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Cutting-Edge R&D

FSTJ 2016-1 Cover Image

Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2016

This special issue introduces the R&D vision of Fujitsu Laboratories, its R&D approaches from advanced research to applied research, and the activities at Fujitsu Laboratories' global R&D sites.

Japanese version: Magazine FUJITSU (Vol. 66, No. 5, September 2015)


Special Issue on Cutting-Edge R&D (455 KB)
Hideyuki Saso, CEO and Representative Director, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., pp.1-2


Hyperconnected Cloud to Embrace Megatrends in ICT (1.04 MB )
Ichiro Iida, pp.3-8
With significant changes occurring on a daily basis, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry is coming to a major turning point, potentially facing an imminent paradigm shift, or business revolution. Fujitsu is dedicated to embracing new trends while maintaining its previous system integrator (SI) business models. As the Group's R&D center, Fujitsu Laboratories plays an increasingly significant role in group-wide activities. In this paper, we present an overview of recent ICT megatrends and future prospects from a technological perspective. We then describe our R&D strategy for achieving the "hyperconnected cloud" of the future.

Introduction of Overseas Research Establishment

Research and Development and Related Activities at Fujitsu Laboratories Overseas Bases (1.00 MB )
Yasunori Kimura, Satoshi Naoi, Tsuneo Nakata, pp.9-18
As the core research and development (R&D) organization driving innovation in the Fujitsu Group, Fujitsu Laboratories (Japan) collaborates globally with three overseas research laboratories: Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Fujitsu Research and Development Center (China), and Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe. These overseas laboratories research and develop key technologies in close collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories (Japan) while also pursuing standardization activities and original R&D projects reflecting the distinctive features of their regions. They also actively pursue open innovation through tie-ups with leading universities and research institutions in their respective areas. Furthermore, to support Fujitsu's business activities in their regions, they are committed to business incubation as exemplified by their collaboration with startup companies and introduction of advanced technologies through forums and exhibits. This paper introduces the research and development and associated activities at each of these overseas research laboratories, which play an important role in supporting the Fujitsu Group.

