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Dai-Ichi Seitosho CO., Ltd.,
1968 wheel lineup
DISCO’s predecessor, the Dai-Ichi Seitosho CO., Ltd., developed the 40 micrometer ultra-thin dicing blade “MICRON-CUT” in 1968, which earned them a “Top 10 new products” award from the Nikkan Business Line in the following year.

The turning point which lead to expansion overseas came from an unexpected source. An American of Japanese descent saw the news and sent DISCO an invitation, “Your business is interesting, even though it is the processing of semiconductors. Your product has great promise in the USA. Would you like to form a partnership to try and sell it?”

When establishing the company in America, the original Japanese name was difficult for Americans to pronounce, so the name was abbreviated like many other companies did at the time. The first letters of the English name, Dai-Ichi Seitosho CO., Ltd. were taken to create the name “DISCO”. In December 1969, DISCO Abrasive System, Inc. was incorporated in the United States, and the first expansion overseas was complete.

In the midst of our expansion, we ran into a large wall. At the time, Dai-Ichi Seitosho CO., Ltd., was a dedicated grinding wheel and blade manufacturer, and the creation of prototype equipment was done in cooperation with external companies. Once it was decided that DISCO would officially develop equipment, no equipment manufacturer would cooperate with us.

“We have a good product (wheels), but no equipment exists to take full advantage of its capabilities. But, a business opportunity is right in front of our eyes... Looks like we have to do it ourselves. Let’s make our own equipment!” And with that, a one man project was started in a garage.

With no equipment or manufacturing experience, the number of group members grew to 4, and after many experiments, the predecessor of our current dicing saws, the DAD-2H, was completed in 1975, 7 years after the development of the MICRON-CUT. The unit was displayed at SEMICON West in Silicon Valley that year.

During the trade show, the silicon wafer dicing demonstration continued with no breaks or stoppages. It became known as the “non-stop machine” and triggered a whirlwind of wonderment and praise. As a result, DISCO received over 500 business inquiries.

In 1977, 2 years later, the head office also changed its name to DISCO Corporation, and took a new step forward bearing the mantle of a cutting edge semiconductor equipment manufacturer.
Story 3: Don’t lose to the Silicon Cycle!

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