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2012 VOL.67 NO.6

  Special Reports

"RegzaAppsConnect" for Realization of REGZA WORLD

"RegzaAppsConnect" Linking Personal Television Viewing and Social Networks
ITO Shinichi

"RegzaAppsConnect" Offering New Television Viewing Style
Additional services for audiovisual (AV) appliances such as TVs and recorders are conventionally installed in the products themselves. However, interfacing with increasing volumes of information using a remote controller equipped with only up/down, left/right, and enter keys makes operation difficult, placing a burden on users and lowering the frequency of usage.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba is engaged in the development of applications (apps) for mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets with a touch panel allowing easy operation for users, which make it possible to organically connect AV appliances and cloud services. We are embarking on a new approach called "RegzaAppsConnect," aimed at achieving significant value to users, service providers, and device manufacturers. With these RegzaAppsConnect apps and related products, we will create and deploy the "REGZA WORLD."

Applications Realizing "RegzaAppsConnect"
SUDA Hajime
With the wide dissemination of cloud computing services using smartphones and tablets, applications (apps) for audiovisual (AV) appliances are now a focus of rising expectations.
Toshiba has been devoting continuous efforts to the development of TVs and recorders equipped with network connectivity. We are now providing free apps that can allow our recorders to be controlled from smartphones, tablets, and PCs utilizing the Net-de-Navi function installed in our recorders. With the aim of expanding services focusing on the "taglist share" service for the sharing of information among users regarding favorite scenes in recorded contents, we are now developing apps such as "RZ Tagler" and others corresponding to various operating system platforms ahead of our competitors.

RZ Player, RZ Live, and RZ Porter Applications Evolving Tablets toward Smart Televisions
KAZAWA Hiroshi
Toshiba has developed the "RZ Tagler" application running on mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets, which makes it possible for such devices to control TVs and DVD recorders as a remote controller. Furthermore, in order to watch contents recorded by TVs and DVD recorders on these mobile terminals, we have developed the "RZ Player," "RZ Live," and "RZ Porter" applications. These applications allow users not only to watch recorded contents and live broadcasts of TVs and DVD recorders on mobile terminals, but also to share information about their favorite scenes in contents with other users by means of cooperative operation with cloud servers and a social networking service (SNS). Mobile terminals are expected to become smart TVs through the use of these applications.

Technologies for Realization of "REGZA-LINK Share" Video Server Function for Audiovisual Devices
TACHIKAWA Takayuki / YAMANASHI Naoki / SAIJO Hitoshi
REGZA is Toshiba's unified brand name for audiovisual (AV) appliances including liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, hard disk drive (HDD) and Blu-rayTM recorders, mobile terminals, and PCs. We are making efforts to disseminate the REGZA lineup through the collaboration of technologies for linkage with these devices and cloud services. In 2011, we developed the REGZA Server integrated technologies for TVs and recorders equipped with the "time-shift machine" that can simultaneously record up to six terrestrial digital channels over a period of 15 days. We have also developed and released "REGZA-LINK Share," a new function that can connect TVs, recorders, and mobile terminals such as REGZA Phones, REGZA tablets, and so on for the distribution and retrieval of video contents. REGZA-LINK Share eliminates restrictions of time and place by allowing users to share video contents across multiple devices and access them at their leisure.

Network Technologies of "RegzaAppsConnect" for REGZA Tablet AT700
OHASHI Shikyo / OJIMA Masahiko / OHASHI Jun
The advent of mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets with touch screen interfaces in recent years has made it possible for users to access information and video and music contents via the Internet more easily than ever before.
With this as a background, Toshiba has released the REGZA Tablet AT700 that is only 535 g in weight and 7.7 mm in thickness. The AT700 has a 10.1-inch high-resolution liquid crystal display (LCD) that can reproduce high-definition (HD) contents with clear and vivid colors. It supports home network functions that enable users to not only enjoy streaming live and recorded contents anywhere in the home, but also to carry downloaded and recorded contents outdoors in cooperation with REGZA TVs and REGZA Blu-rayTM recorders.

Software Platform for IP Remote Controllers to Operate Home Appliances
OHMORI Yoshihiro / HIGUCHI Yasukazu / KIKUCHI Masaaki
Internet Protocol (IP) remote controllers have been attracting attention as a tool for controlling home appliances using mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets via the Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) network, taking advantage of their graphical and interactive user interface. Due to the differences in software architecture of individual devices, however, the high cost of implanting programs for IP remote controllers on various home appliances is a serious issue hindering their dissemination.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has developed a common software platform for IP remote controllers that allows IP remote control functions to be easily embedded into home electrical appliances with different software architectures. This software platform facilitates speedy software development and the addition of new functions by defining a common architecture between the interface and control function modules. We have applied this platform to the development of the RegzaAppsConnect service to support remote control and cloud services using IP remote controllers.



