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Cutting-Edge R&D

FSTJ 2012-4 Cover Image

2012-4 (Vol.48, No.2)

It can be said that ICT can play a much greater role, if its potential is maximized. Fujitsu has a vision of realizing a Human-Centric Intelligent Society, and we feel we have a vital role to fulfill in society, with extremely substantial social obligations. At Fujitsu Laboratories, in order to actualize such a society, we aim to offer technologies that are truly beneficial to people, by conducting a wide variety of R&D ranging from solutions and services to systems, networks, ubiquitous products, as well as devices and materials. This special issue introduces some of our R&D initiatives to help realize a Human-Centric Intelligent Society.

2012-4 (Vol.48, No.2) Contents

1. Preface (540 KB)
Information and communications technology (ICT) has made extraordinary advances, widening the scope of contributions it can make in ever broader areas. However, it cannot be said that ICT lived up to its potential in the wake of the disaster that Japan experienced last year. As Fujitsu, we have a vision of realizing a Human-Centric Intelligent Society, and we feel we have a vital role to fulfill in society, with extremely substantial social obligations. At Fujitsu Laboratories, in order to actualize such a society, we aim to offer technologies that are truly beneficial to people, by conducting a wide variety of R&D ranging from solutions and services to systems, networks, ubiquitous products, as well as devices and materials. ---[Tatsuo Tomita, President, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.]
2. Overview of Research toward Realization of Intelligent Society (898 KB)
Fujitsu Laboratories carries out research and development for the realization of Intelligent Society, which provides people with a securer and more affluent life by making use of information and communications technology (ICT). In research on using big data, Fujitsu Laboratories is working on leading-edge technologies including spatiotemporal data processing, complex multi-series data analysis and dynamic optimization. These technologies use advanced ICT to analyze massive amounts of data such as social media and sensor information gathered from the real world. They help achieve prediction, optimization and other sophisticated decision support systems. Fujitsu Laboratories is also researching "social innovation," which is intended to discover and create affluence and value for individuals and society, by observing and analyzing people, organizations and communities. It is also developing, a new social medium that helps individuals and groups engaged in community development to cooperate with one another. By integrating these types of research, Fujitsu Laboratories intends to offer social solutions to complex social problems that are difficult for individuals and independent enterprises to solve, such as energy and security issues. In this way, it aims to realize a truly affluent and secure Intelligent Society. ---[Hirotaka Hara, Kazushi Ishigaki]
3. Advanced Analytics for Intelligent Society (1.30 MB )
Fujitsu Laboratories is analyzing and utilizing various types of data on the behavior and actions of people and society, as well as environmental change. In this way, it is proceeding with R&D on Intelligent Society to achieve a more prosperous and secure society. This paper focuses on two new types of data. The first one is social media including blogs, Twitter, and social networking services (SNS). The second is data obtained from various types of sensors such as mobile phones, automobiles, and environmental sensors. These data are very different from business data that traditional analytic technologies deal with in business intelligence applications. To realize Intelligent Society, we are researching new and advanced technologies to analyze such data. This paper introduces three of the technologies: social media analysis, optimization and spatiotemporal data processing. ---[Nobuhiro Yugami, Nobuyuki Igata, Hirokazu Anai, Hiroya Inakoshi]
4. Approach to Social Solutions (1.16 MB )
Fujitsu Laboratories is developing social solutions to help establish the Human-Centric Intelligent Society. Collecting, unifying and analyzing data on personal activities, business activities and social circumstances, social solutions provide answers to composite social problems that cannot be solved by individual persons or individual enterprises. The application area of social solutions is vast and we have just started our research activities on them. However, some solutions that focus on realizing a safe and wealthy society are so mature that we can perform field experiments or user tests on them. In this paper, we introduce four solutions (proactive risk management, traffic safety management, market quality management and community energy management) to illustrate our approach to social solutions. ---[Isamu Watanabe, Tomoyoshi Takebayashi]
5. Overview of Human-Centric Computing (1.39 MB )
Human-Centric Computing is a new technology paradigm in which computing resources are provided to humans anywhere and at any time in accordance with their circumstances. By shifting the paradigm from technology-centric to human-centric, new value will be created in the real world and large markets are expected to be developed in areas where information and communications technology (ICT) has yet to reach. Based on this new vision, Fujitsu is conducting research and development, vertically integrating mobile terminals and the cloud, so as to provide adequate services to humans anywhere and anytime in a natural way. This paper describes the aim of Human-Centric Computing and three fundamental research activities: context-aware service, multi-device collaboration and human interaction technologies. ---[Ichiro Iida, Toshihiko Morita]
6. Approaches to Creating Human-Centric Solutions (1.01 MB )
