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System Platform Research Laboratories

February 21, 2019

Soichi Tsumura, General Manager
System Platform Research Laboratories

Hardware research integrating the real world and cyber world

― What kind of research does System Platform Research Laboratories conduct?

System Platform Research Laboratories engages in research focused on processing platforms ranging from cloud and edge systems to devices. Computing and communication technologies are at the core of our research. Our laboratories is also known for its active pursuit of cutting-edge research in areas such as quantum computing, spin thermoelectric, infrared sensors, and so on. Research is focused mainly on hardware connecting the digital world to the real world.
When it comes to AI and IoT, although there is a tendency to focus on the software aspects of the systems, it is also imperative to develop a platform to implement these technologies. For instance, even if we were to create excellent AI technologies, practical application would be difficult without hardware that enables high-speed processing. Another important point is the need to properly pre-process data to facilitate processing by AI. It is also necessary to lay out a communication system capable of efficiently delivering large volumes of data. As this demonstrates, a platform that can properly implement AI and IoT technologies is indispensable to ensure their seamless function.
Our primary mission is to create a platform that can quickly and flexibly respond to the requirements of ever-evolving AI technology, and use this platform to draw out and expand the value derived through AI into the real world.

― What NEC strengths are exhibited in the system platform field?

NEC has continued to engage in initiatives focused on communication and computing. One of our biggest strengths is the wealth of hardware knowledge we have accumulated over the long course of our history. When attempting to fully implement AI and IoT, some aspects require more than cyber knowledge and insight. In these areas, it is crucial to possess real-world knowhow, otherwise known as real-world domain knowledge. For instance, we own predictive control technology to enable uninterrupted control of wireless communication, but it would be impossible to implement the system based solely on data volume prediction within the realm of cyber domain knowledge know-how and knowledge pertaining to how radio waves are transmitted in the real world is essential for ensuring stable operation. In these areas, we draw greatly on NEC's experience cultivated over years of research and on our researcher's extensive knowledge and expertise in physics and chemistry.
Our cutting-edge research in quantum computing, spin thermoelectric, quantum infrared sensors, and other technologies are also another one of NEC's strengths that only we can deliver.

― What is the vision of System Platform?

We believe that platforms should become like the air we breathe. In other words, it is something we don't think about much, but it is always present and vital to every second of our lives.
For instance, when using ICT devices in the past, you probably needed to consciously navigate the system, like turning on the system yourself or inputting data on your own. These days, even a smartphone can automatically acquire location information or use your search history to automatically make a profiling of your interests and other information. This convenience brings with it issues that need to be addressed such as regarding privacy, but there is no end in sight for automation which is expected to grow into a major global trend.
The same goes for communications and computations. It is important to enable users to seamlessly connect to the system to allow stress-free processing. We believe that platforms can offer users true value by being positioned further behind the scenes of ICT services.
We also aim to engage in cutting-edge research to stimulate disruptive innovation around the world. Not only will we concentrate on improving performance from 1 to 10 to 100 times, we will produce results from scratch and achieve outcomes that were not possible with previous technology.
At our laboratories, we focus on creating an environment in which each and every one of our researchers can recognize the significance of and feel joy in engaging in their research. Through repeated and mutually constructive discussions, and by actively working in collaboration with external parties, we aim to make breakthroughs that can generate new value.