The Eyes of Smart Factories – What is Machine Vision?

The application of "eyes" using image sensors and cameras such as machine vision, computer vision, and robot vision is becoming widespread in society. Among these applications, machine vision is a technology that is essential to smart factories. What is machine vision and what are the differences between computer vision and robot vision? This article discusses the basic knowledge and questions of machine vision.

  • Sensors
  • Smart Factory
  • AI

A Near Future Smart Home Equipped With 1,000 Sensors to Watch Over the Residents at Anytime from Anywhere to Anticipate and Fulfill Their Wishes

The combination of IoT systems and AI technologies to collect and process big data is advancing, and this is occurring not only in industry and government agencies but also leading to the smart home concept that is spreading to ordinary homes as well. We spoke with Professor Yasuo Tan, Vice-President of the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, about the ideal vision for the smart home that we should aim for in the near future and the technologies required to make it a reality.

  • Researcher Interview
  • Sensors
  • Security
  • Smart Home
  • IoT
  • AI
  • Work style reform
  • Decarbonization

Aiming for Lifestyle Support Technologies that Can Respond to the Diversity of Residents: Expectations Toward Manufacturers that Provide Component Technologies for Smart Homes

Smart homes utilize data that can be obtained in the course of daily life to support residents' lives. To make smart homes a reality, diverse electronic information and communications technologies must be utilized. We spoke with Professor Yasuo Tan of the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology about the technologies needed to make the ideal smart home a reality and the role of manufacturers developing and supplying those technologies.

  • Researcher Interview
  • Sensors
  • Smart Home
  • IoT
  • AI
  • Work style reform
  • Decarbonization

FDMA, TDMA, and CDMA Multiple Access: Effective Utilization of Signals (Bandwidth) in Wireless Communication (2)

The smartphones used by all sorts of people today are capable of transferring audio, image, and video data without interference. This is possible thanks to technologies that prevent problems such as the overlapping of different streams of data or interference from noise. This article describes two such technologies: “multiplexing,” which is aimed at enabling efficient utilization of radio signals, and “multiple access,” which makes use of multiplexing technology.

  • Wireless communication
  • Smartphone
  • Wi-Fi
  • Satellite communication
  • Multiplexing/Multiple Access
  • Radio wave
  • Bandwidth

FDMA, TDMA, and CDMA Multiple Access: Effective Utilization of Signals (Bandwidth) in Wireless Communication (1)

The smartphones used by all sorts of people today are capable of transferring audio, image, and video data without interference. This is possible thanks to technologies that prevent problems such as the overlapping of different streams of data or interference from noise. This article describes two such technologies: “multiplexing,” which is aimed at enabling efficient utilization of radio signals, and “multiple access,” which makes use of multiplexing technology.

  • Wireless communication
  • Smartphone
  • Wi-Fi
  • Satellite communication
  • Multiplexing/Multiple Access
  • Radio wave
  • Bandwidth

Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) Employing HAPS or Artificial Satellites: Technological Trends Leading to Beyond 5G/6G (1)

Non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) composed of unmanned aircraft (HAPS) or artificial satellites equipped with telecommunication equipment are gaining attention as part of a new mobile communications network infrastructure for the age of Beyond 5G/6G. This article describes the configuration, features, advantages, and trends in NTNs.

  • Beyond 5G/6G
  • Wireless communication
  • Satellite communication

CEATEC 2023

Supporting Decarbonization with “Underwater CO2 Sensor” and “Lightweight Heat Transfer Material Employing Biomass Materials”

In recent years, environmental performance supporting decarbonization or recycling has become an important consideration for consumers when choosing to purchase products or services. Murata Manufacturing has developed an “underwater CO2 sensor” that will help promote blue carbon transactions and a “lightweight heat transfer material employing biomass materials” for heat dissipation in automobiles, which are becoming “smarter.” Murata continues to press forward with efforts to boost the added value of products and businesses through technological innovation at the level of components and materials.

  • Developer Interview
  • Decarbonization
  • Recycling
  • Carbon neutrality
  • CO2 sensors
  • Bio
  • Material
  • Automotive

CEATEC 2023

Contributing to the Realization of Society 5.0 with “Proximity and Force Sensor” and “Invisible ID Tags”

The future of a society in which digital technology plays a major part in our everyday lives is upon us. there is demand for ever more sophisticated interface technology closely connecting humans and machines and technology linking things and data. Murata Manufacturing has developed a “proximity and force sensor” that paves the way toward innovations in human–machine interfaces (HMIs), and “invisible ID tags” that make it possible to append authentication information without reducing the attractiveness of the product design. Examples of both were revealed at CEATEC 2023.

  • Developer Interview
  • Digital twin
  • Sensors
  • HMI
  • Traceability
  • Brand protection

CEATEC 2023

“Ultrasound Transmission Metamaterial” that Expands the Range of Places where Ultrasonic Sensors Can Be Used to Include Medicine and Automobiles

Murata Manufacturing has developed a new “ultrasound transmission metamaterial” technology with the potential to expand the range of places where ultrasonic sensors can be used. Previous ultrasonic sensors were unable to measure target objects located on the other side of a barrier made of a material such as metal or resin. The new ultrasonic metamaterial eliminates these limitations on measurement and has the potential to spur innovation in a variety of areas such as medical, automotive, and social infrastructure.

