Embedded industry in Japan (1) - Location and company size

by mikilight1 in October 8th, 2021

Reasons for being low key

Embedded is a field, which is low key despite the significance of the role to play. We are reaching out to them to get their feedback as a startup. And we have found that there is a unique feature in the industry.

The number of IoT devices is growing day by day. The global number of connected IoT devices will grow 9% to 12.3 billion active endpoints in 2021. By 2025, there will likely be more than 27 billion IoT connections with a 22% annual growth rate.

Source: IoT Analytics, https://iot-analytics.com/number-connected-iot-devices/

That means that embedded companies' roles to support that growth are indispensable. There must be tons of work for them to build IoT devices. Why is the embedded industry such low-key? There is a couple of background for being so. Today, I would like to focus on location.

440 companies nationwide

First off, companies in the embedded industry are distributed in terms of region, size, and expertise.

There are approximately 440 companies that design and make embedded systems according to the Ipros Monozukuri website, a sizeable B2B manufacturing business database in Japan.


Those 440 companies have diversities in location, size, and expertise.

Let's say the size. Some companies are tiny, like less than 10. And some have more than 4,000. Both of them do similar work, making embedded boards.

Location, customization, and the diversity

Second, location. There are many embedded companies from non-Tokyo areas, which is interesting. Thinking of the reason being so based on my experience in Japanese manufacturing companies, those embedded companies may be working closely with manufacturing sites. Tokyo has 18.93% of Japan's GDP. Tokyo has 40-50% of head offices of listed companies. However, big companies still have their factories in non-Tokyo areas when it comes to production capacity.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jaeg/63/4/63_335/_pdf#:~:text=上場企業を 大企業,%にまで低下した.

Makers manufacture the products in their factories in the countryside. And, before the pandemic, those makers tended to have face-to-face meetings with embedded companies nearby and run the project.

Based on those facts, we can tell that their works are heavily customized for customers' projects. The customization creates the other type of diversity, expertise.

I plan to mention the distribution of engineers next week!


UNiD Edge SDK repo is available on our GitHub. Please come and visit if you want a deep dive into it.

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