Remembering the late Japanese memory lodestar Yukio Sakamoto

Samuel Howarth, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Storage industry pioneer Yukio Sakamoto passed away due to health problems.

On Feb. 15 of this year, Japan's semiconductor pioneer and the godfather of the storage industry, Yukio Sakamoto, passed away at the age of 77 due to health issues. With over 30 years of experience in the Asian semiconductor industry, Sakamoto was well-regarded by his peers, and many in the industry expressed their condolences and sorrow at his passing, UDN reported.

Sakamoto entered Texas Instruments Japan in 1970 and subsequently held positions such as Vice President of Texas Instruments Japan and President of United Japan Semiconductor. From 2002 to 2013, he served as President of Japan's DRAM manufacturer, Elpida.

At the end of 2019, Sakamoto joined Tsinghua Unigroup as Senior Vice President and CEO of its Japanese subsidiary. Leveraging his extensive industry network, he organized a DRAM research and development team, and there were reports of plans to build a DRAM wafer fab in Chongqing, China.

In 2022, he became Chief Strategy Officer at Shenzhen's SwaySure Technology. The company was invested by Huawei Group.

Born in 1947 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Sakamoto was originally from the pharmacist district. He attended the Japan College of Physical Education.

As a talented athlete, his personality was unique in the conservative semiconductor industry. He was often described as "the least Japanese Japanese person."

His bold personality was described as entirely unconventional in the traditional Japanese sense, and his management style was seen as American. At the same time, he had a passionate dedication to DRAM technology.