Background and purpose

The purpose of this social cooperative program is to perform fundamental research on next-generation high-performance energy-efficient computing systems and devices. These systems and devices are the basis of advanced energy-efficient information processing required for future advanced information society with high energy utilization efficiency.

Background

To meet the growing demand for more advanced information society, electric devices/systems in computers have been continuously required to have higher performance and lower power consumption, and the CMOS technology have steadily advanced electric devices/systems with the same rate of technology trend. The growing social demand will inevitably continue in the future. However, it is generally recognized that the present CMOS technology has encountered the difficulty to maintain the same rate of technology trend. Under this circumstance, researchers have begun to explore the possibility of another technology to realize next-generation computers with super performance and super low power consumption, using novel operating principles, novel information processing methods, and novel electronic devices. In addition to this movement, other noteworthy technologies have also extensively investigated to realize computers for a specific function and computers with novel functionalities. This is because the priority of the required function varies depending on electronic device application which is greatly diversifying.

Purpose

The brain of living things is considered to perform information processing in a significantly different way from the conventional computing devices and achieve high performance in some aspects despite its structural compactness and low energy consumption. In neural computers inspired by such biological information processing, a large number of operational units (neuronal units) are well connected and an efficient information processing is achieved by parallel distributed computing. Therefore, the mechanism and structure of neural computers have potentials to be applied to next-generation high-performance energy-efficient computing devices which are unlike CMOS integrated circuits based computing devices. However, there still remain many issues to overcome for this purpose. For instance, to realize large-scale neural computers like biological brains only with low power consumption in the future, we need to drastically decrease power consumption per operation unit device as well as optimize interconnections between the operation unit devices. For resolving these important issues, researchers of system side and device side are studying fundamental problems in a complementary style, e.g. how to operate algorithms for meaningful computational applications, how to realize desired output characteristics in individual operation unit devices, and how to effectively integrate the devices.

In this social cooperation program, researchers specializing system science and those specializing device science collaborate with one another. By this collaboration of researchers with different research backgrounds, it is expected to create information processing technology based on a new concept completely different from the conventional one.

Education activity

This social cooperation program actively promote education of graduate students and international young scientists in the above research field and related fields. The professors of this social cooperation program accept graduate students in the master course and the doctoral course of department of electrical engineering and information systems, graduate school of engineering. Refer to the member page for details.

Social cooperation program

Social cooperation program aims to make a collaborative research between the University of Tokyo and corporations for research topics with high public benefit. It is maintained by collaborative research expenses covered by a corporation based on the contract between the University of Tokyo and the corporation. In 2012, the University of Tokyo and IBM Japan, Ltd. have established the social cooperation program in Kawasaki Business Incubation Center (KBIC), which is an incubation facility for R&D corporations, and have been promoting the collaborate research.