Cutting-edge Devices and Manufacturing Technologies that Support ICT

Silicon Photonics Optical Transceiver for High-speed, High-density and Low-power LSI Interconnect (912 KB)
Akinori Hayakawa, Hiroji Ebe, Yanfei Chen, Toshihiko Mori, pp.19-26
The next-generation servers and supercomputers with high performance and low power consumption require not only CPUs with an enhanced processing capability, but also signal transmission technology that connects CPUs with other CPUs or memories at high density and low power. It is becoming difficult for electrical signal transmission to satisfy the demand for the next-generation servers and supercomputers due to the decrease of transmission distance in high-speed transmission and the restriction of the numbers of pins. Therefore, there have been increasing expectations for optical interconnects enabling large-capacity (wide bandwidth) and long-distance transmission. Thus, there are high hopes that it will be a key technology. Especially, silicon (Si) photonic interconnects have been attracting much attention in recent years because they are considered to be promising for reducing the size, increasing integration density and lowering the power consumption of optical transceivers. This paper explains Fujitsu's and Fujitsu Laboratories' small, energy-efficient Si photonics optical transceiver technologies. The key factors for realizing a small, high-density optical transceiver with low power consumption involve enhancing optical devices and driver circuits, and optimizing the mounting structure to supply high-quality power and signals. We proposed a novel configuration for a Si photonic transceiver utilizing a bridge structure that enabled high-density integration without wiring, and we optimized the design of optical/electrical devices based on this structure. We achieved the world's best performance in terms of high signal density and low power consumption, and demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology.
Automatic Generation of Image-Processing Programs for Production Lines (770 KB)
Tsuyoshi Nagato, Tetsuo Koezuka, pp.27-33
Image-processing systems are applied at many stages of production lines, such as manufacturing/assembly and visual inspection. Because changes take place frequently in production lines, as in facility or component alterations, image-processing programs need to be developed and/or modified promptly to accommodate those changes. Using one of the machine learning techniques—Genetic Programming—Fujitsu Laboratories is pursuing the development of technology to automatically create image-processing programs simply by feeding in input images and the correct data that is the intended processing result. One of the biggest challenges in applying genetic programming to production lines was the learning speed. In tackling this challenge, we attempted to restrict the hierarchical depth of the program structure, and developed an appropriate evaluation method according to the shapes of target objects and an auto-selection system for the necessary learning data. As a result, we succeeded in generating an automatic program for high-precision image processing applied to alignment technology in component assembling equipment while managing to reduce the time required for the learning process to one-tenth that of conventional systems. In this paper, we explain this technology to automatically generate an image-processing program, and describe the evaluation of its application to a production site.
Exhaustive Test-case Generation using Symbolic Execution (538 KB)
Tadahiro Uehara, pp.34-40
Software testing has been one of the major challenges in the development of software for enterprise systems because it accounts for 30% to 50% of the total development cost required. Meanwhile, such testing has become increasingly important, because the upcoming paradigm for information and communications technology (ICT) system development, such as test-driven development and continuous integration, is directed at automated testing. Over a period, Fujitsu Laboratories has pursued R&D of software testing, mainly focusing on the test-case generation, which has a major impact on ensuring software quality and minimizing the development cost required. Such test-case generation has been successfully realized in the test function of the FUJITSU Software Interdevelop Designer—Fujitsu's business application development platform. We recognized early on the great potential of symbolic execution, a method that has become a popular academic research topic today. This paper presents an exhaustive test-case generation technology that utilizes symbolic execution. It also describes three issues to be overcome for its practical application, aiming to improve the efficiency of program unit testing and regression tests for version upgrades. This is followed by accounts of the approaches adopted to overcome these issues. This paper also introduces some cases in which we evaluated its application to working software assets.

Evolving Technologies to Operate ICT systems and Utilize Data

Software Technology Offers Real-time Analysis of Super-fast Telecommunications at 200 Gbps (652 KB)
Yuji Nomura, Masahisa Tamura, Toshihiro Ozawa, pp.41-45
Smartphones and tablets have become widely and readily available, and the expanding scope of applications for data center use has stimulated the advancement of cloud services. Thus, it is becoming crucial to improve the quality of IT-network-based services. Meanwhile, ever-increasing volume of data traffic and further sophistication of system structures are leading to service disruptions such as slow data propagation speeds and difficulties in establishing network connections. For early detection and swift recovery of such service disruptions, it is essential to analyze and distinguish between their causes to know whether they are due to network (connection) quality or lie in application programs. This requires detailed, real-time behavioral analysis of each communication packet. For complicated cases, evidence of the errors may need to be accumulated for later in-depth analyses. In order to meet these requirements, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed technology that facilitates real-time analyses of communication packets on super-fast communication networks, as well as high-speed data accumulation and retrieval. The technology has been realized in the form of software that requires no expensive, dedicated hardware, and it is installed on a versatile system. This paper describes the software technology that enables analysis, accumulation and retrieval of data from high-speed communications, and it explains the system structure.
Method for Remotely Diagnosing Failures in Wireless LAN Systems (575 KB)
Hiroshi Fujita, Yun Wen, Kazuyuki Ozaki, Chikara Kojima, pp.46-52
Many offices and work sites have been migrating LAN and machine-to-machine (M2M) systems they use for local device access to wireless LANs, which are easily accessible and are a cost-effective means of providing access. However, wireless LANs are susceptible to interference from other devices, and their communication ranges are limited. These environmental factors affect data communication quality and thus destabilize their performance. To maintain stable performance, it is important to establish an operation system capable of quickly detecting failures in a wireless network and promptly reestablishing communication. It is also important to keep the cost low. We identified two requirements for achieving wireless LAN management at low cost: additional device functionality is not required, and the system manager is able to identify the causes of problems and/or the affected sections of the network without having to be on-site. We have developed a network-driven remote failure diagnostic method that meets these requirements and have evaluated its effectiveness using computer simulation. This paper describes the operating principle of this method and the results of the evaluation.
Next-generation Network Architecture Led by Information-Centric Networking (632 KB)
Akira Ito, Kenichi Fukuda, pp.53-60
The Internet was originally aimed at sending and receiving data between host computers. However, developments in recent years have led to it being used as a distribution system for information such as video and music data. There is thus a growing interest in information-centric networking (ICN), a new networking architecture that better supports information-centric Internet usage. The basic idea is that the network architecture does not depend on locations (servers) but on named data, making them directly accessible to users. Notable characteristics include more efficient data access through in-network caching, simplified content request messages for mobility support, and content-specific security functions. Many universities and corporations are utilizing this architecture and reporting advances in protocol specifications, open software, prototype systems, and so on. Although ICN is still in the research phase, there should be great promise for the future. This paper outlines the basic paradigm of ICN and describes the characteristics of the two types of ICN architecture. It also describes the current trends in the research and initiatives taken by various organizations, including the research being conducted by Fujitsu Laboratories of America.
Identity Mapping Solution for Open Data Federation (654 KB)
Vivian Lee, Masatomo Goto, Tetsuya Izu, pp.61-72
Open data has gained more popularity in recent years, especially with the launch of open-data government initiatives such as DATA.GOV and DATA.GOV.UK. Open data is any data that are freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish. However, lack of published standards for open data is causing problems. For example, open data is often in a proprietary format, making it difficult to integrate data sets from different sources. To address these issues, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe (FLE) has been developing a solution based on identity mapping that will enable isolated open data to be federated in an accurate manner. The solution consists of two fundamental technologies: entity identity reconciliation and mapping-based federation. Our solution facilitates the use of open data in organisations, thereby enabling better decision-making, which should improve their competitive advantage.

