Achieving the optimum operations required for social infrastructure in real time necessitates processing speeds that enable flexible control responsive to real world changes so that we can analyze the massive amounts of data (big data)—data exceeding the capacity of human intellect—obtained from sensors installed in countless locations.
We are therefore conducting R&D into high-speed analytics platform technologies that will enable us to smoothly execute extremely heavy processing flows with limited computer resources by acquiring large volumes of data from large numbers of sensors, using that data to analyze and predict the situation in the near future, and using those predictions to conduct optimal control of social infrastructures.
In an effort to contribute to social infrastructure stability, NEC Central Research Laboratories is researching a management system that uses sensing data to quantitatively understand the condition or situation of people and things, and that deploys future predictions to optimally control the condition or situation in question. Additionally, to increase the added-value of this management system, particularly in the field of sensing, we are researching ultra-low power circuits that will enable longer-life sensors to be located in every possible location.
As nearly all of mobilegudgets become broadband-connected, they are starting to generate communications traffic and putting pressure on communications capacities and bandwidths. The move to cloud computing is also causing an increase in large-volume, long-distance and intercontinental data communications.
NEC Central Research Laboratories is developing wireless transmission technology that applies a multi-element antenna to enable wireless base stations to operate in diverse environments. This, combined with a highly efficient wireless resource management method, will provide access to a reliable and stress-free connection environment for anyone, anytime.
In the field of smart communication, NEC is engaged in initiatives to improve the quality of control communication (remote control) as well as video and audio communication (multimedia communication) delivered via the Internet and mobile networks.
Best-effort networks such as Internet and mobile networks affect service quality because communications throughput varies significantly depending on such factors as radio wave conditions and usage by other users. For this reason, users of the Internet-based video streaming services and cloud services widely available today are facing issues of deteriorated service quality such as communications delays and low image quality.
NEC Central Research Laboratories is conducting research into communications optimization technologies to enable efficient, optimal communications even via Internet and wireless networks, which are subject to dramatic fluctuations in quality. We have now realized high-accuracy future prediction for Internet communication which was difficult to achieve up to now. A variety of high quality cloud services can be realized by controlling services according to predictions of communications conditions.
NEC has been involved since the beginning in software-defined networking (SDN) technology, which is said to have brought about a once-in-twenty-year breakthrough for the network industry. In a joint research with Stanford University, we developed the world's first commercial SDN device using this technology. Since then, SDN technology has been used in various areas of networks. One example is the way in which NEC has realized mobile communications able to handle the explosive increase in the number of IoT devices.
IoT will connect every possible sort of "thing" using cloud technology, and by 2020, 5 billion or more IoT devices are expected to be connected to networks. By effectively reducing the control signals emitted by these vast number of IoT devices, thereby reducing the load on communications processing servers, NEC will contribute to the development of a future IoT society by enabling "seamless" mobile communications that connect large numbers of IoT devices.