Japan’s NTT Corp and Fujitsu today (26 April) announced the signing of a strategic alliance designed to work towards the ‘Realisation of a Sustainable Digital Society’, reportedly ‘leveraging their respective strengths to deliver innovation that contributes to the resolution of societal and environmental challenges’. In a press release, the two companies set out a vison for an energy-efficient, global digital society in which open collaboration supports a wide range of partners working on an Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative; IOWN in a concept proposed by NTT for networks and information processing infrastructure.
Specifically, the pair said they will conduct joint R&D activities toward the creation of ‘energy efficient, sustainable technologies in areas including open architecture optical transport and mobile communications technologies, combined with disaggregated high-performance computing, all of which are made possible by innovation in photonics-electronics convergence device technologies’. With NTT working alongside various partners to develop innovative technologies under IOWN, by the end of fiscal 2022, NTT Electronics Corporation (NEL) – which develops hardware products utilising NTT R&D’s advanced device technologies – will acquire a 66.6% stake in Fujitsu Advanced Technologies Limited (FATEC), which possesses semiconductor mounting technology. FATEC will begin business as NTT Electronics Cross Technologies Corporation, and commence operations on 1 June 2021, it has been confirmed.
The release goes on to say: ‘In the mobile communications field, in order to promote more open mobile networks in anticipation of the Beyond 5G era, the two companies will study the development and promotion of open interface-based technologies, as well as the development of global businesses based on the results of these activities. The first step is to develop technologies that can be established globally with a variety of partners through avenues including the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem launched by NTT DOCOMO.’ Moreover, on 1 April 2021 Fujitsu established the ‘IOWN/6G Platform Development Office’ with the aim of developing technologies for the IOWN initiative and the 6G era. R&D in this areas is now underway.