August 24, 2009,17:00 +0900(JST) Successfully Developed the World’s First Technology of Green Laser

Last July some Japanese newspapers, including the Nikkei, carried articles on our novel technology, announcing that Sumitomo Electric has successfully developed the world’s first pure green semiconductor laser. Have you red any news on that?

Green laserLight's three primary colors (red-green-blue) are the source of all the other colors. Since the development of red laser in 1985 and a decade later, blue laser in 1996, the last green laser technology has long been expected to arrive. As the competition increasingly heated up in gallium nitride (GaN)-based green laser development, engineers ran into a snag called “green gap,” a sharp drop in lasing efficiency at 500 to 600 nm wavelength.

At Sumitomo Electric, we have overcome this problem by developing a GaN crystal which inhibits the efficiency drop, resulting in pulse operation of a laser diode emitting in the pure-green region at 531 nm. It is the first green laser diode in the world. Furthermore, we have even realized continuous wave operation at 520 nm.

To make it simple, please refer to the video below. The LED using conventional technology (at right) drastically turns into blue as a current flows in, while the light from a newly-developed GaN-crystal LED (at left) remains green. Can you see the difference?

Generally, green laser has been generated by converting infrared laser light with some optical material. However, our developed green laser, directly emitted from a semiconductor, requires less mechanical parts, thereby enabling reduction in size and cost. These advantages make the technology promising for the use in high-end displays and other wide applications.

I have repeatedly emphasized the importance of working closely among the R&D, sales and business sections to capture the needs of markets. Also, I have advised our people to get ahead of social changes and technical trends, and then to plan tasks with an eye on the clock and the goal. We are finally feeling some positive results from these efforts.

As part of the Group’s mid-term business plan “VISION 2012,” Sumitomo Electric has scheduled to invest 400 billion yen in its research and development in the 2008 to 2012 period. This year, despite an economic slump, we have devoted 73 billion yen to our R&D activities, expecting a great outcome. With such sufficient R&D budget, we will strive to conceive new products which may account for as many as 30% of whole company sales.

■Press release: Sumitomo Electric Develops The World’s First Pure Green Semiconductor Laser

August 20, 2009,13:23 +0900(JST) Go on Green!

The other day, I heard news that a failure in traffic lights caused three car-accidents in Japan. They say that both sides of traffic lights turned green simultaneously for a few seconds due to a mistake of time setting for changing lights.

As to traffic control systems for traffic lights operation, Sumitomo Electric has a long and reputable standing. Back in the early 1960s, then President Kitagawa laid out a policy that innovative technologies must go with computers, which would play a key role in the future society. Drawing on this concept, Sumitomo Electric pursued the development of traffic control systems using computers. As society motorized, demand for those computer systems has surged. Thus far, our systems have been widely installed all over Japan, including Fukuoka, Hyogo, Okayama, Tokushima, Kagawa, Tottori, Shimane, Okinawa, and the world’s largest Tokyo Traffic Control Center.

In control rooms, traffic volume and other data are collected via road sensors. Based on such data, the systems control traffic lights and provide appropriate traffic information through optical beacons and information boards. In this way, the traffic control systems facilitate traffic, thereby contributing to traffic accident prevention and environmental load alleviation.

Incidentally, the supplementary budget has been earmarked for the installation of Driving Safety Support System (DSSS), about which I have once talked in my previous entry. To respond such a trend, we will serve for a safe and secure society from a new perspective.

Internationally, a traffic light consists of three colors: red, yellow and green. The aforementioned failure is called “green-green malfunction,” in which more than two lights in different directions turn green at the same time. To prevent such malefaction, our control systems come with a fail-safe function.
For a more convenient and safer society, we are willing to be an unnoticed but reliable operative behind the scenes.

Speaking of green, the current hottest topic is “green laser,” our novel technology developed for the first time in the world. I will feature it in my next entry.

August 7, 2009,09:24 +0900(JST) Inauguration of Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc.
~ Aiming to be the Best Company in Optical and Electronic Devices Businesses

On August 4, I attended the inauguration ceremony of Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc. held within its Yamanashi Office in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The predecessor of this new company, Eudyna Devices Inc., was established on April 2004 as a 50-50 joint venture of Sumitomo Electric and Fujitsu, after the business integration of Fujitsu Quantum Devices, Ltd. and our electric devices business. Back then, I was a board member of the company and had desired its business to be operated under a unified governance structure rather than a 50-50 joint venture style in the future. This dream has finally come true after five years.