Technologies to Transform Business and Lifestyles by Linking Terminals with Clouds

Sensing Middleware for Easy Development of Energy-efficient Applications (584 KB)
Toru Kamiwada, Manabu Nakao, Eiji Hasegawa, pp.73-79
Information services can be more useful if mobile devices are adapted to gather information in our surroundings using built-in sensing functions. Mobile devices, however, run on batteries, and various approaches are taken to tackle the major challenge the sensing and telecommunications mechanism poses in terms of their power consumption. Generally, mobile products tend to benefit from power-saving effects more if their purposes or devices to use are more specific. However, saving energy by specifying the usage is likely to lower the products' versatility when it comes to reapplying them to other uses or devices, making it necessary to develop applications and firmware every time the usage or applied devices change. Against this background, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed sensing middleware technology that makes it possible to choose and continually execute the least power-consuming sensing method simply by using the application to specify what kind of information is required, while the middleware collects and manages the power composition of available sensors. This paper presents this middleware that significantly reduces development cost while increasing the application's portability for mobile sensing.
Place-based Services Platform Quickly Establishing Connectivity Services between Smart Devices and Equipment at Purpose-specific Places (1.00 MB )
Tatsuro Matsumoto, Shinichi Shiotsu, pp.80-84
Recent years have seen the increasing adoption of smart devices in places where people gather for specific purposes, such as stores and schools. Hitherto, the realization of services to link people's smart devices to others' smart devices or equipment at a given place required a multitude of prior set-up processes for users, on the one hand, and complicated programming for application developers, on the other. Thus, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed platform technology for place-based services, enabling connectivity services to be established quickly, linking people's smart devices to others' smart devices or equipment at a given place without a need for member registration or driver installation. The technology may achieve a reduction of up to 90% in the time required for developing application programs to enhance the connectivity at places where people gather for particular purposes. Potential applications of this technology include facilitating group study in a school, providing product information to a customer's smart device in a store, or introducing merchandise by linking devices to a big screen display. This paper explains the component technologies for the place-based services platform and its applications, drawing on some actual cases.
ID-embedded LED Lighting Technology for Providing Object-related Information (775 KB)
Kensuke Kuraki, Keizo Kato, Ryuta Tanaka, pp.85-90
The spread of smart devices and the expansion of the communications environment for accessing the Internet have made it possible for users to obtain information whenever they want and wherever they are. It is now commonplace for them to search the Internet and obtain relevant information for a certain object on the spot. However, the extraordinary volume of information on the Internet sometimes makes it difficult for users to find the information or service they want immediately. To make it easier to find object-related information on the Internet, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology for embedding ID information in light. Casting of such light on an object and the recovery of the ID from the reflected light using image processing technology enables a user to easily access relevant information by capturing an image of the object with the camera in a smart device. Service providers can use this technology to increase communication channels with end users and expand the services they provide. This paper presents an outline of this technology and explains its usage and potential applications.
Use of Shape Deformation to Seamlessly Stitch Historical Document Images (1.26 MB )
Wei Liu, Wei Fan, Li Chen, Jun Sun, Satoshi Naoi, pp.91-98
In China, efforts are being made to preserve historical documents in the form of digital data so that they can be effectively used while being protected. Stitching technology is expected to play a role in these efforts as it can be used to divide a large historical document into multiple areas, scan those areas using a compact contactless scanner, and seamlessly connect the resulting images. Since historical documents are often on paper of low quality and have an uneven surface, there can be local distortion in the scanned images, making it difficult to stitch them together. To solve this problem, Fujitsu Research and Development Center Co., Ltd. has developed a seamless image stitching method using shape deformation. This method first deforms one of two images to approximate the other image and then estimates single or dual optimal seams to minimize deformation and maximize consistency. With this method, high-quality images of historical documents can be obtained. This paper describes the problems associated with the stitching of historical document images, presents a method for solving them, and evaluates its performance.

