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Cutting-Edge R&D

FSTJ 2007-10 Cover Image

2007-10 (Vol.43, No.4)

Fujitsu Laboratories continue to advance R&D in meeting the challenges of a new era in line with its mission of being "the research laboratory of the 21st century." In order to create a future ubiquitous information society, we have been developing technologies that will define the future by focusing our efforts on materials, devices, network and computer systems, and service solutions. For example, we have been conducting R&D of computer systems that continue working autonomically and network systems that make services available to people anytime and anywhere. To support the next-generation Information and Communication Technology(ICT) systems, we have also been conducting R&D on devices and materials that will provide the seeds of future technology for creating new value. This special issue introduces some of our cutting-edge R&D activities.

2007-10 (Vol.43, No.4) Contents

1. Preface (445 KB)
As we enter the 21st century, the tremendous progress made possible by the information and communication revolution has brought about dramatic changes in social trends and industrial structures.
To stay ahead of these changes, Fujitsu Laboratories strive to become a research organization expected in the 21st century, so that we can continue offering new value and solutions to our customers and society in the future. ---[Kazuo Murano, PresidentFujitsu Laboratories Ltd.]

Featuring Papers

2. Research and Development at Fujitsu Laboratories (920 KB)
Fujitsu Laboratories continues to advance R&D in meeting the challenges of a new era in line with its mission of being "the research laboratory for the 21st century." In order to create a future ubiquitous information society sensitive to the needs of people while also being gentle to the earth's environment, we have been developing technologies that will define the future by focusing our efforts on materials, devices, networks, and computer systems. Fujitsu Laboratories also participates in a wide range of activities to realize safe and comfortable solutions for people. We must develop and expand our leading-edge technologies on a global basis. Toward that end, research bases established in the U.S., Europe, and China are working in collaboration. In terms of R&D management, individual laboratories share roadmaps for technology. This paper briefly introduces the R&D management and activities being conducted at Fujitsu Laboratories, with particular focus on the theme taken up by this special edition. ---[Fumitaka Abe, Masao Kondo]


3. Technologies for Raising Efficiency in Support Services (929 KB)
This paper describes Fujitsu Laboratories' research and development activities for raising efficiency in support services such as those provided by hardware support operation and call centers. Efficiency can be raised by assigning the appropriate human resources to support services and enhancing call center agent skills. This paper describes technologies that raise productivity by analyzing the large volume of data concerning customer inquiries and agent responses stored by support services. One of these is a technology for assisting in the creation of problem-solving knowledge that automatically detects and collects frequently occurring problems and ways of solving them. Another is an agent assignment assistance technology that simulates call center activity and accurately estimates key performance indexes. ---[Isao Namba, Hideki Yamanaka, Takashi Yanase]
4. Ethno-Cognitive Interview for Understanding and Visualizing Realities of Customer's Business from Workers' Viewpoints (913 KB)
To build effective IT systems that improve a customer's business environment, an IT vendor must accurately understand the customer's business, define specifications in cooperation with the customer, and formulate the specifications that they request. We have developed an interview method that enables us to accurately understand the realities of a customer's business from individual workers' viewpoints. This method called ECOW Interview (Ethno-Cognitive Interview for Work practice understanding) uses original interview worksheets that help us facilitate the interview process and understand individual workers' tasks from several viewpoints such as time, working space, and human relations in 90-minute interviews. By combining this method with one-day observations of workers' offices, we can visualize the realities of a customer's business and select problems to be solved. This process enables us to submit a convincing IT proposal and develop a system with little re-working. In this paper, we introduce the ECOW Interview and its major results. We also describe how ECOW Interview has been used at a financial institution. ---[Kazushi Ishigaki, Naoki Sashida, Ayako Yajima]
5. Software Applications Validation Environment: SAVE (1.03 MB )
The most vexing problem facing the software industry today is ensuring that complex heterogeneous client-server applications are defect-free. Fixing software defects in the field typically costs many times that prior to deployment. Customers becoming increasingly wary of security, privacy, and software safety may stop conducting business online. Current software validation techniques are largely inadequate. Conventional testing techniques are manually intensive, with unknown or poor functional (specification) coverage requiring the user to insert assertions in the source code. While formal verification techniques such as model checking offer 100% functional coverage, they cannot handle more than a few thousand lines of code. Members of Trusted Systems Innovation Group (TSIG) at Fujitsu Laboratories of America (FLA) have been working for more than a decade on developing novel techniques for model reduction, and the specification and validation of requirements. This paper describes software applications validation environment (SAVE), resulting from a close collaboration between TSIG and Software Innovation Laboratories (SIL) at Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. SAVE weaves innovative techniques to provide an effective solution for validating the requirements for large heterogeneous software. ---[Sreeranga P. Rajan, Indradeep Ghosh, Oksana Tkachuk, Mukul R. Prasad, Praveen K. Murthy, Ryusuke Masuoka, Tadahiro Uehara, Kazuki Munakata, Kenji Oki, Hirotaka Hara]

