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TRONSHOW 2010 – Keynote Speech by Professor Sakamura

As always, Professor Sakamura made a keynote speech/ presentation on the first day of TRONSHOW 2010 to cover some of the main achievements and progresses made during the last year. These are some of the notes that I took during the presentation. Hopefully, the slides will be available soon. The presentation was basically divided into six main parts, so the rest of this page is organized the same way.

Part 1 – International Activities

The first section was about the work being done to promote TRON and T-Engine activities overseas.

Launching T-Engine Forum China

This was a very big announcement – a centre was set up within the Chinese government as the “T-Engine Forum China” in December 2009.

  • To extend the use of embedded system technologies as represented by TRON in China
  • It is supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Computing Technology and China Household Appliance Research Institute
  • Dr Han Zuoliang will be the chair of TEF, China – he was the former president of CHEARI

Singapore and TEDN (T-Engine Developer Network)

  • Singapore activities are being supported by NTU, where T-Kernel is used in teaching and training
  • Now, the use is extending to polytechnics
  • T-Engine Forun is working with a Singapore company (Viometrix) to produce the English site –
  • Some of the sections are up, including the BBS – early bird testers are wanted
  • In Asia, promotion is ongoing with other material in China, Vietnam, South Korea and India.

CASAGRAS and EU FP7 in Europe

  • It is an 18 months project since the end of Jan 2008 to see what can be done with ubiquitous computing
  • They invited forgein inputs, including North America and Japan
  • A final report about RFID and the Inclusive Model for the Internet of Things has been created and is available from

International Standardization Activity in ITU-T

  • ITU-T SG16/Q.21, Q.22 and F.771, ITU H.621

Part 2 – uhome: TRON INtelligent House Ver 3

  • Built in Taiwan
  • Original TRON Smart House V1: built in 1989 (had 1000 computers)
  • TRON House V2 PAPI: built in 2008 (600 sqm, 300 computers – fewer computer now since CPUs are more capable), supported by Toyota
  • Taipei Taiwan uHome : 2009 (200 sqm showroom and 350 sqm house)
  • Some interesting features:
    • Video of the things in the uHome
    • Concept: Eco-friendly and green through the use of natural materials, LED lighting, etc
    • Uses eco-meter to visualize savings on the remote controller – helps to affect the person psychologically into saving more
Also, the houses incorporates control by the NoTA Concept
  • Developed under the support of TEKES, Nokia, Notava, VTT, etc.
  • Many devices connected by a network
  • Created in Finalnd
  • NoTA tries to standardize the communication
  • OS is TRON, but uses NoTA protocols
  • Uses the concept of AN (App Node) and SN (Service Node) (see picture below)
  • You can see the real-time consuption, what is on, who is where, outside temperature, etc. on the UC (see picture below)

Part 3 – Distributed/ Parallel Embedded Systems

  • Moore’s Law: Integration of semiconductors doubles every 18 – 24 months
  • Miniaturization is reaching near its limit – nearing single CPU limit
  • Also, we are nearing the limit of increasing the CPU clock frequency
  • The idea to get around these limits is to use distributed computing

Open is KEY

  • OPENNESS is a foregone conclusion in distributed embedded systems
  • Need a way to connect many distributed systems
  • There is a need to make sure that we can communicate between the systems
  • Therefor, openness becomes more important
  • Open is important – create systems based on open distributed systems
  • Open systems + Open systems = limitless possibilities
  • There are Many levels of Open: intra-chip, intra-board, Personal Area Network, LAN, WAN, ...

  • Microsoft .Net
    • Microsoft is releasing .Net for TRON/ T-Kernel
    • Uses .Net on Server, but also going to embedded with TRON/ T-Kernel
  • Spacewire: T-Kernel is also used by JAXA, using SpaceWire for specific communication needs in space
  • MP TK provides communication for multi-processing on-chip
  • UWB Dice: Ultra-wide band used in Dice – allows accurate positioning at 15 cm, 9 year battery life to create sensor networks
    • Many applications of a Dice network: security, facility management, etc.
    • Approaching Vehicle Warning with Dice: about 30cm distance error; tested in Aomori

