System Platforms

ICT Platforms

June 30, 2022

Creating "Environments" in Which Systems Run Smoothly

In the System Platforms area, we are advancing research and development of "ICT environments" which underpin the process of sensing and digitizing real world events and then feeding the results calculated in cyber space back into the real world once again. By effectively connecting the real world and cyber space, such environments make it possible for both the ICT system providers and users to implement services in a smooth manner. In other words, our very goal is the construction of ICT environments that autonomously adapt in a trouble-free manner without requiring any special awareness on the part of either the provider or the users. Therefore, the research fields in this area include a wide range of topics from hardware to software and applications to be used to environments. At NEC, we continue to produce cutting-edge, original research by employing researchers in a wide range of fields such as communications and computing as well as applications and AI to collaborate across areas of diverse and specialized knowledge.

Aiming for Platforms That Enable Flexible Design

The construction of ICT systems will not scale as a business if it involves creating systems from scratch according to each individual site. Therefore, NEC is currently advancing the development of systemization technologies that can be configured with common element functions offered as a menu. These technologies apply the appropriate element functions as well as combine and swap multiple functions according to the purpose and situation. In addition, you can first start from a simple basic configuration and later adaptively expand or select the functions and scale according to the situation. Our goal is to realize such a flexible system which can adapt to a broad range of scenarios. Moreover, while advancing the research of technologies which take a macro view of the entire system and place it in a better configuration in this way, we are also focusing our efforts on cutting-edge basic research, such as quantum computer and quantum sensing, which is expected to overwhelmingly enhance the individual computing performance and ability to capture real events.

Primary research technologies

Application-aware IT network control technology

This technology predicts conditions slightly ahead of time based on the user communication status and the usage conditions to allocate the appropriate communication and computational resources. Optimizing resources prevents problems such as delays and congestion to enable comfortable operation. Research is being pursued with the goal of utilizing this technology for communication in autonomous driving, etc.

Communication technology that supports autonomous and unmanned driving
Contributing to the spread of local 5G networks through the automation of network operations Learning-based communications analysis technology
Achieved real-time wireless communication of IoT - adaptive network control technology

Quantum computer (annealing machine/gate type)

In 1999, NEC became the first company in the world to successfully demonstrate quantum bit operation using a superconducting solid-state element and initiated the race to develop quantum computers. NEC is currently continuing to engage in world-class research of technologies that can maintain the "quantum state" which is deeply involved in computational accuracy for a long time and the development of quantum computing which adopts methods that are easily converted to multi-bit which directly relates to the scale of computation.

Quantum sensing

This technology captures the kind of minute changes that conventional sensors were unable to capture. Because these sensors have extremely high sensitivity, their sensitive response to noise as well is an issue. However, NEC possesses original technologies for limiting the effect of the external environment and sensing only the target.

Type of person we are looking for
Reaching goals by repeatedly carrying out trial and error

System Platforms area
Senior Director, Secure System Platform Research Laboratories
Soichi Tsumura

The type of person who is suited to our research is interested in connections between seemingly unrelated things and trying different variations first rather than pursuing only one technology thoroughly and deeply. In the areas that we research, there is not necessarily only one correct answer. Instead of heading toward a single correct answer and slowly advancing straight ahead, you should first try things out. If that does not go well, then you can gradually approach the target you are seeking, which can be the correct answer, by investigating the cause and making improvements. I think people who can skillfully accomplish such steering constantly produce results and I have the impression that they are enjoying their work. For example, instead of stopping when a failure occurs, the attitude of thinking about the reasons why something did not work and then connecting that to the next attempt is probably the most desirable quality.