On Saturday, February 13, 2021, my family and I were reminiscing about the Great East Japan Earthquake that happened almost 10 years ago. Later, about 11 p.m., my cellphone rang with an emergency alert, just as my house started to shake. The house shook for more than 20 seconds! The news reported that the seismic center was very close to the same location as the earthquake from 10 years ago, but the magnitude was two grades lower at 7.3. Several towns in the prefectures Fukushima and Miyagi Prefecture experienced strong earth tremors that measured over 6 points on the magnitude scale—that’s strong enough to bring down buildings.
I was staying in Chiba Prefecture on the east side of Tokyo, where the earthquake measured a magnitude of 4. Fortunately, there was no damage to homes and buildings, but I quickly grew concerned for my family living in Tome, Miyagi. This was my hometown and where the Great East Japan Earthquake caused serious damage. Ten years ago, it took three weeks to contact my family, but this time I contacted all of them within one hour. Thankfully, everyone was safe.
The next day, images and videos rolled across new stations. The Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) suffered serious power supply damage and ceased service for more than a week. The highway in Fukushima closed due to landslides, more than 100,000 homes lost power, and public water services were disrupted. Power was restored within two days and water service was back in four days.
Cities and towns ramped up their evacuation shelters with foods and water. The consumer goods supply chain was compromised but restored quick enough to meet emergency needs. More than 150 people were injured from the earthquake, but this time only one person was killed.
Structural damages were minimal compared to the disaster 10 years ago, and there was no tsunami (I lost one of my cousins in the tsunami). We learned many things from that disaster. Cities and towns have upgraded their infrastructures, and that probably saved lives.
1. TDK (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 1/22
TDK has rolled out a new low cost small size carbon dioxide sensor, “TCE-11101,” made by MEMS technology. Package: 5x5x1mm, 28 pin LGA. Range: 400 ~ 50000 ppm.
2. TIT (Technical institute in Japan) 1/29
TIT has succeeded to develop electrode material based on LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 for lithium-ion batteries. It doubles the capacity of all solid-state batteries.
3. Osaka University (Japan) 2/2
The university has succeeded in developing new Seebeck-effect material made up of a combination of germanium and silicon. The voltage generated with the new material is three times higher at room temperature.
4. TIT and Tokyo City University (Japan) 2/16
Co-developed a new optical wireless power supply system using blue LED, valuable for smartphone and EV with 20.2% P/E conversion efficiency.
5. Renesas Electronics (Major semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) 2/16
Renesas has restarted the wafer shipment of manufacturing plants in Ibaraki and Yonezawa. The damages by the earthquake were minor.
6. TIT (Technical institute in Japan) 2/16
TIT has developed a new wireless system for THz band phased array telecommunication. It could be valuable for 5G smart phones.
7. Elephantech (Flex circuit manufacturer in Japan) 2/17
Will begin volume production of low-cost flex circuits in Nagoya Plant using inkjet printing/electroless copper plating process.
8. Sony (Major electronics company in Japan) 2/18
Sony has developed a new distance measuring sensor of dToF (Time of Flight) for LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) of automobiles with SPDA (Single Photon Avalanche Diode. Resolution: 15cm at 300meters.
9. Renesas Electronics (Major semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) 2/19
Renesas has rolled out a series of RF devices for 5G micro-cell base stations. They are quad channel gain amp, low noise amp, RF switch, and more.
10. Nikon (Major optical device manufacturer in Japan) 2/19
Nikon has developed a new high-speed CMOS image sensor with 17.84 million pixels. Pixel size is 2.7 microns, and its speed is reportedly 1,000 shots per second.
Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact email@example.com for further information and news.