Toward the future of “Tsunagu” (Connecting) Technology
Accelerating pace of R&D evolution at Fujikura
With a history of manufacturing and selling wire and cable that stretches back more than 130 years, Fujikura has established a solid base in the areas of power line systems and telecommunication line systems. In the area of telecommunication systems, Fujikura has continually been at forefront in researching and developing technology relating to optical fiber and peripheral products, which became the mainstream alternative to electrical cable in the 1980s, and we have maintained global top-level technology. We are rolling out such wire cable and optical fiber-related technology across electronic devices and automotive products, and are building a technology platform that will generate high value added in the areas of telecommunication systems, electronics, and energy.
At Fujikura, we have restructured our Advanced Technology Research Institute, which has spearheaded R&D thus far, and are accelerating our efforts to achieve even greater innovations in “Tsunagu” (connecting) technologies based on the technology platform we have established.
R&D Based on a Technology Platform
With the proliferation of smartphones and video content, the volume of data traffic is projected to triple by 2021, compared to the level in 2016.
At our Optical Technologies R&D Center, we are working to developing practical applications for ultra low-loss optical fiber for advanced optical telecommunications networks that transmits over long distances without deterioration in communication quality. Thus far, we have developed SWR™/WTC™ optical cable products that contain a large number of optical fibers densely packed into thin cables as a solution to increase capacity. We are working on commercialization of a multicore fiber that contains up to 19 cores within one optical fiber glass strand to further increase transmission capacity.
Fujikura has combined a broad range of optical technologies developed for optical fiber for telecommunications to develop a high voltage fiber laser for use in industrial equipment. Fiber lasers are used to cut metal, weld, and in other processes. We have already created a 12 kW multimode fiber laser product and are pursuing research and development of a single mode fiber laser that concentrates a light beam into a narrow line and can provide high precision, high-quality processing at a rapid speed.
At our Electronic Technologies R&D Center, we are pursuing research and development aimed at broadband wireless transmission involving passive components that use millimeter wave communications modules, quartz substrates, and other technologies suitable for 5th generation mobile communication systems (5G) that show promise as the next generation of mobile communication systems. We are also proceeding with PoC testing of a wireless system with energy-harvesting sensors (*2) equipped with dye-sensitized solar cells (*1) we developed as the power source. Another area of research and development we are working on is Yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting wire that achieves superconductivity at liquid nitrogen temperatures, which is targeted at application to medical MRIs and superconducting motors.
Our Automotive Electrical System R&D Center is working with Fujikura Technology Europe GmbH, our European R&D Center which was established in Frankfurt in FY2018, on research and development for the increasing electrification of vehicles, including high-voltage wire harnesses, battery charging components, high-speed in-vehicle Ethernet, and battery cable systems.
*1 Dye-sensitized solar cells: IoT devices that can generate electricity with high efficiency even with indoor light.
*2 Energy Harvesting Sensor Wireless System: A system that incorporates a dye-sensitized solar cell and can collect sensor data wirelessly without batteries or wires.
Solving social problems with “Tsunagu”(Connecting) Technology
As digital transformation progresses in industry, social infrastructure, lifestyles, and a host of other areas, we also need to repurpose the core technologies Fujikura has developed in our “Tsunagu” technologies, from the fresh perspective of using ICT technology to more closely connect people with information. At Fujikura, we are in the process of searching for an R&D framework that will generate new value through global collaboration with external research institutions, and through open innovation.
Executive Vice President & Member of the Board, Representative Director, in charge of Corporate R&D Unit, Corporate Production Unit