  • Developer Interview
  • Ultrasonic Sensors
  • Medical
  • Automotive

Ideal State of Equipment Maintenance: Technology That Realizes Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is considered the ideal form of equipment maintenance, which has evolved from breakdown maintenance to preventive maintenance. However, it is also true that there is currently no established method that realizes predictive maintenance. Accordingly, we will now explain how to utilize sensor fusion, AI, and edge AI to provide hints to realizing predictive maintenance based on basic knowledge of equipment maintenance.

  • Maintenance
  • IIoT
  • IoT
  • DX
  • m-FLIP
  • Solution

Supporting the Transition away from Fossil Fuels with the Power of Electronic Components

Battery Management Systems (BMSs) Monitor the Charging/Discharging and Thermal Management Status to Improve Safety and Efficiency and to Support Battery Utilization

Batteries are becoming increasingly important toward achieving carbon neutrality. We explain here about Battery Management Systems, which are essential to using batteries safely while maintaining them in good condition over a long time. We also look at the electronic components used in them.

  • Battery
  • BMS
  • Renewable energy
  • Electric Vehicle (EV)
  • Carbon neutrality
  • ESS
  • Sensors

Supporting the Transition away from Fossil Fuels with the Power of Electronic Components

What Are the Conditions for Increasing the Efficiency of Power Conversion and Motor Drives and for Expanding the Use of SiC and GaN Power Semiconductors?

There is a move to update the base material of devices from Si to SiC or GaN in the power semiconductor field to accelerate the pace of efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. We explain here what technological advances are needed in peripheral components such as capacitors and inductors to maximize the effect of that update.

  • Power semiconductors
  • Electric Vehicle (EV)
  • Renewable energy
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Capacitor
  • Inductors

Report on Murata's Participation in the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2023

Murata Manufacturing participated in the Automotive Engineering Exposition. This is an automobile technology exhibition that was held in Yokohama from May 24 to 26, 2023 and in Nagoya from July 5 to 7, 2023. We now introduce here the solutions we have proposed for the electrification, automation, connectivity, and otherwise of automobiles with a focus on the exhibition at the Nagoya venue.

  • Electric Vehicle (EV)
  • Battery
  • ADAS
  • Automated Driving
  • CASE
  • Sensors
  • Communication Module
  • RFID products
  • Thermistors
  • Capacitor
  • MF100 Fatigue Stress Meter

What Is Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) Wireless Communication? - Utilization

Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) is wireless communication technology that features low power consumption and wide-area and long-distance communication. Although the amount of communication data is small, communication over 10 km is possible. LPWA is attracting attention as the fundamental technology behind the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies in the smartification of factories, logistics, agriculture, housing, life infrastructure, and other facilities. We explain in this article LPWA utilization examples and Murata Manufacturing’s LPWA modules.

  • LPWA
  • Module
  • Wireless communication
  • IoT
  • M2M

What Is Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) Wireless Communication? - Basics

Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) is wireless communication technology that features low power consumption and wide-area and long-distance communication. Although the amount of communication data is small, communication over 10 km is possible. LPWA is attracting attention as the fundamental technology behind the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies in the smartification of factories, logistics, agriculture, housing, life infrastructure, and other facilities. We explain in this article LPWA basic knowledge.

  • LPWA
  • Module
  • Wireless communication
  • IoT
  • M2M

What Is Ultra-wideband (UWB) Wireless Communication?

UWB is the abbreviation for Ultra-wideband. UWB wireless communication is wireless communication that uses the ultra-wideband frequency bandwidth. Its main feature is that it enables high-precision positioning. UWB wireless communication has spread to consumer equipment in recent years. For example, UWB wireless communication is being equipped to smartphones to prevent loss and for other purposes and is being equipped to smart keys of luxury cars. It is expected that UWB wireless communication will spread to many fields in the future. We explain here about the features, history, uses, and other elements of this UWB wireless communication.

  • UWB
  • Position Measurement
  • Distance Measurement
  • Wireless communication
  • High frequency

“PIECLEX”, the Electricity-Generating Fibers: Untold Development Story (Applications and Outlook)

In the last issue “Technology and Challenges,” we introduced the advantages of PIECLEX, the inspiration behind its development, and the technical challenges on the road to productization. In this issue titled “Applications and Outlook,” we asked the developers about the potentials and future prospect of PIECLEX as well its social impact concerning the environmental issues.

  • Developer Interview
  • Antimicrobial
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Recycling
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Fibers

“PIECLEX”, the Electricity-Generating Fibers: Untold Development Story (Technology and Challenges)

“PIECLEX” is a type of fabric based on the completely new concept of “Stretch-driven Antimicrobial” that was developed by PIECLEX Co., Ltd., a company that was jointly launched by Murata Manufacturing and Teijin Frontier. We spoke with Mr. Shiomi and Mr. Takumi, two developers at PIECLEX, about the behind-the-scenes development of this new fabric. In this “Technology Explainer Section,” we introduce the advantages of PIECLEX, the inspiration behind its development, and the technical challenges on the road to productization.

  • Developer Interview
  • Antimicrobial
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Recycling
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Fibers

Bringing humans and machines even closer with sensors and AI

Super-Five Senses Created by Combining and Utilizing Sensors and AI

Information that could not be captured by the five senses of humans has become detectable with the evolution of sensors and the increase in sophistication of artificial intelligence (AI). We are now in the process of acquiring perception called the super-five senses with the assistance of machines. We explain here the development of technologies that will realize the super-five senses and the utilization of them.

  • Sensors
  • AI