  Feature Articles

Power Characteristics of Ka-band GaN HEMT Improved by Lowering Ohmic Contact Resistance
MORIZUKA Mayumi / TAKADA Yoshiharu / MATSUSHITA Keiichi
Gallium nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) are expected to become a key technology for high-frequency devices due to their high output power density. GaN HEMT devices make it possible to install solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) in Ka-band (26-40 GHz) satellite communication systems as an alternative to conventional travelling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs).
Toshiba has already developed a 20 W-class Ka-band GaN HEMT device. In order to further improve the Ka-band power characteristics, we have now developed an ohmic contact process for the GaN HEMT device that can reduce the ohmic contact resistance by 56%, and increase the output power density at 31 GHz by 11%. The newly developed device is expected to contribute to reductions in the size and weight of next-generation satellite communication systems.

Crosstalk Reduction Technology for Stereoscopic Displays with Shutter Glasses
IWANAKA Yuki / MITA Takeshi / BABA Masahiro
Stereoscopic displays with shutter glasses employ a temporary control mechanism to provide different images to the viewer's left and right eyes, making it possible to watch three-dimensional (3D) images using dedicated glasses. However, crosstalk due to the merging of images for the other eye is a serious issue.
Toshiba has developed a crosstalk reduction technology for stereoscopic displays with shutter glasses based on image processing. This technology overdrives the liquid crystal display (LCD), setting the brightness so as to be equal to the expected value through precise evaluation of crosstalk caused not only by the LCD response, but also by backlight leakage and the shutter glasses response. Experiments on our newly developed crosstalk reduction technology have confirmed its superior performance compared with conventional methods that use only the LCD response.

Hand Gesture User Interface Using Natural Hand Motions
IKE Tsukasa / NAKASU Toshiaki / OKADA Ryuzo
Hand gesture recognition technology, which makes it possible for users to remotely control digital devices such as PCs by hand motions, has entered practical application in a succession of commercial products.
Toshiba has been commercializing gesture-controlled PCs since 2008. We have also developed "Tebura-navi," a novel hand gesture interface that introduces voice and gesture control with natural sweeping hand motions for up/down/left/right commands as an effective means of natural communication, emulating that used between humans. Tebura-navi was realized through the following technological advancements: (1) a hand-tracking algorithm for swift hand motions, and (2) a gesture recognition algorithm for sweeping hand motions. We released PCs equipped with Tebura-navi in September 2011.

Stress Simulation Technology for Shrinkage of Semiconductor Devices
ITO Sachiyo / SUZUKI Keiji
Shrinkage of the design rules of semiconductor devices leads to defects in the manufacturing process resulting from decreased mechanical strength. In particular, buckling failure of fine pattern structures due to internal stress has become a serious issue in the further shrinkage of semiconductor devices. This type of failure is caused by highly compressive residual stress in the material. In order to realize a high-reliability process for fine structures, technologies to analyze the stress phenomena inside structures and to estimate the occurrence of failures are essential.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has developed a stress simulation technology to predict buckling failures using linear buckling analysis based on the finite element method. This technology is contributing to the reduction of development costs and improvements in yield and quality by making it possible to identify critical processes causing buckling failures and propose countermeasures against defects early in the development phase.

BGA Reinforcement Technology Improving High-Density Mounting and Durability of Notebook PCs
In order to protect the solder bumps of ball grid array (BGA) packages mounted on printed circuit boards in notebook PCs against mechanical stresses caused by accidental board bending, metal stiffeners such as back plates, etc. have been conventionally applied. However, with the increasing portability of notebook PCs, demand has been growing for novel reinforcement technologies to realize thinner profile, lighter weight, and more robust notebook PCs.
Toshiba has now developed a BGA reinforcement technology using L-shaped support plates that dramatically enhances the mechanical reliability of BGA packages, and applied this technology to the dynabookTM R631, a lineup of our thinnest and lightest notebook PC series, in 2011.

Stationary Battery Energy Storage Systems Using SCiBTM Battery Modules
KOBAYASHI Takenori / MIZUTANI Mami / SHIMADA Kazuyoshi
In recent years, attention has been increasingly focused on the introduction of battery energy storage systems on both the demand and supply sides of electric power systems with the aim of realizing energy saving and reinforcing disaster-prevention measures as well as promoting renewable energy.
Toshiba has developed a lineup of stationary battery energy storage systems called the Smart Battery system. The Smart Battery system incorporates our power control technologies acquired through the development of electric power systems and our SCiBTM rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with long life, excellent safety, and high power output performance through improvement of the battery panel structure to optimize the airflow for battery cooling.

Test Architecture Design Method for Large-Scale Software Development
KASE Naoki / SUMI Takeshi / ICHIDA Noriaki
In the final stage of software development, optimization of the testing process by performing as many tests as possible during a limited period is required to assure quality. While the number of items to be tested has increased with the expansion of large-scale and complex software systems in recent years, shortening of the software development period is a growing trend. It has therefore become difficult to assure the quality of software products by using a large number of test cases as in the past.
Toshiba has developed a software test design method using test architecture diagrams that make it possible to visualize the entire software tests of a product, and to add or delete missing or redundant test cases. This test design method is now being applied to the development of some of our digital products and social infrastructure systems.



  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Technology for Analysis of Molecular Activity on Outermost Surface of Materials

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