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2012 VOL.67 NO.5

  Special Reports

Smart Solutions for Water and Environment

Water Quality and Its Smart Cycle
MATSUI Yoshihiko

Toshiba's Smart Solutions for Water and Environment
TAMURA Kunio / NAKADA Masajiro
Expectations have been focused on more effective use of renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic, wind, and biomass energy, since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. On the other hand, global issues to be addressed include depletion of water, energy, and natural resources and global warming accompanying rapid population growth. There is a strong requirement for a comprehensive approach aimed at realizing sustainable solutions for diverse regional, environmental, and cultural needs, in order to solve the complex interactive issues related to social infrastructure.
In response to these various issues, Toshiba is making continuous efforts to provide smart solutions for water and the environment. Such solutions contribute to the efficient use of resources, savings in costs, and reduction of risks through the use of operational control technologies including information and communication technology (ICT) and water and wastewater treatment equipment.

ICT Solutions Contributing to Water and Sewage Service Businesses
SUGINO Toshiharu / KONDO Shinya / HIRAOKA Yukio
The water and sewage service businesses in Japan are now facing various problems associated with sustainable business operations, such as the stagnation and gradual decrease in water demand, a lack of experienced personnel due to the retirement of people in the baby boom generation, aging facilities, and provision for earthquake disasters. In order to solve such problems, there is a need to manage and utilize large volumes of diverse information for wide-area management resulting from business integration, the introduction of a private-sector type business approach, and the formulation of mechanisms for passing on technologies.
Toshiba is promoting the development of solutions contributing to the realization of smart water and sewage service businesses applying information and communication technologies (ICTs). These include various solutions for our operation and maintenance (O&M) remote platform, a training system to improve crisis management capabilities, and a knowledge bank system to pass on technologies and know-how.

Smart Energy Solution for Water Supply and Wastewater Systems Utilizing Renewable Energy Sources
OISHI Masayuki / SHIMIYA Atsumasa / MATOBA Masayoshi
Demand has recently arisen for environmentally friendly electricity supplies utilizing renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic power generation, small hydroelectric generation, and so on. The reason for this trend is not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, to secure emergency power systems in the event of a disaster.
Toshiba is promoting the introduction of renewable energy sources into water supply and wastewater systems. We are also developing a smart energy solution for water supply and wastewater systems to realize efficient electric power supply and demand through the combination of renewable energy sources and electricity storage devices in both normal and emergency situations.

Effective Energy and Resource Utilization Technologies for Water Supply Systems
MAKISE Ryutaro / ABE Norimitsu / YOKOKAWA Katsuya
To meet the growing demand for safer and more palatable water as well as stable water supplies, various technologies such as an advanced water treatment process, countermeasures against chlorine-tolerant pathogenic organisms, a membrane filtration process, and so on have been introduced into water utilities in recent years. Effective energy and resource utilization in the water supply technology field has also become a critical issue worldwide as a measure against global warming.
With this as a background, Toshiba has been engaged in research and development aimed at realizing effective energy and resource utilization technologies as smart technologies for water supply systems, including an ozone injection control system using a fluorescence analyzer, a lamp power control system for ultraviolet (UV) irradiation equipment, and membrane filtration simulation technologies. These technologies are contributing to lower electricity and chemical consumption and a decrease in the number of devices used in water supply systems, thereby achieving comprehensive cost reductions for water supply plants compared with conventional technologies.

Technologies to Reduce Water Production Costs at Seawater Desalination Plants
Due to the increasingly serious water shortage on a global scale in recent years, seawater desalination plants, particularly those utilizing the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane process, are becoming a widespread solution for the production of water. However, with the usage of large amounts of both electricity and chemicals in desalination plants, their high operating cost is an important issue affecting their dissemination.
Toshiba has developed the following technologies to reduce water production costs at seawater desalination plants: (1) an optimal recovery control technology that achieves the lowest energy cost in the operation of energy recovery equipment at any desalination recovery rate, and (2) an optimal operation technology applying the backwashing of membrane filters with hot water, which reduces the initial cost and energy cost by allowing the number of membrane modules required to be selected. We will offer smart desalination solutions applying these technologies.

Solutions for Wastewater Management to Realize Energy Saving, Efficient Use of Resources, and Risk Reduction
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, demand has arisen in the wastewater field both in Japan and overseas for greater energy independence and the development of resilience technologies as well as enhanced reclamation of water, resources, and energy to maintain the optimal water cycle. Moreover, many developing countries that are facing water shortages due to rapid population growth require operation and control technologies for efficient use of limited water resources.
To meet these requirements characterized by regional and cultural diversity, Toshiba has been developing smart water solutions contributing to energy saving, efficient use of resources, and risk reduction as well as resilience enhancement. These solutions incorporate the following technologies: (1) a sewage sludge fuelization system for resource saving and cost reduction, (2) a nonaeration type wastewater treatment system under evaluation for cost reduction and energy saving, (3) a process performance diagnosis system under evaluation for cost and risk reduction, and (4) various urban drainage systems under development for the reduction of both risks and costs.

Industrial Wastewater Treatment Technologies to Reduce Environmental Burdens at Low Cost
Accompanying the globalization of manufacturing industries and intensification of price competition in recent years, there is an ongoing need for both cost saving and low environmental load in the field of wastewater treatment systems throughout the world.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has been developing the TOSAQUATM series wastewater treatment system for industrial use based on the concept of utilizing nonchemical methods. We have successfully put a nonchemical feed filtration system that uses no coagulants into practical use for the treatment of wastewater with minute suspended solids and poor dewaterability, which is contributing to the reduction of environmental burdens. Moreover, we have developed the following technologies that further reduce initial costs: (1) a functional powder that can adsorb various oils, and (2) an ultrahigh-speed precipitation unit that can be installed in a small space. By incorporating these technologies into wastewater treatment systems as needed, we can provide a smart wastewater treatment system realizing the optimal solution with lower cost and lower environmental burden according to the volume of water treated.



  Feature Articles

Spin-Filter Element for Realization of Magnetic Field Sensors with High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response
FUJI Yoshihiko / YUASA Hiromi / FUKUZAWA Hideaki
In order to realize hard disk drives (HDDs) capable of high-areal-density recording, a read head with high sensitivity and a high data transfer rate is required. As such high-areal-density recording cannot be achieved only by incremental improvements in conventional technologies, there is a need for a technological breakthrough in ultrathin magnetic materials for the magnetic field sensor element.
Toshiba has developed a spin-filter element that can filter an up-spin or down-spin from total conduction electrons using an ultrathin layer of wüstite (Fe1-δO1), a type of iron oxide, for the first time in the world. Furthermore, we have confirmed that the spin-filter effect is enhanced by the addition of zinc (Zn) to the wüstite film. This spin-filter element is expected to become a key technology for future spintronics devices, not only in HDD read heads but also other new magnetic field sensor applications.

Nanocontact Magnetoresistive Read Element for Hard Disk Drives with High Areal Density
With the rapid increase in the volume of information in recent years, not only hard disk drives (HDDs) with higher capacity and higher areal density but also higher performance read and write heads for HDDs with higher areal density are required. Under these circumstances, read head elements with lower resistance and higher sensitivity have been investigated as a replacement for current tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) readers having high resistance.
Toshiba has been developing a nanocontact magnetoresistive (MR) read element that has potential for low resistance and high sensitivity. We have now developed proprietary key processes for this technology including an ion-assisted oxidation process and a post-annealing process. High sensitivity is thereby realized, with an MR ratio of 30% and one-quarter of the resistance of current TMR readers having high resistance, achieving a level of performance applicable to an areal density of 2.5 Tbit/in2.

MK3001GRRB 2.5-inch Hard Disk Drive for Enterprise Use with 300 Gbyte Capacity and 15,000 rpm Rotation Speed
IWAMOTO Toru / MAKITA Akihiko / SASAMOTO Tatsuro / YORIMITSU Keiichi
Hard disk drives (HDDs) for enterprise use are primary storage devices installed in mission-critical information systems such as servers and storage systems. In this field, HDDs must be able to provide high reliability for long-term continuous workloads (24 hours a day, seven days a week), as well as high performance including a high data transfer rate and high-speed access. Low power consumption has also become essential in recent years.
In response to the needs of the market, Toshiba has developed the MK3001GRRB 2.5-inch HDD for enterprise use with a capacity of 300 Gbyte and a rotational speed of 15,000 rpm. The MK3001GRRB achieves a high data transfer rate of 200 Mbit/s, a fast average seek time of 2.7 ms, and low power consumption of 4.0 W in idle state.

