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Circuit Design: expanding through low power wide area devices

Article - November 7, 2022

Breaking through with innovative wireless technology in the 1980s, Circuit Design has remained a staple in the sector narrowband radio devices

“The use of Circuit Design’s narrowband radio solutions ensures the reliability and success of our customers’ products.”
Yukinaga Koike, President, Circuit Design, Inc.

Building on its founders’ love of amateur radio, Circuit Design achieved its breakthrough in the late 1980s when the Japanese Ministry of Transportation approved the use of its remote engine starters in cold  prefectures such as Hokkaido. At that time, as company president Yukinaga Koike attests, engine starters “accounted for around 80% of the company’s overall turnover.”

With the automotive industry in transition, however, the company has shifted its focus to industrial wireless modules, having introduced its wireless systems to the German market in 1992.

Though the industry remains a highly competitive sector in which to operate, Circuit Design has been able to carve its own niche when it comes to wireless industrial construction manufacturing solutions, offering low-cost products which distinguish it from competitors.

Looking to the future, the company has been developing Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs) that integrate low-power wireless module technology, an innovation that will be shared with customers in 2023.

Though international expansion is problematic and to a greater or lesser extent contingent on existing infrastructure, Mr. Koike is keen to emphasize that Circuit Design is open to collaborating with foreign companies: “If a market is ready and equipped, and has its own regulation bills passed, then we are ready to target it.”    

Domestically, meanwhile, plans are afoot to expand the use of low-power wide-area (LPWA) devices into infrastructural monitoring, with the company developing an “Animal Map” system which can be installed in mountainous areas and applied to monitor water levels in Japan’s lakes and rivers.