New Initiative for Social Innovation

Projects on New Energy Services (730 KB)
Toshihiro Sonoda, Hiroaki Yoshida, Ryuichi Matsukura, Tomoyoshi Takebayashi, pp.99-106
Demand for electric energy systems is diversifying to counter global warming, and to address resource depletion and secure safety. In this context, renewable energy is an important option that meets all these requirements, and its wide diffusion is highly expected. However, renewable energy generation systems are characteristically unpredictable due to the fluctuation of power generation as they depend on natural phenomena such as sunlight and winds. This aspect makes it difficult to adopt them in terms of supply-demand control. To address this point, the future power generation systems must utilize information on power consumption in coordination with the power supply system, and this is stimulating efforts to develop standards in this field. Meanwhile, the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing its utility, connecting not just computers and other information devices but all kinds of items. We consider that the future will see a new form of energy service that combines highly networked energy systems with the IoT. This paper describes the trend to standardize energy systems and the IoT, and it explains Fujitsu Laboratories' projects in this area and its efforts to realize a new energy service.
Efforts for Disaster Prevention/Mitigation to Protect Society from Major Natural Disasters (722 KB)
Hitoshi Sato, Kunihiro Takeda, Kazuhiro Matsumoto, Hirokazu Anai, Yuzuru Yamakage, pp.107-113
Natural disasters on devastating scales are happening more often. As these are becoming a major issue in many countries, there is a growing need for effective countermeasures using information and communications technology (ICT). Fujitsu Laboratories develops technologies for disaster prevention and mitigation, drawing on expert knowledge of specialists in this field. Effective ways to reduce the impact of natural disasters include their early detection, and forecasting of the vulnerable areas and scale of potential damage. In this paper, we first describe an enhanced estimation technique involving social networking services (SNS), in order to quickly identify the locus of a disaster. Reliable information on disaster-stricken areas can be obtained by combining data from SNS with other sources. We then describe a method to optimize the parameters of a flood-forecasting simulator that helps to identify high-risk areas in large river basins. This makes it possible to automate parameter configurations, which had been difficult to do before.