Fujitsu Laboratories is developing several new solutions to social problems that help enhance information and communications technology (ICT) capability using mobile terminals, to establish a Human-Centric Society. Each solution consists of the following three steps: 1) sensing to acquire real-world information, 2) analyzing that information, 3) actuating people or circumstances at a proper timing and according to the situation. These three solution steps seem to be applicable for other solutions. Also each solution is targeting new areas where ICT has yet to reach for several reasons. In this paper, we describe the research and development status of the above three steps for solutions in three areas: energy management in office buildings, agriculture, and healthcare. The solutions are still being developed. ---[Shinichi Wakana, Yoshinori Yaginuma]
7. Healthcare R&D in Fujitsu Laboratories Group in U.S. and Europe (1.56 MB )
Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. and Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Ltd. have been doing R&D on healthcare. We investigated what should be done in this area as an information and communications technology (ICT) company, and found out two important areas: improving medical systems and promoting preventive medical care. Both of these could be done very efficiently by utilizing ICT. To improve medical systems, we introduced the new notion of Q-Score, which represents the quality of each provision of healthcare, in order to evaluate them. Also, with respect to preventive medical care, we are conducting investigations on how to measure biodata such as blood pressure, pulse rate, or weight. There is a need to do this in various aspects of life without inconveniencing those who are having their data measured. We would like to have a method where people can be given advice based on such biodata as a way to promote health management. Moreover, such advice could be made dynamic, incorporating real-time contextual elements such as environmental data and health status. We report an overview of the current status of our activities in this paper. ---[Yasunori Kimura, Dave Marvit, Kenichi Fukuda, Aisha Naseer]
8. Cloud Fusion Concept (999 KB)
Cloud is expected to develop from a single-purpose cloud to a hybrid cloud that links clouds or existing systems, or to a fusion of two or more clouds in the future. Fujitsu Laboratories named this advanced form of coordination "Cloud Fusion" at the start of 2010. This paper explains the aim of this coordination and the direction in which research should head. It goes on to describe the relationship between Cloud Fusion and Fujitsu's and Fujitsu Laboratories' vision—enabling Human-Centric Intelligent Society. It describes the five pillars of research on Cloud Fusion and its outline. In particular, it introduces details about the development and execution environment that is one of the pillars. ---[Yoshitaka Sakashita, Kuniharu Takayama, Akihiko Matsuo, Hidetoshi Kurihara]
9. System Management and Operation for Cloud Computing Systems (809 KB)
With the progress of virtualization technology, cloud systems have been started to be deployed on a full-scale basis. However, there are many issues in terms of managing cloud systems in a stable and high-quality way. This is because the number of servers becomes immense and dependencies between servers become complex. Conventionally, individual business applications and services have been operated in systems. However, in the cloud there is a degree of uniformity in the infrastructure that makes up systems. Consequently, there are hopes that it will be possible to prepare common management platforms and methods such as those to manage application life cycles and predictive failure detection technology. This paper introduces technology that integrates the development and operations management phases in the PaaS region by leveraging such characteristics of clouds. This technology functions according to the characteristics of the applications or individual service level agreements (SLAs), and makes it possible to configure applications that are deployed on the cloud. This paper also introduces technology that allows operators to automatically or simply build a test environment the same as the real environment when changing applications and run automated tests. In addition, this paper touches on technology to monitor and visualize work that is core technologies for the life cycles management. Moreover, this paper describes technology that can conduct statistical processing of the logs that are issued from the system during operation to detect the prediction of failure phenomenon. ---[Motomitsu Adachi, Toshihiro Kodaka, Motoyuki Kawaba, Yasuhide Matsumoto]
10. Big Data Processing in Cloud Environments (1.15 MB )
In recent years, accompanied by lower prices of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and networks, various items of data gleaned from the real world have come to be accumulated in cloud data centers. There are increasing hopes that analysis of this massive amount of data will provide insight that is valuable to both businesses and society. Since tens of terabytes (TBs) or tens of petabytes (PBs) of data, big data, should be handled to make full use of it, there needs to be a new type of technology different from ordinary ICT. Furthermore, as important services such as social infrastructure services should keep running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, technology to dynamically change system configurations is also required. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories are working on developing basic technologies and application-promoting technologies for processing big data in a cloud environment. In this paper, we introduce two fundamental technologies: distributed data store and complex event processing, and workflow description for distributed data processing. We hope this gives a perspective on the direction in which this new field should head. ---[Satoshi Tsuchiya, Yoshinori Sakamoto, Yuichi Tsuchimoto, Vivian Lee]
11. Inter-Cloud Data Security for Secure Cloud-Based Business Collaborations (1.08 MB )
