Our History

  • TDK History
  • Social events, history of electronics
  • 1930
    Invention of magnetic material "ferrite".
  • 1931
    Invention of electron microscope. Charles Lindbergh successfully.
    crossed the North Pacific by airplane.
  • 1935
    Development of radar. TV broadcasting started
    in Germany.

With the objective of commercializing the world’s first ferrite core, Kenzo Saito, TDK’s first president, acquired the patent to ferrite from Dr. Yogoro Kato and Dr. Takeshi Takei and established Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K. in Tamura-cho, Shiba-ku, Tokyo City.

Bringing clear sound and pictures to people's homes.

This image is expressing a typical Japanese family at a dining space in the 1950's.

The world's first application of ferrite as a ferrite core results in a dramatic reduction of noise.

Until about 1950, listening to the radio often was marred by noise and interference, and reception sensitivity was not very high.
But once ferrite cores came into use, the noise decreased and the sound became clearer, allowing more people to listen and to obtain a wide range of information.
During the postwar economic growth period in Japan, the advent of television ushered in the age of visual information.
Ferrite from TDK was used extensively for the deflection yoke cores in the CRT tubes of television sets which increasingly found their way into people's homes.

  • 1937
    Kamata Plant constructed in Tokyo.
    Ferrite core reaches the market under the
    product name "Oxide Core."
    Production of color movies becomes widespread.
  • 1938
    Invention of magnetic sound recording system with AC biasing method.
  • 1939
    Japanese Naval Institute of Technology
    formally adopted ferrite cores
    for use
    with marine radio.
  • 1940
    Ferrite cores produced
    in large numbers,
    for use in mu-tuning
    units of radios.
    Hirasawa Branch Plant
    constructed in Hirasawa-cho,
    Akita Prefecture.
  • 1945
    Kamata Plant burns down (April).
    Ferrite production restarted (October, Hirasawa Plant).
    Computer with stored program proposed. Concept of communications satellite announced.
  • 1947
    Rapid rise in demand for IF
    transformer cores for use in
    superheterodyne type radio
    Invention of the transistors.
  • 1951
    Black-and-white TV deflection
    yoke cores reached the market.
    Production of standard-size cylindrical
    ceramic capacitors started
    at Hirasawa Plant.
  • 1953
    "Synchro Tape" brand of magnetic recording tape introduced. DNA double helix structure discovered.
  • 1954
    World's first transistor
    radios introduced.
  • 1955
  • 1956
    Ichikawa Plant in Chiba Prefecture constructed. Development of hard disk drives.
  • 1957
    World's first artificial satellite Sputnik
    1 successfully launched by the Soviet Union.
  • 1958
    "Paramistor PM-4"
    won the
    Grand Prix at the
    Brussels World
  • 1959
    Invention of integrated
    circuits (ICs).
  • 1960
    TDK introduced its first barium
    ferrite magnets.
  • 1961
    TDK listed on the First Section
    of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
    First manned space flight.
  • 1962
    Ferrite heads for magnetic drums introduced. Experimental TV satellite
    carried out successfully.
  • 1966
    Launch of
    first domestically produced
    OEM cassette tape.

"Taking one's music along" creates a new lifestyle.

Cassette tapes designed specifically for music become immensely popular and make the TDK name known to the world.

Music on phonograph records or open-reel tapes required bulky equipment and therefore could only be enjoyed indoors, usually at home. Only after recording on the much more compact cassette tape became possible, people could take their favorite music with them.
A living environment came to be filled with music anytime, anywhere.
In the latter half of the 1970s, video cassette recorders (VCRs) for home use came onto the market. Benefitting from its extensive experience in audio cassette tapes, TDK began to mass-produce high-performance video cassette tapes.

  • 1968
    TDK Taiwan Corporation established. Radio wave anechoic chambers introduced. First cassette tapes for music
    recording "SD" launched in the USA.
    Liquid crystal displays
    reached the market.
  • 1969
    Internet R&D began. Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • 1970
    heads for
    magnetic discs
  • 1971
    Multilayer ceramic chip
    capacitors introduced.
    Microprocessors introduced.
  • 1972
    Winchester heads developed.
  • 1973
    High coercivity ferric oxide
    "Avilyn" for
    magnetic tapes developed.
    Oil crisis
  • 1974
    Switching power supplies
    Samarium cobalt magnets
  • 1976
    "AVISERT" automatic inserters for
    printed circuit
    boards with vertical
    lead components introduced.
    VHS home video recorders introduced.
  • 1977
    Multilayer ceramic chip
    capacitors used in
    portable radios.
  • 1978
    VHS and Betamax video
    tape products released.
    Test-tube baby was born.
  • 1979
    Portable cassette tape players with headphones introduced. Cellular car phone services started.
  • 1980
    Multilayer chip inductors introduced.

Ever smaller, and ever more capable. TDK drives the progress of home electronics.

Revolutionary multilayering technology leads the way towards smaller, thinner, and lighter home electronics.

