Message from the President

President Yamazaki
The history of Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. begins in 1980 with the R&D of solar batteries. Since then, we have expanded our R&D fields to liquid crystal displays, organic EL displays and thin-film integrated circuits. In recent years, we have also pioneered a new field of research on electronics involving oxide semiconductors.

At SEL, we believe that R&D is an art that contributes to the advancement of the world, and our presence as a company specializing in R&D has been established by delivering our technologies, which are the results of our developments, to the world in the form of patents. By acquiring patents and enforcing them, we are able to protect the sophisticated technology of Japan in an ever-globalizing world.

Ever since our founding, we have strongly held to the following philosophies that are at the root of all our R&D activities: continually asking the "why" to investigate essential principles and causes, and achieving the level of technology that satisfies our customers. Above all, we must face challenges with a pure heart and a clear conscience, without losing our sense of gratitude. If we do not have a pure heart, we cannot create inventions that have a good impact on society.

In this country of Japan with very little natural resources, we are determined to live on by inventing new technology. We will continue to improve ourselves day by day with the goal of being part of Japan's further development in mind, while getting our technologies out to the world. I am very confident that the technologies we invent are going to have a great impact on the improvement of technology in Japan and the world.


Dr. Shunpei Yamazaki

President Yamazaki completed the Master's Degree Program at Doshisha University Graduate School of Engineering in 1967. In 1970, while being a Ph.D. student at Doshisha University, he invented a non-volatile memory known as "flash memory". Since then, he has devoted himself to R&D of silicon-related technology. In 1971, he received his Ph.D. in Engineering and joined the TDK Corporation (formerly known as Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K). In 1980, he established the Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. (SEL) and assumed the position of President.

In 2007, he was ranked 58th in the survey "the top 100 Living Geniuses" conducted by Synectics (UK). He is a Life Fellow of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), and he received an Honorary Doctor Degree of Culture from Doshisha University. He is also a member of Doshisha Shayu, the distinguished contributors to the Doshisha.

Awards and Profile

2018 Received the W. David Kingery Award from the American Ceramic Society
2016 Received the Medal for Leadership in the Advancement of Ceramic Technology from the American Ceramic Society   (Outstanding contributions to oxide semiconductor technology and energy-saving display devices)
Renewed his GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ (Most patents credited as inventor)
2015 Received SID's Special Recognition Award for discovering CAAC-IGZO® and leading its practical application
Became a member of Doshisha Shayu
2013 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government
2011 Received an Honorary Doctor of Culture from Doshisha University
Became an IEEE Life Fellow
Renewed his GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ (Man holding the most patents in the world)
2010 The Invention Prize at the National Commendation for Invention from the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation
Received the Okochi Memorial Technology Award from the Okochi Memorial Foundation
Became an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow
2009 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government
Became an IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) Foreign Member
2008 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government
2007 Ranked 58th in the survey "the top 100 Living Geniuses" conducted by Synectics
2005 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government
2004 GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ (Man holding the most patents in the world)
2003 The Encouragement and Distinguished Service Prize at the National Commendation for Invention from the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation
1997 Awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government (Development of MOS LSI element technology)
1996 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government
1995 Awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government (Proceeds given to Japanese Red Cross Society)
1990 The Director Prize at the Commendation for Science and Technology from the Science and Technology Agency
1985 The Kato Memorial Award from the Kato Foundation for Promotion of Science
1984 The Nisseki Gold Award from the Japanese Red Cross Society
Received the Richard M. Fulrath Award from the American Ceramic Society (Research of MIS structure)
1980 Established Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. and assumed the position as President
1976 The Invention Prize at the National Commendation for Invention from the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation
1971 Joined the TDK Corporation (formerly Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K.)
Received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Doshisha University Graduate School Doctoral Program
1970 Invented a basic device of flash memory device (Japanese Patent No. 886343; Japanese Examined Patent Application Publication No. Sho50-36955)
1967 Completed the Master's Degree Program at Doshisha University Graduate School of Engineering

* CAAC-IGZO is a registered trademark of Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
(Japanese trademark registration No. 5494218).
*GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ is a registered trademark of Guinness World Records Ltd.


The Medal with Purple Ribbon


紫綬褒章 ■ The President was awarded a Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government for the innovation of MOS LSI element technology.

*Purple-ribboned medals are awarded to individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments.

Major Papers Published before Establishment of SEL

1970 Japanese Journal of Applied Physics Silicon Nitride Prepared by the SiH4-NH3Reaction with Catalysts
1971 National Convention Record, the Institute of Electronics and Communication Engineers A Study of Self Aligned Gate Lead FET
1972 June issue of Electronics Special Topic / Semiconductor Nonvolatile Memory Essential Qualities of Semiconductor Nonvolatile Memory
1973 IEDM Technical Digest Properties of Nonvolatile Semiconductor Memories by Using Silicon Clusters in the Gate Insulator
1974 June issue of Electronic Parts and Materials Special Topic / Nonvolatile Semiconductor Memory; Semiconductor Cluster Nonvolatile Memory
1975 April issue of Electronic Parts and Materials Mechanism of Nonvolatile Semiconductor Memory