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KYOCERA Strengthens IoT Business through Expansion of Software Laboratory

Increasing team size to 200 by 2020 to develop new technologies

March 22, 2016
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) announced that it is promoting the acceleration and expansion of its Internet of Things (IoT) business. The company established its Software Laboratory in October 2015 which undertakes the mission of combining hardware and software technologies and enhancing value in the company’s diverse business fields including components for automotive, electronic and semiconductor applications, industrial cutting tools, printing devices and energy solutions. The Laboratory launched with a team of 20 employees and doubled to approximately 40 as of March 2016 with plans to further increase to around 200 by the FY2020 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2020).

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Leading innovation in various fields

Development Background

The IoT market continues to experience unprecedented growth with an estimated 26 billion devices to be linked to software by the year 2020*1. In Germany, the computerization of manufacturing has been promoted since the government’s Industry 4.0 action plan began in 2011. The U.S. is also making efforts toward developing IoT by establishing the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which involves major electrical and electronic manufacturers, semiconductor firms and telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Japanese manufacturers have also been pursuing efforts to combine hardware technologies with software, expecting new business opportunities as a result of the proliferation of IoT.

Kyocera offers components and possesses element technologies in a wide range of areas including the automotive-related, communications, environment & energy, and medical & healthcare markets. In recent years, software technology is becoming increasingly important for the competitiveness of components in addition to miniaturization. Kyocera’s Software Laboratory undertakes tasks including strengthening R&D infrastructure for embedded software in its components businesses; enhancing the development capability of cutting-edge software technologies for equipment businesses; and creating new businesses by integrating components & devices, equipment & systems, and services.

In December 2015, the Software Laboratory adopted IBM® Bluemix (herein “Bluemix”), a Platform as a Service (PaaS)*2, which provides the database and infrastructure to create, deploy and manage applications for the cloud. Bluemix has enabled Kyocera to improve its productivity in software development by sharing developed software on the platform with customer companies and also meet diverse needs for customization of existing services that Kyocera offers in the field of energy management.

“We aim to introduce IoT innovations by combining Kyocera’s hardware technologies with the new developments from our Software Laboratory,” said Kazumi Saburi, General Manager of Kyocera’s Software R&D Group. “Spanning several decades, we’ve supplied a diverse range of electronic components and devices to industrial fields ranging from automotive and information/communication to environmental and energy engineering and healthcare. Our knowledge and experience in these markets allows Kyocera a unique perspective.”

IoT Business Development Areas

Automotive industry
Promote driverless assistance and pre-crash safety systems by utilizing image processing technology cultivated through camera module development.

Medical and healthcare services
Develop digital healthcare support systems, which when combined with guidance from healthcare professionals, manage physical conditions by sensing biological information including pulse, blood pressure, blood-glucose levels and body temperature.

Security and surveillance systems
Utilize IoT technology to process high-resolution video from surveillance cameras with the goal of improving crime prevention and safety monitoring to protect children and senior citizens.

Other equipment
Improve service quality including maintenance and failure prognostics by connecting Kyocera’s solar power generating systems or Kyocera Document Solutions’ printers and MFPs to IoT-optimized software.

*1: Based on information issued by Gartner, Inc. For details, please visit http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2636073
*2: PaaS (Platform as a Service) is a model of global cloud computing services that provides a platform such as OS (Operating System) to deliver applications over the Internet.

IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Bluemix are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. For a current list of IBM trademarks, please visit http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml