Fujitsu Laboratories and Holst Centre, a European R&D initiative by imec (Belgium) and TNO (the Netherlands), today announced that they have commenced joint research related to the development of ultra-low-power wireless transceivers for wireless sensor networks.
The research aims to reduce power consumption in wireless transceivers, a key device in wireless sensor networks that can be employed in medicine, healthcare, agricultural management, and a host of other fields. As a result, the research will help improve the battery runtimes of sensor devices.
Through this new research, Fujitsu Laboratories will work to enhance its network front-end technologies and contribute to the further development of Fujitsu’s business in areas such as cloud computing.
Overview of the Joint Research
In recent years, attention has been focused on wireless sensor networks that can be autonomously and wirelessly formed from disparate sensors and used to collect a wide variety of information. These networks are being considered for use in fields such as medicine and healthcare, agricultural and farm management, monitoring of social infrastructure and buildings, factory monitoring, and environmental monitoring (Figure 1). In wireless sensor networks, wireless transceivers are required to transmit sensing data from each sensor device (node) to relay nodes. At the same time, to ensure a high degree of flexibility in positioning, sensor nodes are typically powered using batteries. In consideration of the maintenance requirements when operating a system, there is a demand for sensor nodes that can run over long periods of time, thereby minimizing the need to replace and charge batteries. This has led to an increasing need for technology that can reduce the power consumed by wireless transceivers.
Holst Centre and its mother organization imec possess some of the world’s leading technologies for wireless transceiver power reduction. Likewise, Fujitsu Laboratories has accumulated and commercialized power reduction technologies for systems other than wireless sensor networks, such as LSIs for UHF RFID tags. By collaborating on the research together, the organizations anticipate being able to quickly commercialize their cutting-edge research results.
Comment from Atsuki Inoue, Vice President of Platform Technology Labs, Fujitsu Laboratories
“Ultra-low power wireless transceivers are vital building blocks for many emerging applications, helping extend functionality and battery lifetimes of sensor nodes. Holst Centre and imec have a strong track-record in both transceiver design and application development. Partnering with them will allow us to accelerate research into these devices with the aim of bringing new products to market faster.”
Comment from Harmke de Groot, Ultra-low power wireless communication Program Director at Holst Centre/imec
“Fujitsu is a leading name in the Japanese business landscape, and a major player in the global information technology and semiconductor markets. They bring extensive production know-how obtained from their developments of commercial wireless products, and end-user insight that will help us ensure our ongoing research is focused on the industry's needs.”
Koen Snoeckx, Communication Manager
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Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Platform Technology Lab
Design Solutions Lab
Fujitsu (fujitsu.com) is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.
About Fujitsu Laboratories
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.
About Holst Centre
Located in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Holst Centre (holstcentre.com) was jointly established in 2005 by the Belgian research center imec and the Netherlands-based TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) with the support from the Dutch government and the government of Flanders, Belgium. Holst Centre is an open-innovation R&D center based on a model of shared roadmaps and programs with numerous companies and universities. The center is currently home to over 180 researchers and affiliated employees from roughly 28 nationalities, and more than 40 companies participate in its research programs. Its research is focused on autonomous wireless sensor networks and flexible electronics using organic materials.
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec (imec.be) leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of close to 2,000 people includes more than 600 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2011, imec's revenue (P&L) was about 300 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
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