Research News

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08 Nov, 2022
TOKYO-Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has developed a Sliding Sheet-Lattice Matrix (SSLM) for ultrasonic nondestructive testing in infrastructure maintenance and inspections. The developed SSLM does not require the application of a liquid couplant, such as the gel applied to human bodies for ultrasonic examinations during health checkups, and furthermore combines high performance for passing ultrasonic waves (ultrasonic propagation) with smooth device operability. Nondestructive testing is an inspection evaluating internal defect and its form or size in an object without damaging it, and ultrasound, which is harmless to the human body, is widely used in such inspections. Liquid or gel couplant are often used in ultrasonic inspections, especially when inspecting the human body, because they both provide high levels of ultrasonic propagation and smooth operations. However, in the field of infrastructure maintenance and inspection, liquids can seep into the interior of inspection targets, leading to failure or deterioration of the applied structures or equipment. Minimizing such effects requires additional work, so applications to infrastructure now also uses adhesive sheets of solid couplant, but there is generally a trade-off between ultrasonic propagation and smooth operations, leading to issues such as increased work times. Toshiba has developed SSLM comprising a proprietary soft sheet and lattice material to realize both ultrasonic wave propagation and smooth operability. The lattice material allows low-friction movement over structure and equipment surfaces when changing inspection positions, and when inspecting, applying a load to press the SSLM against the object that is the target of an inspection allows propagation of ultrasonic waves, giving it rapid response characteristics. Ultrasonic nondestructive testing requires taking measurements from many locations following the surface of the inspected object, and thus use of the developed SSLM should result in significant time reductions compared with the inspection times seen when using conventional adhesive sheets(*1). In addition, compared with conventional ultrasonic nondestructive inspection methods using a liquid couplant, SSLM eliminates the need for masking areas outside of the inspection area before the inspection and removing applied liquid couplant after inspections, thereby contributes to improved efficiency and automation of maintenance and inspections. Furthermore, it enables be applied to objects that were previously difficult to apply, due to the difficulty of removing liquids. Toshiba will present details of this development at the 43rd Symposium on Ultra Sonic Electronics (USE2022) (*2), which will be held in Kyoto from November 7.
07 Oct, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has developed large-scale production technology for the electrodes that realizes high level efficiency in Power to Gas (P2G) technology, essential know-how for advancing toward a carbon neutral society, while reducing the use of iridium, one of the world’s rarest precious metals, to 1/10*1.
27 Sep, 2022
TOKYO—Researchers at Japan’s Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) have announced a significant advance in their work to develop an efficient, low cost and highly reliable tandem solar cell that raises the output of solar panels by layering a transparent solar cell over a standard silicon cell.
16 Sep, 2022
Researchers at Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) have achieved a breakthrough in quantum computer architecture: the basic design for a double-transmon coupler that will improve the speed and accuracy of quantum computation in tunable couplers. The coupler is a key device in determining the performance of superconducting quantum computers.
26 Aug, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has demonstrated the effectiveness of its grid-forming (GFM) inverter, which was developed to ensure the stability of microgrids. A microgrid is a type of distributed energy system that enables regional self-sufficiency for electric power through the use of renewable energy, rather than relying on power supply from large-scale power plants. When there is a sudden fluctuation in the output of or demand for electric power, a normally stable frequency can fluctuate drastically, possibly triggering a protection relay(*1) and cutting off power supply, leading to power outages. In particular, as the share of renewable energy increases, fluctuations in grid frequency increase. In particular, frequency fluctuations will increase with increased ratios of renewable energy, so the widespread use of microgrids will require technologies for maintaining a stable grid frequency.
12 Jul, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has developed a technology that could analyze and visualize the internal soundness of bridge decks which cannot be seen from the exterior, and demonstrated its effectiveness for bridges at the Fukuoka-Kitakyushu Expressway Public Corporation (Fukuoka Expressway). This technology uses sensors installed at the undersurface of the deck to acquire and digitize data from weak waves generated at the road surface as vehicles cross the bridge, analyzes the data to digitize internal damage and visualize as a soundness map that cannot be recognized through conventional visual inspections. This technology will enable repair plan formulations and work task implementations according to the internal condition of bridges, and furthermore promote the digitalization of bridge aging countermeasures and contribute to more efficient bridge repair and extending the service life of social infrastructure. Toshiba has demonstrated this technology for repairs to bridge decks at Fukuoka Expressway Route 2, confirming the validity of evaluations of the internal condition of bridges. The company will continue conducting demonstration with Fukuoka Expressway, and together with its operating company, Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation, aims to start providing this service to road operators in FY2024.
15 Jun, 2022
KAWASAKI--Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation and Toshiba Corporation (collectively “Toshiba”) have together developed the world’s first 4.5-kV double-gate reverse-conducting injection-enhanced gate transistor (RC-IEGT). Toshiba confirmed a total power loss, when switching on and off (switching loss), reduction of 24% compared with the conventional single-gate structure.
