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Highlight of FY 2014 Activities 2: Advanced Use of ICT Realizing a safe, secure and comfortable society Tackling the issues facing the advanced application of ICT

Due to the exponential advances made in ICT (Information & Communication Technology) and data processing technology, the potential application of open data and big data to solve various social issues is currently being explored in fields as wide-ranging as disaster prevention, energy, healthcare, welfare, and revitalizing regional economies. At the same time, in order to realize this advanced application of ICT, there is a need for technology that can store and speed up processing the vast amounts of data that is produced. There is also a need to limit the environmental burden of the hardware that supports this technology, such as servers and data centers, as well as to implement information security measures.

As the above shows, there are many hurdles to be cleared before ICT can unleash its potential as social infrastructure that can bring about a safe, secure and comfortable society.

Overview Highlight 2: Advanced Use of ICT (PDF:803KB)

Global social issues and their solutions

Speeding up and enhancing the capacity of communication technology with increasing of data volume

Speeding up and enhancing the capacity of communication technology with increasing of data volume

Numbers of devices connected to networks

Numbers of devices connected to networks

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Toshiba Group’s approach for solving issues

The complex issues raised by an advanced information society using ICT

While the widespread use of ICT in services for society will allow people to lead convenient and comfortable lives, its realization would also require the handling of increasingly complex technical demands. One example is the negative effect that processing vast amounts of data may cause. If we choose to tackle the ever-increasing amount of data by installing additional servers, the dense array of servers in a limited space would mean higher energy consumption due to the air-conditioning required to prevent overheating.

Accordingly, at Toshiba, we are developing products that would contribute to solving the issues raised by the advanced application of ICT. These include all-flash storage (storage devices composed entirely of flash memory), which conserve space and electricity, used in the data center, and the server using MRAM that doesn't consume energy while on standby. Furthermore, we are pushing forward to provide IoT solutions through the identification of our clients’ and society’s issues through the storage and analysis of data, and the devising of effective measures.

Toshiba’s solutions to issues facing the advanced application of ICT

Toshiba’s solutions to issues facing the advanced application of ICT

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INDEXToshiba’s performance index for advanced applications of ICT

  • The deployment of all-flash storage, which replaces hard disk drives and solid state drives with flash memory, will help to conserve space and electricity without sacrificing storage capacity.

    Decrease of storage footprint
    by adopting all-flash storage

    FY2020 target 88%down Compared to traditional products
    (with identical storage capacity)

  • Servers using MRAM, a non-volatile, ultra-fast memory technology, can contribute to considerably reducing power consumption due to its “start-stop” feature, which cuts off the power supply during standby.

    Decrease of electric power consumption
    by servers using MRAM

    FY2020 target 50%down Compared to traditional servers

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ActivityIntegration of remote monitoring and maintenance data management using ICT

Providing solutions that allow unified management of clients’ on-site maintenance data

Toshiba provides solutions integrating remote monitoring and maintenance data management to manufacturers, our clients, and provide process-related products to factories all over the world, covering dozens of countries and thousands of sites worldwide. Instead of the simple act of selling products, with these solutions there is room for high levels of additional value to be gained from maintenance services. These are maintenance solutions that realize a data-collection system through sensors installed on our products as well as on our clients’ equipment.

Many companies are currently planning a transition into becoming businesses that include after-sales services within their scope. In these circumstances, there is a growing need for a diversity of sensors that can detect the activity of hardware (so-called “things”), and for M2M (machine to machine) platforms, in order to effectively collect and apply information obtained from “things.”

As Toshiba provides these solutions as a BPO (business process outsourcing) service, our clients can focus on their core business. We share data collected from sites across the globe via the cloud with the operation centers of our clients, and carry out in cooperation with them operation and maintenance.

We intend in the future to analyze these vast amounts of monitoring and maintenance data, with our goal being to formulate proposals that create value for our clients and for society with regard to areas such as preventive maintenance and the streamlining of distribution.

Conceptual diagram of global monitoring support

Conceptual diagram of global monitoring support

VOICE By enhancing the ICT solutions we provide to our clients for solving their problems,
we will accelerate "Providing Products" + "Excellent User Experience"

Takashi Amano Technology Executive Industrial ICT Solutions Company Toshiba Corporation

Takashi AmanoTechnology Executive
Industrial ICT Solutions Company
Toshiba Corporation

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that stands outside the traditional framework of ICT. By using sensing technology to allow “things” to gather on-site data, and by storing and analyzing big data with cloud technology, it is possible to formulate solutions to various social issues. Remote maintenance is one such example, but IoT can be applied to all sorts of facilities and instruments, from power, chemical and other plants, to railways and healthcare. So our widely-ranging business has a great advantage.

The integrating of cloud computing and edge computing is vital to the world of IoT, and Toshiba’s experience and performance record with regard to both is extensive. We will work to help solve the various tasks facing 21st century society, including advanced medical research, the creation of ‘smart communities’ to solve energy problems, and weather and disaster forecasts to reduce the damage caused by natural disasters.

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Medium- to Long-Term VisionSeeking IoT solutions that bring things to action

Grasping the activity of “things” through data, and devising effective measures through analysis

It is said that the number of “things” connected to the internet will reach 50 billion by 2020. Toshiba is seeking IoT solutions that use big data gathered through “things”, to devise “actions” that can solve social issues. The process goes as follows: various sensory information from “things,” such as devises, is gathered and stored in the cloud; we then use ICT to model a virtual world; we make forecasts based on Toshiba’s experience in diverse industry areas; and finally, we generate valuable “actions” such as the solving of problems, and the creating of value. Once ICT becomes ubiquitous in society, “things” become connected to the cloud in various areas, and “actions” based on big data analysis are realized. It is at this point that Toshiba’s goal of “things + actions” will have become a reality in the IoT world, which will contribute to solving social issues.

The IoT solutions that Toshiba has in mind are services that involve mounting software onto “things,” analyzing the data obtained, and applying the result to solving issues. For example, we might install sensors in the batteries of electric cars, and collect and analyze data about when, where and how such cars use energy. We would then use the results to provide solutions that contribute to constructive activities, such as designing cars, optimizing the life cycle of batteries and even determining the location of charging points during urban planning.

Virtual World created by IoT

Virtual World created by IoT

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ViewpointInformation security and environmental load reduction

In business areas involving storage, including the manufacture and use of storage devices and information-processing devices such as servers and semiconductors, the importance of information security has been growing in recent years. As Toshiba handles information about cutting-edge manufacturing technologies proper information management is crucial, especially to maintain our competitiveness. Hence, we are working to strengthen the information security in order to protect confidential information belonging to our clients who use our products and services.

As for storage devices and information-processing devices, one particular issue is reducing the environmental burden of the semiconductor manufacturing process. We are working on improving the manufacturing process, and reducing the use of cleaning gases that greatly contribute to the greenhouse effect, in order to reduce power consumption and greenhouse gases such as CO2.

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