TRON Forum

Please join us in congratulating TRON Project on its 40th year in 2024

Please join us in congratulating TRON Project on its 40th year in 2024

Happy New Year. Thank you for your continuing support for TRON Project and best wishes to all of you for the new year.

As the title of this e-mail suggests, the year 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of TRON Project since its inception. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have supported TRON Project. Thank you very much.

On this 40th anniversary year, TRON Project received the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Technology Award from the IEEE and an IEEE Milestone.

The IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Technology Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology. About 35 awards have been issued. In the past, many outstanding engineers have received the award, including Ray Dolby, Martin Cooper, Linus Torvalds and Steve Wozniak.

Furthermore, I feel that the awarding of the IEEE Milestone is a great honor for TRON Project as a whole. This milestone is awarded to an international invention, product, or project in recognition of its industrialization and long-term contribution to society. A commemorative nameplate is given and installed forever, and I deeply feel the weight of it. (it weighs about 10 kilograms actually). There are about 240 IEEE milestones in all, commemorating achievements rather than individuals, and ENIAC, for example, has been awarded in the computer field.

At the TRON Symposium ─ TRONSHOW which is held every December, the people involved were invited to speak at the special session "Significance of IEEE Milestone Award Commemoration," which was held on the first day.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported us in receiving these international recognitions, and we would like to thank everyone who has given us tremendous support since the early days of TRON Project.

Forty years have passed since we first began aiming for the world of the IoT, and TRON Project is now evolving toward the new possibilities of AI + IoT with the advent of generative AI.

As AI + IoT advances, there is a demand for higher performance of individual edges, but if this is simply linked to the expansion of computing resources at the edge, the more AI + IoT advances, the more it will consume global resources in society as a whole. With this in mind, the theme of this symposium was "DX2GX ̶ The Future of Carbon Neutral Society Envisioned by ICT."

In the keynote speech, I talked about the potential contribution of ICT to measures against climate change, with a view to further technological innovation and future prospects. TRON Project has long advocated the IoT-Aggregator model as one candidate for technological innovation. Rather than unnecessarily increasing the performance of the edge, TRON Project separates the functions that are always necessary from those that are necessary in limited situations, and if advanced processing is required for the latter in particular, it is externalized via the network.

In realizing the ideal of this IoT-Aggregator model, it is necessary to increase the number of possible connections between devices and cloud by an order of magnitude, while simultaneously reducing network power consumption and communication latency by an order of magnitude. This can be achieved with "IOWN," an all-optical network. Mr. Katsuhiko Kawazoe, Senior Vice President of NTT, introduced the IOWN in detail at this symposium. By combining IOWN, which has dramatic performance compared to current networks, with 1/100th the power consumption, 125 times the transmission bandwidth, and 1/200th the latency, with the TRON OSs, which excels in real-time performance, the edge will have minimal safety and communication functions only in the future--a "thin edge," so to speak.

The symposium also featured a session with the winners of the "Daiwa House Industry Open Data Challenge for Smart Logistics," and a session introducing the "Open Data Platform for Public Transportation and Digital Vitalization of Local Economy" with Mr. Katsumi Ise, Executive Vice President, East Japan Railway Company (JR East), and Mr. Manabu Miyasaka, Vice Governor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Many people's attention was drawn to these sessions and others.

In September 2023, "The Ministry for the Future," a climate change science fiction with my commentary, was published by Personal Media Corporation, an Executive Committee member of TRON Forum. I spoke about the technology and social institutions that appear in "The Ministry for the Future" as a starting point for topics in my keynote speech at the symposium. Since the publication of the original book by Kim Stanley Robinson in October 2020, this climate change science fiction has been mentioned as "one of the must-read books" by former U.S. President Barack Obama and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. At the symposium, through "GX Session ─ The Ministry for the Future," the evolution of embedded systems and the IoT required for Green Transformation (GX) and the role expected of Digital Transformation (DX) were discussed by Kaoru Kuwata, Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and, Toshihiro Ohnuma, Japan Lead, Geo Partnerships, Google LLC.

In addition, TRON Forum opened TRON Programming Contest on December 11, 2023. This is a programming contest for engineers and students from Japan and abroad to compete in the fields of microprocessor applications, middleware, development environment, and tools using μT-Kernel 3.0. The contest will be held with special cooperation from four major microprocessor manufacturers.: Infineon Technologies K.K., STMicroelectronics K.K., NXP Semiconductors, and Renesas Electronics. The contest also receives technical co-sponsorship from the IEEE Consumer Technology Society West Japan Joint Chapter.

Ten microprocessor boards from each of the four special cooperating companies and micro:bits (50 in total) are available. Microprocessor boards will be given to the entrants who have been selected after the screening of the submitted plans. These microprocessor boards shall be used to develop the entries. TRON Forum will accept entry applications until Sunday, March 31, 2024. If you are up to the task, please visit the special contest webpage and take advantage of this opportunity to enter the contest.

In just one year since its full-scale release, generative AI is impacting all industries on a global scale. Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation And Design (INIAD), Toyo University where I serve as dean, has already fostered many young students in the new technology by making ChatGPT freely available to all students. In TRON Project, we would like to work with people who are proficient in these new technologies to see how embedded systems can contribute to addressing climate change and energy issues.

Thank you all for your continuing support of TRON Project this year.

January 1, 2024

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