With the advent of cloud computing, the boundary separating internal and external data has become increasingly blurred due to the utilization of external services. As a result, existing methods of preventing data leakage, such as only using a gateway to block the outflow of confidential data, have become insufficient. Therefore, there is increased demand for new security technology to allow confidential data to be safely used even in the cloud. We have developed new cloud information gateway and access gateway technologies that can mask confidential information contained within data before it is processed in the cloud. They can also transfer applications from the cloud to inside the company for internal processing. In this way, they make it possible to utilize cloud services without transmitting actual data. These technologies enable users to safely utilize confidential data in the cloud, encouraging new uses of cloud computing, such as cross-industry collaborations and specialized uses in specific industries. This paper outlines information gateway and access gateway and describes their applications. ---[Hiroshi Tsuda, Akihiko Matsuo, Kenichi Abiru, Takayuki Hasebe]
12. Overview of Next-Generation Green Data Center (1,018 KB)
The dramatic growth in the demand for data centers is being accompanied by increases in energy consumption and operating costs. To deal with this problem, we have begun to research and develop a new system architecture called the "Next-Generation Green Data Center." Our aim through this architecture is to demonstrate a level of performance that exceeds what can be achieved by energy savings and performance enhancement at the equipment level. By reexamining equipment roles, vertically integrating and reallocating functions, and integrating the design of power-feeding and cooling facilities, which has traditionally been handled separately, with the design of information devices, we seek to achieve a data center that removes duplicated functions and eliminates waste caused by functional mismatching, thereby raising energy efficiency and reducing operating costs. We follow five key policies—resource pooling, hardware functions as middleware, commodity hardware, unified facility optimization, and integrated operations—to develop technologies for a new type of data center supporting a Human-Centric Intelligent Society. ---[Kouichi Kumon]
13. New System Architecture for Next-Generation Green Data Centers: Mangrove (1.03 MB )
With the aim of configuring next-generation green data centers, we introduce a new system architecture called "Mangrove" that achieves total optimization by vertically integrating servers, storage drives, networks, middleware, and facilities. Mangrove embodies resource pooling and the offloading of control functions to middleware, which are key concepts of the Next-Generation Green Data Center. An information technology (IT) platform based on Mangrove can use resources flexibly and efficiently, perform quick reconfigurations, and improve availability and reliability, thereby lowering costs and saving energy. Mangrove consists of a server/storage architecture that pools hardware resources, storage functions running on the pooled resources via middleware, a scalable data center network, high-speed interfaces supported by low-cost, highly consolidated optical interconnects, and operations and management technology for optimizing virtual machine (VM) placement. This article describes the purpose and features of each of these Mangrove elements. ---[Takashi Miyoshi, Kazuichi Oe, Jun Tanaka, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Yamashima]
14. Unification of IT Systems and Facilities for Next-Generation Environmentally Friendly Data Centers (1.15 MB )
Fujitsu Laboratories is engaged in unified research and development on a global basis from low power consumption chips and system boards to server systems, networks and power-supply, cooling, and software technologies. We are taking a holistic approach to technology development and are building a value chain of energy-saving technologies. Leveraging this extensive expertise in technology development, we are now developing elemental technologies for achieving compact, next-generation environmentally friendly data centers that unify facility functions including power-feeding and cooling with information technology (IT) equipment such as servers, storage drives, and network devices. This article introduces Fujitsu's pursuit of high energy-saving performance in data centers through diverse technologies such as micro-channels for efficiently transferring heat from central processing unit (CPU) chips to cooling water, a high-efficiency green uninterruptible power supply (UPS) integrated with each server's power supply unit, multipoint temperature measurement using optical fiber for real-time visualization of the spatial temperature distribution within the data center, and simulation techniques for achieving efficient operation of a data center's IT systems and facilities. ---[Masao Kondo, Hiroyuki Fukuda, Yoshihiro Mizuno, Osamu Tsuboi, Tamotsu Yamamoto, Tsutomu Tanaka, Fumio Takei]
15. Techniques for Highly Accurate Optical Recognition of Handwritten Characters and Their Application to Sixth Chinese National Population Census (1.35 MB )
Highly accurate optical character recognition (OCR) of handwritten characters is still a challenging task, especially for languages like Chinese and Japanese. To improve the accuracy, we developed four techniques for enhanced recognition: character recognition based on modified linear discriminant analysis (MLDA), subspace-based similar-character discrimination, multi-classifier combination, and mutual-information-based adaptive rejection. They were applied by the Chinese government to the Sixth National Population Census in 2010. By combining address and nationality information, they achieved an accuracy of over 99% with a low rejection rate. This was the first time that optical recognition of handwritten Chinese characters had been used on a large-scale in the Chinese census project. ---[Danian Zheng, Jun Sun, Hao Yu, Satoshi Naoi]
