Skip to Main Content
This article focuses on the status of VLSI in Japan. It is written from a "Pacific" (as opposed to the generally prevailing "Atlantic" viewpoint) to provide a perspective unfamiliar to many in Europe and America. Japan clearly has the lead in worldwide VLSI development, but the status of VLSI in Japan is usually confusing to foreigners because of the rapid changes taking place. Japanese applications for IC patents have grown steadily, while foreign patent applications in Japan have stagnated, dropping from 10 percent to seven percent of the total. Until recently, most new technologies developed in Japan were in assembly processes and manufacturing; however, the share of new technologies stemming from the invention of new devices is increasing steadily at a considerable rate. Today the leading electronic products of Japanese industry are original, home-grown products of Japanese technology. In conclusion, the outlook for the Japanese semiconductor and IC industry (including production materials and equipment), together with the microelectronics sector, is as bright as it could be. Despite an extremely fastgrowing domestic market, prospects are good that the Japanese electronics industry will remain a net exporter in the future, substantially increasing its position in the world marketplace.