Part 4 – Progress & Proliferation of Ubuiquitous ID Architecture

Ubiquitous Location Information Service

  • Associate Information with Places
  • However, GPS error is about 10m and not available under ground
  • So, GPS alone can’t help enough; now Wireless LAN is also adding more capability
  • But, we should use all the available means to position
  • New applications need to have an error rate in centimetres, for some, 1m is OK, but not for others
  • Project in Ginza – as you walk along the street, you get information
  • What is the building, what is the closest subway, where is the hospital and so on..
  • Information is got from the street light – can warn you about fires, etc.
  • Also, there is the Ubiquitous Art Tour (1000 Yen) at Tokyo Midtown
    • Available in Chinese, English, French, Japanese and Korean
    • Provided by Mitsui Real Estate
  • Hato Bus Joint Service, Tokyo Ubiquitous Technology Proejct
    • Can get terminal for free if you take this bus
    • Can see different things on the handset
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government
    • Ubiquitous Technology Project
  • Ten Ginza hotels will loan the terminals for free
    • Audio sightseeing guidance, navugation, shop information, etc.
    • Launched Oct 15, 2009
  • Ueno Zoo Ubiquitous Information Guide
  • Intelligent Control Points Service
    • Geographical Survey Institute
    • Embed 20,000 RFID tags all over Japan as intelligent control points for the maintenance of control points and streamlining the surveying operation.
  • Pratto Plat @ Matsuyama (SPC)
    • Sightseeing guidance
    • Push-style information for easy access
  • Ubiquitous Computing country-side: Regional Tourism Ubiquitous

Getting Information from Objects

  • Can be used to get more information about a wine, etc.
  • Prevent piracy
  • Fire-alarms: can be used for maintenance records to ensure that the alarm is OK (Better Home Living Organization – using about 1 million uCodes)
  • Also, embedding it into the concrete – can be used when there are floods
  • Embedding RFIDs – has taken 5 years to get to this point
  • For people, getting information from objects means things like ‘expiration date has passed’ or to get information about the medicines, etc.
  • Important to spread this overseas also, e.g. when you are overseas, you may be prescribed medicienes but don’t understand what it does
  • Centre for better living: registration of long-life good housing
    • In europe, houses are built with brick and stone
    • Traditionally, Japanese houses
  • Race horse, fire alarms, traceability,
  • Benesis (Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation)
    • Uses uCode for real-word traceability
    • what kind of blood has been used for making the plasma fra ction
  • Augmented reality and uID Architecture

ucode: any time, any where, any one, any things

  • Differentiate from bar code scan
  • Advantages
    • Simple number – no semantic information
    • Large code space – 128 bits
    • Can be issued any time by any one for any object easily
  • Distribution is a key – so it must not be issued only from Japan (dare-demo)
    • Can be issued by China, Finland, Japan, etc.
    • Yet, they are interoperable
    • Easily issued by cloud-style computing
    • Individual, SOHO and mom-and-pop shops – anyone can use it
  • Any objects
    • can be put on any kind of object
    • Not dependent on industry
    • Frequently asked question is “price” – costs depend on the usage
    • However, Hitachi has uChip – about 1 Yen
    • Looking at application rather than the tag prices alone
    • People may be willing to pay a premium for medicines/ food that has more information

Part 5 – Progress and Proliferation of TRON and T-Engine Architecture

  • TRON has the world’s largest share
  • The Nov 2008 RTOS usage survey indicates that 47% are using ITRON
  • TRON Engineer Certification Examination (similar to how TOEFL is used for English) is available
    • It Tests knowledge and skill of embedded systems
    • Held 4 times a year (already, 6 exams since Jun 2008)
    • Plan to expand the test overseas

Part 6 – Ecosystems in Ubiquitous Computing

  • Future ES from TRON perspective
    • Distributed Embedded Systems + Open Network -> Ubiquitous Computing Solutions
    • Ubiquitous computing is the largest futue application of embedded technologies
    • Computers embedded in the environment – in the physical life
    • Affect social infrastructure: save resources by detailed control, decrease food poisioning through traceability, etc.
    • Need ubiquitous computing to realize eco-friendly societies
  • Need to build up the ecosystem to support eco-friendly ubiquitous computing
  • Target:
    • Tag : Sensor : embedded CPUs : UC : more advanced
    • MANY : 10,000 : 100 : 3 : 2
  • Apply the original strength of being small
    • Go back to the original small footprint technology (our origins)
    • E.g., even for NoTA, T-Engine Forum is proposing µNoTA
  • Eventually, uID will be an atom of ubiquitous computing

Final Words

Last year, was the 25th TRON SHOW and in a sense, continuity is the source of power – so, Professor Sakamura looks forward to continued participation from all.