I would like to thank our shareholders and other stakeholders for their support and confidence.
The world is now at the start of a fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), centered on IoT and big data. As systems for analyzing and utilizing the vast amounts of data generated by network-connected “things” are created, numerous new services are expected to emerge that will change industrial structures and society itself. The core of these new services will be data processing and analysis, namely, cloud computing and AI. Furthermore, autonomous driving, smart fabs and other services with low tolerance for data transmission delay will require edge computing, in which data is processed somewhere physically closer to the user than in conventional cloud computing.
Technological innovation in semiconductors has an important part to play in the arrival of this new era, as do the cutting-edge production equipment technologies that support such innovation. Until now, semiconductors have developed through ongoing miniaturization. However, as miniaturization progresses, we are encountering various technological barriers that cannot be overcome by existing technologies. To break through these barriers, innovative new technologies are emerging. These include the use of new semiconductor materials, multiple patterning that realizes finer patterns by using etch and deposition with current lithography technology, and EUV, a new type of light source for lithographic exposure. By developing and providing products suited for these new technologies, Tokyo Electron aims to be a strategic partner for customers. We regard technological inflection points as unparalleled opportunities for business expansion.
Going forward, we will accelerate our product strategy toward successful achievement of the medium term management plan. One of Tokyo Electron’s greatest strengths is that it deals in not just hardware, software, process technology or services, but all four. Leveraging this strength, we intend to enhance our ability to propose unique ideas for next-generation technologies, so we can quickly offer sophisticated solutions that satisfy increasingly complex customer needs.
As a market leader in the fields of SPE and FPD production equipment, Tokyo Electron will do our utmost to achieve world-class profitability and product competitiveness. To succeed, I ask for your continued support and confidence as we continue to move forward.
Representative Director, President & CEO