IT Platforms

6. TRIOLE Organic Computing Architecture (673 KB)
Autonomous mechanisms are expected to serve as foundations for stable, adaptable, and cost-efficient managed IT systems that can support social and economic activities. This paper describes an autonomous mechanism developed by Fujitsu called the TRIOLE organic computing architecture that integrates human activities and IT processes. Next, it describes a unified description scheme that defines a series of management processes for integrating human activities and IT processes and outlines a method for easily creating reliable processes by using policies and templates. Lastly, it describes a configuration management database that is based on system knowledge about this architecture. ---[Akira Katsuno, Satoshi Tsuchiya, Motomitsu Adachi]
7. Service Middleware for Performing and Optimizing On-site Work (581 KB)
The growing importance of services is placing greater emphasis on company worksites as points of contact with customers. Although back-end enterprise systems are the foundations of differentiated services, they often become too large and complex to keep pace with changing customer service needs. Consequently, worksite employees must bear the burden of satisfying these needs. Service middleware, which should become the basis of IT solutions for on-site work, consists of an execution layer for worksite employees and an optimization layer for worksite managers. The execution layer supports enterprise systems, worksite sensors, and equipment to help worksite employees concentrate on the tasks of achieving high value. The optimization layer optimizes the execution layer for dealing with changing customer service needs and evolving enterprise systems. This paper outlines Fujitsu's service middleware used to perform and optimize on-site work. ---[Tsuneo Katsuyama, Youji Kohda]
8. Grid Middleware for Realizing Autonomous Resource Sharing: Grid Service Platform (664 KB)
These days, many enterprises are interested in consolidating systems to achieve more efficient operation of their IT resources. In particular, Grid techniques are attracting keen attention because distributed systems can be used collectively as a single system. The changes in load that occur during business operations cause fluctuations in the number of servers needed, and Grid systems must flexibly allocate server resources to respond to these fluctuations. Therefore, in conjunction with France Télécom, we have developed a middleware called Grid Service Platform (GSP) for realizing autonomous resource sharing based on the priority of business operations. We implemented a batch service and a real-time online service and then evaluated GSP on a testbed consisting of sites from Japan and France. We confirmed that GSP enhanced the online service capacity by 30% or more, while simultaneously reducing the runtime of the batch service by 12%. ---[Soichi Shigeta, Haruyasu Ueda, Nobutaka Imamura]
9. Radio Network Dimensioning and Planning for WiMAX Networks (1.05 MB )
This paper is a high-level introduction to the complexities involved in dimensioning and planning of Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) networks, with specific emphasis on key WiMAX features and planning techniques that need to be considered for optimal network coverage, capacity, and service requirements. We introduce Fujitsu's in-house developed WiMAX Network Dimensioning Tool, which contains innovative algorithms for interference margin calculation and capacity analysis. In theory, WiMAX technology allows a huge number of optional and mandatory features and promises larger coverage and higher data throughput in comparison to the existing 2G/3G technologies. This paper explains briefly the challenges involved in network planning due to such features, with a further description on the step-by-step approach to network dimensioning and planning. ---[Bharathi Upase, Mythri Hunukumbure, Sunil Vadgama]
10. Twenty-port, 10-Gigabit Ethernet Switch LSI and Its Applications (799 KB)
The next-generation Ethernet technology — 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) — has a transmission rate of 10 Gb/s. Given the recent growth of server system performance and larger amounts of data to be processed, 10 GbE has been attracting attention in the IT industry as a high-speed network technology for connecting servers and storage at reasonable cost. To widely apply 10 GbE to IT systems at even lower prices, Fujitsu has been developing a single-chip 10 GbE switch LSI since 2001 and released the world's first 12-port 10 GbE switch LSI in 2003. Fujitsu has now developed the MB8AA3020, which is a new 10 GbE switch LSI intended to further expand the application ranges of 10 GbE switches. The MB8AA3020 supports 20 ports and has built-in 10 Gb/s serial interfaces. This paper describes the features of the MB8AA3020 and the high-speed IO circuit of its built-in interfaces. It also describes the XG2000, which is a small switch box powered by the MB8AA3020. ---[Takeshi Shimizu, Yasuo Hidaka, Katsuhiko Nishikawa]