After multilayer chip components came into use, home electronics suddenly became much smaller, thinner, and lighter.
Portable telephones which used to require a bulky shoulder-carried unit shrank into mobile phones easily held in one hand.
Passport-size video cameras could be taken anywhere and brought the joy of watching videos to the general public.
And nowadays, all of these functions are usually integrated in a single smartphone.

  • 1982
    TDK shares listed on the
    New York Stock Exchange.
    Compact Disc players introduced.
  • 1983
    Company name changed to TDK Corporation. Home video game consoles introduced. World's first portable mobile phones.
  • 1986
    Acquisition of magnetic recording head manufacturing
    SAE Magnetics (H.K.) Ltd. based in Hong Kong.
    superconductivity discovered.
  • 1987
    Thin-film magnetic
    heads introduced.

Making "a computer on
every desk" a reality

Thin-film magnetic heads enable building smaller computers with more data storage capacities.

In the early stages of the computer age, an electronic computer was a large-scale device for calculation assembled with advanced technologies. But programming required specialized knowledge and computer use was limited to a few experts.
After hard disk drives with high storage capacities were developed in the 1990s, more software such as spreadsheet or word processing programs, image processing software etc. could be installed on a single computer, and personal computers became an indispensable part of most offices.
The rapid progress towards smaller and lighter hardware with higher storage led to the spread of notebook computers.
Sending email and documents via the Internet became common, and computers can now be used anywhere by anyone.

  • 1988
    Multilayer integrated device (MHD)
    Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect
  • 1989
    Fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • 1990
    Technical Center in
    Internet service
    Hubble Space
    Telescope launched.
  • 1992
    Recordable organic
    dye film optical discs
    (CD-Rs) introduced.
  • 1994
    TDK subsidiary established
    in Xiamen, China.
    High-density recording
    MR heads introduced.
  • 1995
  • 1996
    Cloned sheep "Dolly" was born.
  • 1997
    World's first hybrid cars introduced.
  • 1998
    GMR heads introduced. Terrestrial digital TV
    broadcasting started in the
    United Kingdom.
  • 1999
    TMR heads developed successfully. European single currency Euro introduced.
  • 2000
    Acquisition of Headway Technologies, Inc., a US-based magnetic head maker. Age of digital home appliances arrived.
  • 2001
    Digital audio players introduced.
  • 2002
    System of corporate
    officers introduced.
  • 2003
    Human genome
    sequencing completed.
  • 2005
    PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording)
    heads released.
    TDK Museum opened in Nikaho City, Akita Prefecture. Acquisition of Amperex Technology Ltd. (ATL)
    (polymer lithium battery manufacturing and sales)
    Acquisition of Lambda Power Group including Densei Lambda.
    (development/manufacture/sales of power supply products)
  • 2007
    Marketing and sales operations for TDK brand
    recording media sold to Imation Corp..
    Smartphone introduced in the USA, rapidly
    gained popularity.
  • 2008
    Germany based electronic
    device manufacturer
    EPCOS acquired.
    Global economic crisis triggered
    by Lehman Brothers collapse.
  • 2009
    "Development of Ferrite Materials and
    Their Applications" recognized as
    IEEE Milestone.
  • 2010
    Age of the
  • 2011
    TDK formulated TDK Environmental
    Action 2020 Plan
    (implemented from April 2011)
    World population exceeded seven billion.
  • 2012
    Dysprosium (Dy) free magnets developed.
  • 2014
    TDK withdrew from the recording media
    Ferrite selected as one of "Top 100
    Innovations in Postwar Japan."
    World's first fuel cell vehicles
  • 2015
    Age of IoT and AI arrived. Successful observation of
    gravitational waves.
  • 2016
    TDK Environmental Vision 2035 established. TDK Museum reopened after renewal. Acquisition of Micronas Semiconductor Holding AG,
    a sensor maker.
    Acquisition of Hutchinson Technology Inc.,
    a US-based maker of suspensions for HDD heads.
    Acquisition of Tronics Microsystems SA,
    an MEMS inertial sensor maker.
  • 2017
    Business alliance with Qualcomm and
    the establishment of RF360 joint venture agreed.
    InvenSense, a US-based manufacturer
    of inertial sensors, joins the TDK Group.
    ICsense, a Belgium based ASIC specialist,
    joins the TDK Group.
  • 2019
    TDK Ventures established
    a corporate
    venture company.
  • 2020
    TDK joined the Responsible Business Alliance,
    an initiative dedicated to corporate
    social responsibility in global supply chains.
    COVID-19 became a global pandemic.
  • 2021
    Reinforcement of environmental
    initiatives to achieve net-zero CO2
  • 2022
    TDK joined the RE100,
    an international environmental initiative.
    Business alliance formed by ATL and CATL and joint venture company established. Global population reached 8 billion.
  • 2023
    TDK started using 100% electricity derived from
    renewable energy for operations
    at all Japan manufacturing sites.
    Acquisition of Qeexo, Co,
    a developer of automated machine-learning platforms.

TDK will continue to use
its tech power
to make the
impossible available in daily life.