3D Random Telegraph Noise Simulator for High-Resolution CMOS Image Sensors
HIGASHI Yusuke / MOMO Nobuyuki / OHGURO Tatsuya
In the development of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, a three-dimensional (3D) device simulator is used as a means to simulate the current-voltage characteristics of CMOS devices. However, as conventional 3D device simulators cannot predict the dynamic behavior of charge trapping and detrapping at the gate insulator of metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), it is difficult to apply these simulators to technologies aimed at efficiently reducing the random telegraph noise (RTN) of MOSFETs, which causes image degradation in CMOS image sensors.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has developed a 3D RTN simulator for the first time in the world. We have confirmed that this simulator can model the trapping and detrapping processes at the gate insulator considering discretized trap sites in the insulator, and that it can quantitatively simulate 3D trap site distribution through the comparison of measured and simulated data. This simulator is expected to reduce the development period for CMOS image sensors by 20% compared with conventional prototype fabrications.

REGZA 55X3 Glasses-Free 3D and 55-inch Quad Full HD LCD TV
MORI Masanori / NISHIDA Yoshihiro / SAKAMOTO Tsutomu
Toshiba has developed various advanced technologies for three-dimensional (3D) liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs that do not require dedicated glasses, and commercialized the world's first glasses-free TVs, the 20-inch 20GL1 and 12-inch 12GL1 models, in December 2010. Although large-screen glasses-free 3D TVs are essential to realize the diffusion of this technology into living rooms, the need for flexible 3D viewing positions when using a high-resolution display greater than full high-definition (full HD) has become a critical issue.
As a solution to this issue, we have developed and commercialized the 55X3, a flagship model of the REGZA glasses-free 3D series, equipped with a 55-inch LCD display. The 55X3 incorporates a switching method that can achieve quad full HD (QFHD) in two-dimensional (2D) mode, and generate nine parallax images in 3D mode while automatically making adjustments by applying a face tracking technology using a camera to ensure suitable 3D viewing positions.

TOSVERTTM VF-S15 Inverter for Industrial Use with High Performance, Multifunctionality, and Safety
HOSOKAWA Masanori / KERA Takashi / ARIMA Hiroki
Industrial inverters for variable-speed motor drives are widely used for the purpose of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and saving energy as a countermeasure against global warming. Further enhancement of efficiency in such drives has become increasingly important due to the enactment of legislation mandating high-efficiency motors in various countries around the world in recent years. In order to realize simplified and low-cost systems, there is a need for high-performance multifunctional inverters equipped with a noise filter, industrial network connectivity, functions such as sequence generation, and other features.
To meet these requirements, Toshiba has developed the TOSVERTTM VF-S15 high-performance, multifunctional, and compact inverter for industrial use. The VF-S15 offers a function for simplified programming of parameters, the capability to drive a permanent-magnet motor for energy saving, and functional safety.

Machine Translation Technologies for Chinese Patent Searching and Application
In order to translate patent documents containing complex technical expressions, dedicated functions and knowledge specific to patent documents are essential.
Toshiba Solutions Corporation has developed machine translation technologies for Chinese patents to improve the efficiency of patent searches and applications, and released the Hon-Yaku Enterprise V15 translator capable of Japanese-to-Chinese (J-to-C) and Chinese-to-Japanese (C-to-J) translation. To translate invention titles and inventors' names correctly, we have developed a sentence analysis technique using Chinese document structure in the C-to-J translation engine. We have also introduced an automatic pre-editing function to divide long Japanese patent sentences in the J-to-C translation engine. Furthermore, we have developed translation memories for fixed phrases specific to patent specifications in both translation engines.



  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Simple Quantitative Measurement Technology for Point-of-Care Testing Systems Using Optical Waveguide Sensor

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