Ubiquitous Computing

11. Application of Network Knowledge (719 KB)
The advances made in ubiquitous technology have more strongly linked the network world with the real world. By observing a network, we can practically perceive both the network conditions and real-world conditions. We are studying ways to change the information acquired from a network into social and business values in both the real world and virtual world. We call such information "network knowledge." Information that flows in a network is merely the data of bit strings consisting of 0 and 1. Such data is converted into network knowledge when such objects as switches and applications create specific meaning from the data by using the means of network technologies. This paper introduces two examples of these technolo-gies. The first technology encompasses network fault diagnosis and quality moni-toring technology used to identify the locations of faults and predict deteriorated performance. The second technology pertains to 4-dimensional traffic engineering (TE) used to optimize the allocation of network resources in consideration of future variations in traffic. Both technologies are useful in building a robust and easy-to-use information service environment. ---[Masafumi Katoh, Masaaki Wakamoto]
12. Mass Data Read/Write Technology for UHF-Band RFID Tags (573 KB)
Passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags operating in the 860 to 960 MHz ultra-high frequency (UHF) band have a wider communication area than RFID tags operating in other frequency bands such as 13.56 MHz or 2.45 GHz. It is expected that UHF-band RFID tags will be used widely in physical distribution, manufacturing, and supply chain management (SCM) fields. To extend the RFID market, accurate data communication with RFID tags is indispensable. We have therefore developed a read/write middleware technology that improves the precision of reading from and writing to multiple RFID tags collectively. This technology uses infrared sensors for RFID position detection and optimizes the data read/write function. A system using this technology can communicate with 100 tags moving at 1 m/s with a read/write success rate of 99.999% or higher. These tags contain a Fujitsu RFID LSI having a built-in high write-performance FRAM that conforms to the ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type B air-interface protocol. This paper describes some of the problems in reading/writing multiple tags and describes a technology we developed to overcome them. ---[Toru Maniwa, Hiroyasu Sugano, Mitsugu Kato]
13. Video Compression Technology for In-vehicle Image Transmission: SmartCODEC (643 KB)
Next-generation vehicles will require multiple video channels for safer and more enjoyable driving. Digital video data from, for example, cameras positioned around a vehicle, a navigation system, and a DVD, will be transmitted over an in-vehicle LAN. Currently, the in-vehicle LAN standard with the widest bandwidth is IDB (ITS Data Bus)-1394. However, because it has insufficient bandwidth for multiple video channels, a data compressor-decompressor (codec) will be needed to multiplex the video data so the LAN bandwidth is used more effectively. The compression technology for in-vehicle video must implement minimal delay and a high image quality at low cost. This paper describes Fujitsu's SmartCODEC technology, which was specially developed to transmit video data in vehicles to meet these requirements. ---[Jun-ichi Odagiri, Yasuhiko Nakano, Shigeru Yoshida]
14. Virtual Product Simulator (VPS) (2.38 MB )
The manufacturing industry is increasingly requested to improve reliability, shorten development periods, and reduce development costs in all phases from concept to design and manufacturing. To fulfill these requests, there is a pressing need to promote manufacturing efficiency through the extensive use of information technology (IT). The virtual product simulator (VPS) developed by Fujitsu over a 10-year period is demonstrating its advanced capabilities on various manufacturing worksites in combination with the proliferation of 3D-CAD systems. VPS is based on simulation technologies researched for many years by Fujitsu Laboratories. This paper describes VPS in terms of its background to development, the functions supported, typical examples of application, and future possibilities. ---[Yuichi Sato, Masayoshi Hashima, Yosuke Senta]