25 May, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has developed Few-Shot Object Detection AI, an image recognition-based technology capable of immediately detecting a new object with unprecedented accuracy. Simply registering a single image primes the technology to recognize new products and parts in production and logistics. The company designed the new AI to be useful in situations where new objects appear frequently, such as plants that regularly process updated and improved products and parts, and distribution centers that are constantly required to handle new merchandise. There are worldwide efforts to convert sensing data from the field into valuable information and return it to the field as feedback, thereby increasing productivity, quality, and efficiency in operations. Image recognition AI, which detects people and objects in images, is particularly valuable for analysis aiming to improve productivity, automate processes, and reduce workloads. However, one drawback of the technology is the need to prepare large amounts of image data for training to detect new objects every time they are needed in the situations where the technology is used. Toshiba’s new Few-Shot Object Detection AI is automatically pre-trained to recognize the shapes of non-target objects in the training images, a proprietary development in the training process that enables the AI to detect new objects with the registration of a single image and no retraining in the field. In an assessment of detection accuracy based on a public dataset, the technology achieved unprecedented accuracy. Companies that operate factories and plants that handle many different parts and equipment have been reluctant to incorporate AI into their processes because of the time and effort required for retraining every time something changes. Few-Shot Object Detection AI is easy to introduce and use, helping these companies digitize their operations and promote digital transformation to improve productivity, quality, and efficiency. Toshiba is scheduled to give a presentation on the details of the new technology on May 25, 2022 at ICIAP 2021, the 21st International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing.
23 May, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has developed artificial intelligence (AI) for detecting anomalies during infrastructure inspections. With only a few reference images of inspection targets and no real-world training, the technology can accurately detect cracks and rust as well as leaks, adhesion of foreign material, detachment of parts, and other infrequent, untrained anomalies. This new AI not only reduces inspection workloads—particularly those that imperil workers or require travel, such as atop steel towers in the mountains, under elevated bridges, on slopes, and under solar panels—it also performs well in real-world situations where the scarcity of images from the field has hampered past efforts to use AI. The technology uses features from pre-trained deep learning models to compare inspection photographs against reference images, and thus does not require real-world training as in the case of conventional AI. Toshiba’s proprietary correction technology enables the new AI to detect anomalies with high accuracy even when inspection photographs are taken from different angles than in the reference images, and also limits false positives in the case of unique patterns that are actually normal. In an assessment based on a public dataset, the AI was 91.7% accurate, the highest figure ever recorded. The new technology automates inspections, reduces workloads, and expedites the discovery of anomalies, helping ensure stable long-term operation of infrastructure. Toshiba is scheduled to give a presentation on the details of this new AI on May 25, 2022 at ICIAP 2021, the 21st International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing, in Italy.
18 Mar, 2022
TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has revealed major advances in shrinking the laser projector unit of its LiDAR to one quarter the size of the previous version released in June 2021. Using two of the new projector units, the new LiDAR is just 206cm3 in volume that can fit comfortably into the palm of the hand. Its range has been pushed out to 300m, the world’s longest with an industry-leading image resolution of 1200x84 pixels. It can be configured with flexible combinations of projector units to handle a variety of long-range and wide-angle detection applications.
24 Feb, 2022
At the Toshiba Co-creation Center “Creative Circuit,” which opened last February as a base for co-creation activities in the Toshiba Group, Toshiba has implemented functions using the company’s latest video recognition AI to create new value with co-creation partners through experiencing the latest technology. As a first step, Toshiba has implemented four functions at Creative Circuit: crowding detection, suspicious behavior detection, unnatural posture detection, and individual recognition. By allowing co-creation partners within and outside of the Toshiba Group to experience AI technology, Toshiba will work with its co-creation partners to create new value from AI technologies, leading to earlier social implementation of Toshiba AI. Furthermore, to make Creative Circuit a safer, more secure, and more creative environment during the COVID-19 epidemic, the company has developed a communication-activity monitoring system that uses a crowding detection function and is operated within Creative Circuit. This system detects the state of crowding while also calculating and displaying communication activity levels to support active communication while preventing excessive crowding, thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of co-creation activities. Toshiba plans to continue introducing new AI functions at Creative Circuit, which will also be used as a base for value creation using AI technology with its co-creation partners, contributing to the creation of innovative solutions for solving social issues and realizing a sustainable society.
14 Jan, 2022
TOKYO―Nomura Holdings, Inc. (President and Group CEO, Kentaro Okuda, hereinafter Nomura HD), Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. (Representative Director and President, Kentaro Okuda, hereinafter Nomura Securities), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (President, Hideyuki Tokuda, Ph.D., hereinafter NICT), Toshiba Corporation (Representative Executive Officer and President and Chief Executive Officer, Satoshi Tsunakawa, hereinafter Toshiba), and NEC Corporation (President and CEO, Takayuki Morita, hereinafter NEC) have jointly verified on the effectiveness and practicality of quantum cryptography for future social implementation using the stock trading operations as a use case, where high-speed, large-volume, low-latency data transmission is strictly required. The test which started in December 2020 is the first in Japan to verify the low-latency and large-volume transmission tolerance of highly secure data transmission conforming to the message transmission format (FIX format), which is a standard format used in actual stock trading operations. As a result, in our assumed use case, we were able to confirm the following two points: (i) the throughput is maintained at a level of a conventional system even if quantum cryptography is applied, and (ii) even if a large number of stock orders are placed, highly secure and high-speed quantum cryptographic communication can be realized without depleting cryptographic keys. The success of this test is expected to accelerate the social implementation of quantum cryptography including the broad range of sector other than finance.