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ABLIC Seeks to Reinforce Its Position in the European Automotive Sector with New Focus on High-Value-Added Products

Seiji Tanaka, Representative Director and President of ABLIC Inc.

Analog semiconductor manufacturer ABLIC Inc. embarked on a new start under a new company name in 2018, against the backdrop of a rich history spanning over 50 years. In June 2023, five years later, Seiji Tanaka took office as the new president. While focusing on planning and development capabilities as well as high-value-added products, Tanaka is also strengthening initiatives in the European market.

In November 2023, ABLIC obtained development process certification for the most stringent level ASIL-D under the automotive functional safety standard ISO 26262. Furthermore, by acquiring VDA6.3, which is an important process audit standard for German automotive-related companies, ABLIC has established a comprehensive setup. The company is now capable of handling numerous customer audits, which helps to steadily strengthen its foundation in the automotive market.

ABLIC's Representative Director and President, Seiji Tanaka is an accomplished professional leader who has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, engaging directly with customers around the world and building experience in sales and management. Before joining Seiko Instruments Inc. (of which ABLIC was a division of) in 2012, Tanaka was in charge of sales at the semiconductor division of Japan Motorola and served as the head of sales at Freescale Semiconductor Japan Ltd. Tanaka became an executive officer of ABLIC in 2018 when it became an independent analog semiconductor manufacturer. Furthermore, since June 2021, Tanaka has been serving as Business Officer of Semiconductor & Electronics HQ at MinebeaMitsumi Inc., following ABLIC's business integration into the company.

Since President Tanaka has taken office, he has been proactive in releasing new products. Presently, the company has been focusing on products for the automotive market, including automotive step-down switching regulators that are housed in the industry's smallest package, window voltage detectors that realize advanced functional safety with the industry's top-class high-speed detection, and high-withstand voltage LDO regulators that achieve the industry's highest PSRR and the fastest transient response.

Tanaka has a clear vision for ABLIC's future direction, stating,
“We will focus on developing high-value-added products that can functionally differentiate us from other companies. In 2023, we also integrated with Samurai Semiconductor Corporation (SSC), a collective of experts who have been expanding semiconductor designs in the global market. SSC is a group of engineers with abundant experience in both digital and analog engineering skills regarding semiconductors, as well as front-end and back-end processes. In addition to strengthening our engineering resources, we have appointed a Chief Product Officer (CPO) with an extensive background in leading semiconductor planning and development in the medical device field. In the European automotive market, we place a high priority on clear communication with the engineers, from the early planning stages to the final development of high-value-added products.”

For over half a century, ABLIC has developed products based on its corporate vision of 'Small, Smart, Simple'. The company plans to continue under this adage, which stands for miniaturization and low power consumption, shifting from single-function products to multi-function products while focusing on development that closely meets customer needs. In addition, ABLIC is working towards realizing a more proactive support system by providing simulation data to solve customer problems.

As part of its high-value-added products, ABLIC offers automotive products that perform with high accuracy across a wide temperature range, such as those compatible with AEC-Q100 Grade 0, and high-function products that consolidate multiple features into a single chip. These products also contribute to enhancing the safety of ADAS and AD systems with industry-leading features.

ABLIC is also working on the development of medical ultrasound imaging ICs for medical equipment, which are already being used in ultrasound diagnostic equipment by major Western medical device manufacturers. Furthermore, ABLIC's flagship technology, CLEAN-Boost®️, stores energy generated from minimal moisture or electrically generating bacteria, boosts voltage from that energy, and converts it into electricity to enable wireless communication. This technology holds infinite possibilities for IoT development and is expected to contribute to the SDGs. In Japan, this technology is already being utilized in 'battery-less water leak sensors' within several buildings and factories, with plans to expand this technology overseas.

ABLIC has established a comprehensive network utilizing online distributors, and a robust support system of Field Application Engineers (FAEs), which are now present in the European market. ABLIC's products have been adopted by major Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive field in Europe, which support vehicle, medical, consumer, and industrial applications worldwide. ABLIC is actively preparing to introduce renewable energy in their effort towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

ABLIC plays an important role in the analog semiconductor business within the MinebeaMitsumi Group, which has set an ambitious target to increase its sales to 300 billion yen by 2030. ABLIC is taking steady steps towards achieving this goal.

This content was published as sponsored content on Electronics Weekly on March 6th.

For further inquiries, contact ABLIC here.