Devices and Materials

15. Ultra High-Speed and Ultra Low-Noise InP HEMTs (831 KB)
InP-based high electron mobility transistors (InP HEMTs) exhibit a record current-gain cutoff frequency of beyond 500 GHz and an ultra low noise figure of less than 2 dB even at 100 GHz. Consequently, they are regarded as key devices for next-generation wired/wireless communication systems and precision sensors. This paper describes some fabrication techniques that enhance device uniformity for large-scale integration and provide the frequency response required for high-speed operation. It then describes two sensors that have been developed using InP HEMTs: a 94-GHz-band passive image sensor and an ultra-wideband (UWB) radar operating in the quasi-millimeter waveband of 23 to 29 GHz. By improving the performance of sensors and transceivers, InP HEMTs will accelerate the realization of advanced sensor network systems that support various social infrastructure services, for example, security, disaster prevention, and transportation. ---[Yasuhiro Nakasha, Yoichi Kawano, Masaru Sato, Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Kiyoshi Hamaguchi]
16. Quantum-Dot-Based Photonic Devices (721 KB)
Adopting nanometer-sized semiconductor particles, called quantum dots, in the active regions of photonic devices provides the characteristics specific to 3-dimensional quantum effects. This will greatly improve the performance of photonic devices in many respects. We are developing quantum-dot lasers and quantum-dot optical amplifiers through joint research conducted with the University of Tokyo. This paper introduces our development of technology for these devices, along with some recent results. For quantum-dot lasers, we have realized temperature-insensitive direct modulation at a modulation rate of 10 Gb/s in the 1.3-μm wavelength range. We have also fabricated high-performance, quantum-dot optical amplifiers with a wide bandwidth of over 100 nm, high gain of 20 dB, and high optical output power of over +20 dBm. Fujitsu established a venture company called QD Laser, Inc., through a joint capital investment with Mitsui Venture Capital Corporation to commercialize these high-performance quantum-dot-based photonic devices. ---[Mitsuru Sugawara, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Hiroji Ebe]
17. New Ferroelectric Material for Embedded FRAM LSIs (610 KB)
The strong growth of information network infrastructures in our society has enabled personal authentication services for electronic money systems and ticketless transportation services to become firmly established. Secure, high-speed, and low power consumption nonvolatile memories will be required for mobile devices used with smart RFID tags and secure IC cards. Ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) is one of the best choices for these applications. Market needs must be paid attention for these mobile and secure applications. In FRAM research and development, we pursue scalability for increased memory capacity, unlimited read/write cycles, and a wider range of operating voltage, as well as to improve the conventional features of FRAM, we introduce a new ferroelectric material that will enable us to fabricate FRAM in a 90-nm technology node and beyond, by focusing on its superior characteristics. We also describe our plans to commercially produce FRAM devices in the near future. ---[Kenji Maruyama, Masao Kondo, Sushil K. Singh, Hiroshi Ishiwara]
18. Carbon Nanotube Bumps for Thermal and Electric Conduction in Transistor (1.23 MB )
The continuous miniaturization of semiconductor chips has rapidly improved the performance of semiconductor products. However, thermal issues that affect semiconductor chips are becoming more serious. For example, heat transfer has become a very serious problem in the CPUs of personal computers; high-frequency high-power amplifiers (HPAs) of mobile communication systems; and power control units of hybrid-car motors. To solve this problem, Fujitsu has been developing semiconductor heat sinks that exploit the high thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). This paper describes the CNT bumps we have recently developed for transferring heat and electrically connecting the source, gate, and drain of the high-power, flip-chip amplifiers of mobile communication base stations. CNT bumps can be used to achieve high gain and high thermal conductivity in high-frequency HPAs. This paper introduces some recent developments in CNT bump technology. ---[Taisuke Iwai, Yuji Awano]
19. Statistical Static Timing Analysis Technology (643 KB)
With CMOS technology scaling down to the nanometer realm, process variations have been increased. In particular, the increase of delay variations has seriously affected the design periods and timing yields. To estimate more accurately these delay variations, statistical static timing analysis (SSTA), which considers delay variations statistically, has been proposed. SSTA is expected to shorten the design turnaround time (TAT) and predict the timing yields. Research on practical applications of SSTA has already been conducted at Fujitsu Laboratories. We have developed SSTA tools for use in designs for processors and application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in cooperation with Fujitsu and Fujitsu VLSI. This paper describes the delay variations and basic SSTA techniques and introduces SSTA applications to Fujitsu's processor and ASIC design flows. ---[Izumi Nitta, Toshiyuki Shibuya, Katsumi Homma]
20. Advanced Methods for Electromagnetic Simulation (799 KB)
Computer simulation has become an integral tool in the design of modern electronic devices. Ever-increasing operating frequencies and component miniaturisation has necessitated the development of sophisticated mathematical approaches for the solution of the electromagnetic problem. In this paper we describe one such approach that uses the finite-difference time-domain method with multiple levels of grid embedding. This approach was designed for high performance on parallel computers. ---[Peter Chow, Ross Nobes, Tetsuyuki Kubota, Takefumi Namiki]