Vol. 74, No. 6, November 2019
||Special Reports 1
Technologies Related to Hard Disk Drives and Semiconductor Devices for Cyber-Physical Systems
Hard Disk Drives and Semiconductor Devices as Keys for Realization of Cyber-Physical Systems
Toshiba Group’s Approach to Storage and Semiconductor Technologies for Cyber-Physical Systems
YAMAMOTO Kotaro / YOSHIMORI Takashi
The increasing volume of data being generated accompanying the worldwide expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) has given rise to the need for the development of systems and services to economically and efficiently collect and store these data in order to make effective use of them. Electronic components including storage devices and semiconductor products related to data are also expected to play a critical role in the evolution of technologies and functions essential in the expanding field of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in the future.
The Toshiba Group is offering various solutions in both the cyber and physical spaces aimed at expanding the CPS businesses through the development of hard disk drives (HDDs) that can hold large volumes of valuable data, as well as semiconductor products that can not only process these data but also control edge devices based on the processing results.
Nearline TDMR HDDs with Industry’s Largest Capacity of 16 Tbytes
ABE Masakazu / HARA Takeyori
With the fast-growing prevalence of cloud services, the volume of data generated is increasing. This, in turn, is creating expanding demand for large-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) for data centers.
To meet this industry requirement, Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation released the MG08 series of 3.5-inch nearline HDDs in January 2019. The MG08 series has achieved the industry’s largest capacity of 16 Tbytes for a conventional magnetic recording (CMR) HDD. In order to increase the recording density, we applied two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) technology for the first time in our HDDs. In addition, this series incorporates many other innovations to increase recording density, including improved head architecture, an optimized media material to enhance the signal quality, enhanced spacing control between the head element and the media surface, and improved servo control technology and suspension to improve the head positioning accuracy.
Large-Capacity HDDs Applying SMR Technology for Data Centers
Large-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) that allow data centers to store huge volumes of electronic information have become increasingly important as a key product for the development of information infrastructures in recent years. The two principal types of technical challenges to be addressed in order to increase the storage capacity of HDDs are (1) improvements in the performance of main parts including magnetic heads, magnetic disks, and the signal processing circuit in the case of conventional magnetic recording (CMR) HDDs; and (2) the overwriting of data on tracks, analogous to the shingling of a roof, in the case of shingled magnetic recording (SMR) HDDs.
Through the application of SMR technology and the optimization of magnetic heads and magnetic disks, Toshiba Electronic Devices and Storage Corporation is working toward realizing large-capacity HDDs for data centers. Experiments on a 3.5-inch CMR HDD product incorporating firmware appropriate for data writing in an SMR HDD have verified that it increases in storage capacity of approximately 25%.
Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording Technology for HDDs Achieving Higher Recording Density
MAEDA Tomoyuki / YAMADA Kenichiro
The capability of hard disk drives (HDDs) to store and provide access to large volumes of digital data with an appropriate latency time at low cost is resulting in increasing demand for HDDs with higher recording density as information storage devices supporting the development of high-level machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. However, incremental improvements in conventional methods for achieving higher density that depend on downsizing of the magnetic heads and miniaturization of the bit size on the recording media are close to reaching a limit.
As a solution to this situation, the Toshiba Group has been engaged in the development of microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) technology and has achieved a technological breakthrough in increasing the density of HDDs using a head with a spin torque oscillator (STO) to enhance the recording performance. We have now developed an extremely compact STO and a large-scale simulation technology for MAMR. We have conducted demonstration tests of prototype HDDs using the newly developed MAMR technologies, and confirmed that the MAMR HDD achieves higher recording performance compared with conventional HDDs.
Brushless DC Motor Control Technology to Realize Efficient Driving of Cooling Fans
The demand for data centers is increasing with the ongoing digitalization of society. To reduce the power consumption of data centers, it has become indispensable to improve the efficiency of the large number of motors that power the cooling fans generally used in data center servers.
Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation developed the InPAC, an intelligent phase control technology that can achieve high-efficiency driving of a three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor using three Hall sensors, and applied this technology to a three-phase BLDC motor driver integrated circuit (IC) in February 2016. We have newly developed both a Hall sensor position compensation function to reduce the number of Hall sensors from three to one in order to save the installation space for cooling fans and a closed-loop speed control function to realize stable rotation performance under any load conditions. We commercialized the TC78B025FTG three-phase BLDC motor driver IC with the InPAC incorporating these functions in April 2018.
Secure MCU Platform Techniques to Ensure Security of Cyber-Physical Systems
HIROSATO Nobushige / HASHIMOTO Mikio
With the rapid expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as an important component for the construction of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in recent years, demand has been growing for a microcontroller unit (MCU) for IoT devices with both a secure communication function for connecting to the network and a firmware update function to enhance integrity and availability.
Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation has been implementing measures to rectify this situation through the development and introduction of the following techniques: (1) introduction of a software platform technique using the Arm® Mbed™ OS, which is an open-source embedded operating system (OS), to its MCUs with an Arm® Cortex®-M processor in order to achieve secure connection to the network and reduction of the burden on developers, and (2) development of a secure firmware rotation technique using redundant flash memories for firmware update that can protect IoT devices against cyberattacks in order to achieve a balance between integrity and availability. We have confirmed the effectiveness of the secure firmware rotation technique through experiments on functional prototype hardware and software using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA).
||Special Reports 2
Toward Edge-Rich Measurement and Control Systems
Measurement and Control Systems Supporting Smart Manufacturing
Trends in Measurement and Control Systems Handling IoT Technologies and Toshiba’s Approach
TAKAYANAGI Yoichi / MIMURA Akihiro / ANAN Kazuhiro
The evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to achieve the gathering, storage, and processing of data via the Internet has led to the introduction of numerous IoT devices in various production facilities and the social infrastructure field, resulting in substantial changes to the development of products and system integration. In recent years, attention has become increasingly focused on edge computing capable of implementing the real-time processing of data at the distributed edge of a network, thereby overcoming the limitations of centralized computing in a cloud system.
The Toshiba Group has been continuously developing and supplying instrumentation equipment for measurement and control systems, including components for digital distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), industrial computers, sensors for wastewater treatment systems, and rolling line measuring instruments. With recent trends in edge computing as a background, we are making efforts to construct edge-rich measurement and control systems to realize high performance and large capacity for high-level data processing and long-term operation by applying virtualization, software PLC, real-time communication, and cybersecurity technologies.
FA3100T Model 800 Industrial Computer Supporting Edge Computing
NIINUMA Yoshiki / INARI Masaru / NAKAMURA Tadamichi
Edge computing with high processing performance is an effective means of constructing optimal cyber-physical systems (CPS), allowing distributed processing of large volumes of transmission and analysis data not only on the cloud system side but also on the edge side.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed the FA3100T model 800 industrial computer to meet this need. The FA3100T model 800 has high data processing performance due to its sixth-generation Intel® Xeon®processor and DDR4 (double data rate fourth-generation) memory as well as installable multiple extension cards. This model also offers features inherited from the previous models, including robustness; maintainability; reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) functions; and long-term supply and maintenance.
Next-Generation Control System Appropriate for CPS Platforms
TATENO Genki / HIROTA Tatsuo / OKABE Motohiko
The dissemination of technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT), which are expected to provide high added value from data obtained through diverse types of connections that have not been available up to now, is driving demand in the industrial field for industrial IoT devices for various applications. In addition, manufacturing industries have recently been experiencing significant shifts in the area of cyber-physical systems (CPS), creating advanced solutions through the effective utilization of large volumes of data in plants and factories. The further sophistication of control systems, which are the core of mission-critical systems at manufacturing sites, is therefore required.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed the Unified Controller Vm series as a successor to the Unified Controller nv series, for the conversion of existing control systems into a next-generation control system appropriate for CPS platforms. In addition to the computer and controller functions of the conventional nv series, the Vm series incorporates an information and control network function that makes it possible to connect with multiple network systems, and a controller function comprising a multiple programmable logic controller (PLC) system, in which controller functions are separately assigned to each central processing unit (CPU) core.
Measurement and Inspection Technologies to Ensure Stable Operation and Improve Production Efficiency of Steel Rolling Lines
KAGAWA Takeshi / KAKEDA Taku / YONEKAWA Sakae
Dimensional measurements and defect inspections of products are essential in a steel rolling line, in order to control the shapes of the products and assure their quality. Precise high-speed measurements and real-time transmission of measurement data to the relevant processing circuits must be conducted under severe conditions of high temperature, high humidity, and considerable shock and vibration. It is also necessary to provide information so as to improve the efficiency of line operations and monitor the conditions of the equipment and line by measuring, collecting, and analyzing data in real time, in addition to achieving further improvements in measurement reliability.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation is supplying X-ray thickness gauges for steel rolling lines that are capable of stable long-term operation and high-precision measurements and inspections under severe conditions. We have developed a function to collect sensing data from various field sensors including temperature, humidity, and acceleration sensors, and are also developing a failure prediction function to improve production efficiency without the need to suspend operation of the steel rolling line.
Sophistication of O&M of Factories and Infrastructure Facilities through Digital Transformation
IKEDA Kazushi / SHINTANI Fumitaka / KAMO Takayasu
Factories and infrastructure facilities in Japan have recently been facing various issues including the aging of workers, a shortage of successors, and dependence on skilled engineers in the field of operation and maintenance (O&M), in addition to the ongoing aging of equipment.
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has been engaged in activities aimed at the sophistication of O&M in order to improve business efficiency, realize stable long-term operations, and create new service businesses applying technologies for digital transformation including the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). As an outcome of these efforts, we are offering the following O&M solutions and services: (1) visualization and remote monitoring solutions; (2) abnormality detection, failure prediction, and lifetime estimation methods using AI; and (3) services to support the actions and safety of workers using mobile information terminals and glasses-type wearable devices.
