyoto twice and know that they are a leading power semiconductor company and are making progress in the development of compound semiconductors. Delta is one of the leading power supply companies in Taiwan. Both companies are upstream and downstream partners, and both have a corporate identity that emphasizes a culture of engineers. In addition to their existing technologies, during the dialogue, they explored cooperation models between Taiwanese and Japanese companies in emerging areas such as electric vehicles (EV) and compound semiconductors, and were able to gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities of cross-industry cooperation and technology integration.

Delta is a major manufacturer of power supplies, whether AC/DC (adapter), DC/AC (inverter), or AC/AC, DC/DC (UPS), and is a leader in the industry, while Rohm is a leading upstream compound semiconductor manufacturer in IGBT, MOSFET, GaN and SiC. The two are highly complementary, and through senior-level exchanges, they are working together in cross-industry collaboration in the technology field to develop various innovative applications.

I have visited CEATEC twice and was impressed with Rohm's exhibits. Unlike other components companies that only talked about technical specifications, Rohm presented a complete automotive solution. Since a few years ago, Rohm's emphasis has been shifted from applications to application-driven products, and the cooperation between Rohm and Delta has shown a lot of hard work in the process of integrating parts and systems.

Secondly, Rohm used to mainly cater to Japanese car manufacturers, and it well understands that Taiwan will play a key role in the formation of internationalized and decentralized production systems, and the cooperation with Delta has profound significance in the changing times.

Delta and Rohm both see RE 100 as a strategic goal and share a common concern for the environment and sustainability. Delta already joined the RE 100 initiative in 2021, and will use renewable energy in all of its plants by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality and net zero emissions by 2050.

Delta has now set its internal "carbon pricing" at a high price of US$300 per metric ton to motivate all departments to challenge the most difficult strategic goals, making it the most aggressive and courageous of all high-tech companies in Taiwan.

Colley Hwang, president of DIGITIMES Asia, is a tech industry analyst with more than three decades of experience under his belt. He has written several books about the trends and developments of the tech industry, including Asian Edge: On the Frontline of the ICT World published in 2019, and Disconnected ICT Supply Chain: New Power Plays Unfolding published in 2020.
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