16. Next-Generation Photonic Transport Network Using Digital Signal Processing (1,009 KB)
Coherent optical-fiber transmission technology using digital signal processing is being actively researched and developed for use in transmitting high-speed signals of the 100-Gb/s class over long distances. It is expected that network capacity can be further expanded by operating a flexible photonic network having high spectral efficiency achieved by applying an optimal modulation format and signal processing algorithm depending on the transmission distance and required bit rate between transmit and receive nodes. A system that uses such adaptive modulation technology should be able to assign in real time a transmission path between a transmitter and receiver. Furthermore, in the research and development stage, optical transmission characteristics for each modulation format and signal processing algorithm to be used by the system should be evaluated under emulated quasi-field conditions. We first discuss how the use of transmitters and receivers supporting multiple modulation formats can affect network capacity. We then introduce an evaluation platform consisting of a coherent receiver based on a field programmable gate array (FPGA) and polarization mode dispersion/polarization dependent loss (PMD/PDL) emulators with a recirculating-loop experimental system. Finally, we report the results of using this platform to evaluate the transmission characteristics of 112-Gb/s dual-polarization, quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) signals by emulating the factors that degrade signal transmission in a real environment. ---[Yasuhiko Aoki, Hisao Nakashima, Shoichiro Oda, Paparao Palacharla]
17. Next-Generation Interconnect Research at Fujitsu Laboratories (1.05 MB )
This paper explains the need for continual bandwidth improvement in computer server interconnects and the work that is being done at Fujitsu Laboratories to provide the required bandwidth both electrically and, in the future, optically. It explains the concepts of frequency-dependent channel loss and equalization and the hurdles to be overcome to reach 25 Gb/s per lane using electrical high-speed input/output (HSIO) and 40 Gb/s per lane using optical HSIO while improving energy efficiency. ---[William W. Walker, Yasuo Hidaka]
18. Power Reduction Techniques Used in SPARC64 VIIIfx Processor for Fujitsu's Next-Generation Supercomputer (1.11 MB )
The SPARC64 VIIIfx processor is part of the SPARC64 series developed by Fujitsu. Slated for use in Fujitsu's next-generation supercomputer, it features eight cores and an operating frequency of 2 GHz with arithmetic computational extensions for high performance computing such as single instruction multiple data (SIMD) instructions and register extensions as enhancements over the previous-generation SPARC64 VII processor used for UNIX servers. While achieving a high peak performance of 128 GFLOPS, this chip achieves a low power consumption of 58 W by reducing leakage power through the adoption of water cooling and reducing wasted power on the basis of power-analysis values obtained by a gate-level power analysis flow. The performance-per-watt factor achieved here is six times that of the SPARC64 VII processor. This paper introduces a power analysis flow for developing power-saving measures in the SPARC64 VIIIfx processor and presents specific techniques for reducing both leakage and dynamic power. It also describes the final power-analysis results for a core and the entire chip and presents the results of power measurements. ---[Yukihito Kawabe, Ryuji Kan, Hideo Yamashita, Hiroshi Okano]
19. Characterization of Data Center Energy Performance (909 KB)
This paper presents an intuitive, two-parameter metric for fully describing the energy efficiency of data centers (DCs). The metric accurately characterizes the energy performance of a DC from when it is first commissioned through to full capacity and thus can be used to predict future performance and inform deployment policy. The metric also describes the theoretical ideal performance of DCs and can therefore be used to compare DCs of different sizes at different stages of deployment or in different phases of design and development. Application of this metric to two Fujitsu DCs, 600 kW and 3 MW in terms of IT power, demonstrated that it is accurate with respect to both simulation and measurement results. ---[David F. Snelling, C. Sven van den Berghe]
20. Novel Protein Detection System Using DNA as Constituent Material (902 KB)
A quick and simple means of measuring proteins is in much demand in the medical and healthcare fields for identifying markers for cancer and other diseases and in the food industry for detecting toxins associated with food poisoning. Fujitsu Laboratories has been developing novel protein-detection technologies using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which is relatively easy to handle, as a constituent material and has succeeded in developing a modified DNA aptamer technology in which modified amino-acid side chains along the DNA strands (modified DNA aptamers) are used for detecting proteins. A protein detection technology (switchSENSE) in which the artificially induced movement of DNA molecules is used as an index of protein presence has also been developed through collaboration with Technische Universitat Munchen. These two technologies using DNA as a constituent material can be easily combined due to the double-helix formation of DNA, making it easy to develop a system for detecting new target proteins. Additionally, through collaboration with Nagoya University, Fujitsu Laboratories has shown that protein toxins associated with food poisoning can be quickly detected using this protein detection system. Fujitsu Laboratories is making efforts to commercialize these technologies in the form of front-end sensors for a human-centric information system to improve the quality of life and create a safe and secure society. ---[Shozo Fujita, Kenji Arinaga, Tsuyoshi Fujihara, Michihiko Aki, Tomoyasu Kichise]