11 Apr 2017 Tokyo - In the 2017 Commendation for Science and Technology by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Optical Components Limited, and Fujitsu Computer Technologies Limited have received Prizes for Science and Technology.
In the Development Category, Fujitsu was awarded a prize for the development of high-dimensional interconnect technology for massively parallel computers, and Fujitsu Optical Components and Fujitsu were awarded a prize for the development of high-speed 100Gbps modules for optical communications.
In addition, Fujitsu Computer Technologies, Iwate Prefectural University, and the National Institute of Technology, Ichinoseki College were awarded a prize in the Public Understanding Promotion Category for promoting the understanding of robotics among children through a robot-building experience.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) commends individuals for their important achievements in science and technology R&D and their promotion of science and technology understanding. The awards are aimed at motivating researchers and helping to raise the level of Japan's science and technology.
The recipients and the recognized technologies include the following:
1. Prize for Science and Technology: Development Category
Prizes in this category are awarded to research and development projects or people who produce groundbreaking innovations that are practical, and which contribute to the development and improvement of Japanese society, the economy, or the lives of citizens. The award ceremony will be held on April 19, 2017 at MEXT.
a. Project Name: Development of high-dimensional interconnect technology for massively parallel computers
In conventional, 10,000-node-scale, massively parallel computers, when a compute node fails, the system isolates the partition including the failed node to continue operation. As a means of isolating failed nodes, previous computers would pre-define partitions on a mesh - a method of node connection - including a number of nodes in each partition, and employ a method to connect these partitions with switches in order to isolate each partition from the others. There were issues, however, in that increasing the number of partitioning switches increased costs, while reducing them reduced availability.
With this development, 100,000-node-scale connections could be achieved with high-dimensional interconnect technology between nodes, without the need for partitioning switches. This technology made it possible to control routing in order to avoid failed nodes without reducing parallel execution, maintaining a high system availability rate.
With this development, the K computer was able to connect 88,128 nodes, achieving the world's highest performance in the TOP500 lists twice in a row in 2011. Moreover, while maintaining system availability rates in excess of 90%, it is able to simultaneously execute a variety of parallel computational programmes through its flexible partitioning functionality, accepting a broad variety of users including student users and commercial users.
The results of this development project have been applied not only to the K computer, but also to Fujitsu's commercial supercomputers, the Fujitsu Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX10 and the Fujitsu Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX100. It is also expected to be used in the Post-K supercomputer, currently under development as part of MEXT's Flagship 2020 Project, contributing to cutting-edge scientific research and technological development as a foundational technology in achieving large-scale mathematical simulations.
b. Project Name: Development of high-speed 100Gbps modules for optical communications
In recent years, due to the increase in communication traffic accompanying the spread of things like smart devices and Cloud services, there has been a growing need to increase the capacity of optical communication networks. The 100Gbps digital coherent method is effective in large-capacity transmissions, but in order to implement it, numerous functions had to be concentrated within optical communication modules, making the structure of the devices extremely complicated and creating issues in mass producing them at a smaller size and cheaper price.
Then, Fujitsu Optical Components and Fujitsu developed a direct mounting technology for optical elements, mounting optical elements directly on the planar lightwave circuit (PLC) and electrically coupling them with the shortest wire-bonding to simultaneously achieve high-speed performance and mass production. In addition, they developed an automatic assembly technology that used highly reliable image recognition technology using machine learning and efficient prediction alignment technology to achieve highly accurate and efficient assembly.
With these technologies, Fujitsu Optical Components and Fujitsu succeeded in mass producing the key components needed to build a 100Gbps optical network which supports the 100Gbps digital coherent method, including receiver devices that demodulate the optically modulated signal, transmission devices that create the optically modulated signal, and the coherent optical transceivers that incorporate both.
By offering these optical communication modules to system providers around the world, the two companies are supporting the development of the digital society and the global expansion of the 100Gbps optical network market. In addition, the two companies are currently working to develop optical communication modules that exceed 100Gbps, in order to support ever-increasing communication traffic.
2. Prize for Science and Technology: Public Understanding Promotion Category
Prizes in this category are awarded to individuals and groups that undertake activities which contribute to the promotion of interest in and understanding of science and technology among citizens, particularly among the youth, or which contribute to the spread of education and knowledge relating to science and technology in a region.
a. Project Name: Promoting the understanding of robotics among children through a robot-building experience
Thinking that increasing public understanding of the foundational technologies in digital devices that surround us, which are increasingly becoming black boxes to the general public, would be effective in increasing interest in science and technology, and in slowing the movement of children away from STEM fields, Fujitsu Computer Technologies, Iwate Prefectural University, and the National Institute of Technology, Ichinoseki College designed the "Family Robotics Workshop," an event which has been held at a rate of about ten times per year in Iwate prefecture since December 2011.
In addition to the aim of increasing children's understanding of the foundational technologies in digital devices, because the classes were designed so that families, not just children, could participate, the events also contributed to motivating adults to rebuild from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
These events were carried out through cooperation between industry, academia, and government, selecting locations for the events and recruiting participants with the assistance of Iwate prefecture, and recruiting teachers and students from Iwate Prefectural University and the National Institute of Technology, Ichinoseki College to serve as instructors and assistants for the classes.
As of March 31, 2017, the classes have been held 52 times, with 2,985 people from 1,072 families participating, providing an opportunity for increased understanding of robotics among numerous children, and contributing to increased interest in and understanding of science and technology.