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Global IC business: Challenges and strategies

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor manufacturing? IC industry? FRAM?

Certainly no one can doubt that the past few years have been challenging. A combination of natural disasters and a global economic downturn presents significant challenges for semiconductor manufacturers worldwide. How we respond to these natural and economic challenges today will determine the viability of the semiconductor industry for years to come. And, as is becoming more and more obvious, a great deal of that vitality will come from emerging markets, which present a different set of challenges than the established markets of Europe and the U.S.

But first, the natural disasters. 2011 will go down as one of the worst years ever in terms of these. In addition to the significant loss of life and property, the flood in Thailand and the Great East Japan Earthquake demonstrate the significant influence and impact of the global supply chain to worldwide industry.

Shinichi Machida

Machida: Our goal is to increase the ratio of sales outside of Japan from 30 percent to more than 40 percent in the year 2014.

Fortunately, Fujitsu Semiconductor had already designed and integrated a Business Continuity Management (BCM) system based on our experience with large-scale quakes. This BCM system, along with our training, helped us recover quickly from the March 11, 2011 disaster. In fact, we have been recognized as the first Japanese semiconductor manufacturer to secure a stable supply of products for our customers worldwide.

Our experience shows the importance of a BCM system for enterprises that need to securely and reliably provide services to customers. We believe all semiconductor enterprises need to seriously address this issue, and develop and continuously enhance such a system.

Established, emerging markets
In addition to the impact of natural disasters, global market growth has slowed in the short term because of the escalation of fiscal and monetary issues, the deceleration of the global economy, the sluggish employment situation in the EU and America, and the slowdown in emerging countries. The abrupt appreciation of the Yen adds another challenge for Japanese manufacturers and their customers.

In this scenario, we continue to enhance the competitiveness of our products and concentrate our resources in expanding areas. Our goal is to increase the ratio of sales outside of Japan from 30 percent to more than 40 percent in the year 2014.

To achieve this goal, we are focusing on emerging markets such as China. However, emerging markets often demand low-cost products, which means we have to reduce our costs. We are doing so, looking for reductions across the entire value chain from design and manufacturing to sales and distribution.

Locally based solution provider
Our basic strategy for emerging market development is to provide locally based total solutions, covering devices from the system to the end product. We believe that local engineers understand local needs and can proactively develop appropriate products.

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