Greeting at inauguration ceremonyThe ceremony was conducted with the participation of Sumitomo Electric’s executives, the new company’s board members, representatives from overseas distributors, and some 500 employees from Yamanashi Office. At the beginning, I sent my words of encouragement to the attendants. It went like this:
This inauguration of the new company marks a step forward to be the world’s best company. Aiming to be top-ranking company in terms of technology and sales, we need to fully devote our resources. We have edged out competitors to obtain the top share in the optical components markets. To further outclass others, we shall work together toward the success of this new company.

Many former Fujitsu Quantum Devices employees work at the Yamanashi Office, and therefore, I briefly explained the Sumitomo Group’s spiritual foundation, or the Sumitomo Spirit (banji-nissei: do your sincere best-- not just in business, but in every aspect of your life; shinyo-kakuzitsu: place importance on integrity and sound management; and fusu-furi: do not act rashly or carelessly in pursuit of easy gains).

Company executives at new signboardPresident Takada and I planning memorial tree

Subsequently, I participated in the unveiling ceremony of a new company’s signboard, memorial tree planting, and a cerebration party for managers at the night. Again, I strongly encouraged them to unify their hearts towards the feature development of the company.

Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations will play a key role in the Group’s optical and electronic devices businesses. President Takada of the company also expressed his strong determination to make the company a runaway leader in a few years.

Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations will strive to fulfill your expectation and I sincerely ask for your support and assistance for the company.

August 3, 2009,15:29 +0900(JST) First Quarter Results

On July 29, Sumitomo Electric posted its business results for the first quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. It recorded a great income loss, plunging into the red with the sales of 372.1 billion yen (36% down from the same period last year), operating losses of 14.7 billion yen, ordinary losses of 14 billion yen, and net losses of 10.3 billion yen. I am concerned that our stakeholders may be feeling uneasy about this situation. There is, however, some good news telling that demand in the markets is gradually increasing from the worst economic slump from this January through March. Meanwhile, our Group-wide efforts since the beginning of this year are also steadily bearing fruit under the principles of "keeping our organizations to our abilities and reconstructing our cost system," "expanded and deeper internal solidification" and "educational rearmament" for a reinforced corporate constitution.

We might be finally finding a way out; still we must remain vigilant because the full-scale recovery may take long. To get back on the firm growth track, I have urged our Group people to concentrate on the following three aspects.

Firstly, “now is the time for innovation, fully utilize our overall skills and high spirits.” We are currently facing turning points in every aspect of politics, economics and society. Regarding such changes as opportunity, we intend to develop a new market and capture business opportunity by organically drawing on the Group’s comprehensive expertise and technologies on material, environment/energy and info-communications.

Secondly, “reinforce the corporate constitution.” Sharing risk awareness with all employees, we promote the Group-wide S-E-Q-C-D-D (Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery and Development) improvement to solidify the corporate structure.

Finally, “enhance the compliance.” We shall aim at being a corporate entity lasting long in society by sharing benefits with all the people, instead of making profits for Sumitomo Electric alone. We remain faithful to the original precepts of the Sumitomo Spirit of "place importance on integrity and sound management," “do not act rashly or carelessly in pursuit of easy gains” and "profit for self and others, private and public interests, are one and the same."

In addition to above, for our executives I have asked for their leadership to change the organization and every workplace. To find a way out of the present tumultuous circumstances, a leader needs to be “a non-conformist with a solid backbone.” This is someone who can think freely and differently from others, having invincible determination and courage to overcome difficulties. I expect our executives to be such a “non-conformist with a solid backbone” and encourage all the Group people in their natural, calm and fair manners to create a vibrant work environment where those changes can be alchemized into opportunity.

I suppose that the situation will remain uncertain for a while. We continue our steadfast endeavor to solidify our corporate constitution and sincerely appreciate your continuous support.

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC President CEO Masayoshi Matsumoto

Born in 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, Masayoshi Matsumoto joined Sumitomo Electric in 1967. After serving as General Manager of Chubu District Office, Managing Director and Senior Managing Director, he assumed office of President and CEO in June 2004.

His leisure activities include jogging, reading and art appreciation. Also a seasoned athlete, he played baseball in junior high school and practiced judo in senior high school. In university, he threw the javelin competitively and participated in all-Japan inter-university competitions.

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