Developing digitization and networking technologies while promptly responding to diversifying market needs
In order to anticipate to rapid technological change in the digital consumer electronics industry, we concentrate on developing technologies that are targeting several years into the future. Through this approach, we maintain a pipeline of products incorporating advanced technologies while ensuring rapid commercialization of our new products.
Technologies Currently Under Development
We have captured an overwhelming share of the market for existing DVD-related products incorporating red lasers by adopting a vertically integrated business model that encompasses everything from basic components such as pickups to hard disk drive equipment and application software.
For the next-generation blue laser devices, we intend to maintain the same business model of adding significant value. For our Blu-ray Disc players, we took the global initiative by achieving commercialization of players compatible with Profile 1.1 (Final Standard Profile). We continue to maintain our technological leadership by providing a wide-ranging product line incorporating the Profile 2 (BD-Live) player and its integration products with home theater systems and LCD TVs.
LCD Module Technology
We have been committed to developing and producting LCD modules as displays of printers, digital cameras, and LCD TVs. Moreover, we are working to introduce products with high added value, as well as DVD-related products, by developing high-performance LCD modules associated with display processors as well as modules optimized for application-specific systems.
Tecchnology Compatible with Digital Broadcasting
In the TV broadcasting business, the transition to digital broadcasting is now spreading out globally, and is expected to be completed around 2010. Digital tuners are required for such digitization; however, standard specificatitons for digital tuners differ among the key regions of North America, Europe, and Japan. Funai develops LCD TVs as a mainstream product for the global market and, as one of our current priority projects, we are focusing on more efficient development by adopting a common design technology.
Audio-visual Processing Technology
Image and sound processing technologies are important aspects of the development of advanced LCD TVs. In response, Funai has instituted development projects specialized for earch of these technologies and is committed to developing new technologies that can differentiate from subsequent new entrant manufactures in the basic performance.
For example, we developed our own semiconductors ASICS, so called Clear Pix ENGINE, which embeded our unique high-quality picture technology,and have incorporated these innovations in commercial products. As a result, we alreadyu offer high-definition images at low prices. Moreover, in the field of sound processing, we are developing technology capable of overcoming the conflicting demands for high-quality sound in a compact, thin-profile device.
In light of the growing demand for network connectivity in consumer electronics, we plan to steadily incorporate this feature into our products in response to the emergence of related infrastructure and the maturing of the market. We are developing DLNA, a home network, as well as wireless connectivity, Internet connctivity, and server technology to support this trend. Moreover, beginning from BD-Live, we will agressively add Internet connectivity to our other consumer electronics devices.
Supporting Fundamental R&D through Collaboration between Industry and Academia
Technical Development of High-Performance LCD Modules
Funai is taking the lead in the LCD module development sector. In order to ensure our predominance in high-resolution, thin-profile, and energy-efficient modules, we began to undertake basic R&D in 2007. Moreover, we intend to make further strides in device and system development in order to realize more efficient backlights, lower power consumption, and higher contrast.
Optical Pickup Technology
Working in collaboration with Kyoto University, we developed the technology for optical pickups, a key device capable of playing Blu-ray Discs. The development of optical pickups and aberration correction devices incorporating micro electro-mechanical sysems (MEMS) technology has made it possible to design high-performance Blu-ray Disc players offered at an economical price.
Interestingly, our optical pickup technology also exhibits features suitable for other applications beyond pickups alone.
The Compound-Eye Lens Optical Sensor
By combining a CMOS optical sensor with multiple compact lenses, Funai is developing subminiature and wide angle lens units. Each unit has the characteristic of sequential images in one capturing process. We anticipate a wide range of applications such as security cameras and onboard cameras by this innovative devices. We undertook research and development of this sensor as part of our collaboration with Osaka University.
R&D of High-frequency Antennas
DX ANTENNA CO., LTD., a member of the Funai Group, has developed the “smart” (omnidirectional) antenna; Funai is developing technologies and applications to control the antenna via a TV or set-top box. This technology has won high praise from the Federal Communications Commission of the U.S.A., who is promoting terrestrial digital broadcasting in that country; this acknowledgment has resulted in the adoption of our technology in that country; this acknowledgment has resulted in the adoption of our technology in the standard specifications fo FCC-certified set-top boxes.
Applied technology and applications resulting from this research have been identified as areas of research through our collaboration with The University of Electro-Communications. We are also conducting joint research with the university in such areas as IP base home networking and IPTV.
Development of Applied GPS Technology
GNSS TECHNOLOGIES INC., a member of the Funai Group, holds state-of-the-art technology for the infrastructure facilities for GPS signal retransmission. Working in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, GNSS TECHNOLOGIES is engaged in developing a system architecture and standardizing satellite positioning technology. We expect to use this technology in the development of future mobile networking consumer electronics products.
Other Fundamental R&D
Working in collaboration with Kyoto University, we are jointly developing optical technologies incorporating MEMS and are developing future applications for optical devices. And we have developing future applications for optical devides. And we have also developed a noise control technology utilizing a MEMS microphone and intend to apply this technology to a mobile terminal in the future. At the same time, FUNAI ELECTRIC ADVANCED APPLIED TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. is engaged in R&D of key devices for future products for FUNAI ELECTRIC such as nano gap memory, which is very likely to become the next generation of nonvolatile memory, while addressing fundamental development of a paper displya.
FUNAI ELECTRIC ADVANCED APPLIED TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC.
Conducting Advanced Research Focused Squarely on the Future
FUNAI ELECTRIC ADVANCED APPLIED TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. was founded to undertake research and development for industrial technologies that combine components, materials, and basic theories developed through cutting-edge technologies such as nanotechnology, a technology that will form the industrial infrastructure of the future. Building on our long-term vision, we will steadily develop our technologies; apply such technologies to our new products and production methods; and seek to create new businesses. According to Funai’s vision, broadly classified into display and storage, we are now undertaking research into the development of elemental technology and establishing a foundation for device development.