Electronic Plant Operation Log System Enhancing Efficiency of Plant Operations
Enhancement of the efficiency of plant operations in manufacturing industries is a pressing issue to be addressed. Attention has therefore been increasingly focused on the replacement of conventional manual operations with more efficient automated operations using machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA).
Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation has developed and is supplying PlantLogMeister (hereafter abbreviated as PLM), an electronic plant operation log system that can convert handwritten plant operation logs into digital data in order to easily collect operating know-how. PLM are contributing to the solution of various problems faced by individual customers through the efficient use of accumulated knowledge data, the improvement of operation flows, and the reductions in the costs of simple tasks. To farther improve usability, we have developed the following functions: the PLM Spreadsheet, and a construction management package.
TMASCA Web-Based HMI System for Plant Monitoring and Control with High-Speed Response and Improved Operability and Expandability
SHIMIZU Ryo / KONOMI Masahiro
In the field of industrial plants requiring real-time control, such as steel plants and pulp and paper plants, there is a strong requirement for further enhancement of the responsivity, operability, and scalability of monitoring and control systems in order to improve productivity and product quality through the introduction of information and communications technology (ICT). A trend has emerged toward the replacement of human-machine interface (HMI) systems for dedicated monitoring and control systems with HMI systems for general-purpose supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. However, the performance of such HMI systems has still been insufficient for plant operations.
Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Corporation (TMEIC) has developed and released the TMASCA (TMEIC Advanced SCADA) system, a web-based HMI system that incorporates the following features: (1) faster responsivity of less than 300 ms compared with that of general-purpose SCADA systems, through the minimization of overhead; (2) improved operability, allowing operators at the site to confirm HMI screens using tablets; and (3) high expandability, with screen expansion and contraction functions facilitating the editing of HMI screens.
Investigation by Making Contact with Deposits Believed to Be Nuclear Fuel Debris at Bottom of PCV of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 2
SUGIURA Tessai / SHIMIZU Chiari / SAKAMOTO Naoya
At Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 2, which was seriously damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, pebble-like deposits were found to have accumulated over the bottom of the pedestal in the primary containment vessel (PCV) from images captured in an investigation conducted in January 2018. It was assumed that the melted nuclear fuel had become fuel debris and fallen from the lower section of reactor pressure vessel (RPV). Consequently, it was judged to be necessary to gather additional information in order to determine the procedure for removal of this fuel debris.
As part of this work, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation developed an observation device to make contact with the pebble-like deposits and confirm the changes in their physical state. In February 2019, this device, consisting of a camera, a light-emitting diode (LED) lighting device, a radiation dosimeter, a thermometer, and a drive mechanism for the opening and closing of fingers to make contact with the deposits, succeeded in lifting and moving several deposits for the first time since the accident.
Approaches to Meteorological Disaster Mitigation Using 3D Observation Data of Multi-Parameter Phased Array Weather Radar
YOSHIMI Kazuhiro / MIZUTANI Fumihiko
Various types of natural disasters due to localized torrential downpours, such as overflowing of rivers, flooding in urban areas, landslides, and so on, have been increasingly occurring in recent years, causing serious damage to people’s lives. However, it is difficult to accurately predict the time and location of a localized torrential downpour through the detection of predictive signs. The establishment of a system to capture and communicate information on such phenomena has therefore become an issue of vital importance.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed a multi-parameter phased array weather radar (MP-PAWR) that can carry out three-dimensional (3D) observations of weather phenomena at high speed, and has been engaged in research and development aimed at realizing meteorological disaster mitigation technologies using the 3D observation data obtained by this system. We have confirmed the effectiveness of MP-PAWR data through demonstration experiments on water disaster prediction using the MP-PAWR, including (1) river water level prediction in urban areas based on heavy-rain detection and analysis at an early stage before the onset of rain, and (2) the delivery of alarms from the heavy-rain detection system for water disaster prevention.
Wireless Repeater System Using BLE and 920 MHz-Band Multihop Wireless Communication for Grasping Heat Stress Levels of Outdoor Workers
OHKITA Hideki / IDE Kenichi
In the summer season, it is essential for workers at construction sites to take countermeasures against heat. In order to grasp accurate information on the health status of each worker at a distance of several km from the site office, the monitoring of heat stress level data through measurements made by wearable devices is a potential solution. However, as the mobile phones of workers are often located outside the communication range, particularly in mountainous areas, a method of relaying these data to the site office other than by mobile phone is required.
To meet this need, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed a wireless repeater system to deliver data on workers’ heat stress levels to a remote site office. In this system, the data signals are received from wearable devices by means of Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) communication, converted to 920 MHz-band signals, which can travel over long distances, and transferred to a terminal at the site office via multihop wireless communication using multiple repeaters. From the results of on-site verification tests in environments with a large number of obstacles, we have confirmed that this system achieves stable long-distance communication.
||Frontiers of Research & Development
||Structural Estimation and Hazard Evaluation of Explosive Silane Compounds Generated in Semiconductor Manufacturing Processes
||Company, product, and service names appearing in each paper include those that are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.