Hitachi’s move into semiconductor manufacturing equipment from 1980 onward had as its foundation the technological advances achieved through work in areas such as optical devices, electron microscopes, and ionizing technology. In 1981 a Semiconductor Manufacturing Section was established at the Kasado Works, and development work on ion beam mixing machines get underway at the Kokubu Works.
In 1985 a facility for producing semiconductor manufacturing equipment was completed at the Kasado Works, and in 1988 the world’s first microwave etching machine was exhibited at SEMICON Japan. It was honored in the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun’s Best 10 New Products Awards of that year. In 1994 a low-temperature dry etching machine received the International Trade and Industry Minister’s Award.
Subsequently, the semiconductor manufacturing equipment-related operations were separated from the Power and Electric Machinery Group and moved to the newly formed Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Group in 2000.