Tadahiro Kuroda

Director, Systems Design Lab,
The University of Tokyo

Message from The Director on
The First Anniversary of d.lab

Oct. 1. 2020

A picture of Prof. KURODA

Message from The Director on
The First Anniversary of d.lab

In celebrating this first anniversary of the founding of d.lab, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for all your support.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of d.lab on October 1, we launched the d.lab Supporting Membership Program. Furthermore, the University of Tokyo Future Society Initiative (UTokyo FSI) is about to kick off the d3 Initiative. In addition, the Research Association for Advanced Systems (RaaS) was founded on August 17. With these efforts, we aim to shift into high gear both of our dual open-closed strategy of academia-society and industry-academia collaboration.

The increasingly fierce US-China battle for technological dominance is driving the fragmentation of the world’s supply chain. It reminds me of the Japan-US semiconductor trade war forty years ago. Japan’s semiconductor industry, which once dominated the world, had its competitiveness reduced by the US-Japan Semiconductor Agreement and continued to decline afterward. At the time it was just a problem between two countries regarding the semiconductor industry. But nowadays it is discussed in the context of geopolitical risk in the international community and national strategy.

This is the result of the transition of semiconductor from being an industrial necessity to a shared property of society. Semiconductors are indispensable for Japan’s realization of Society 5.0. They provide the foundational technology for the digital innovation needed to transform society from the industrial and information society of standardized mass production and consumption to a knowledge-based society where wisdom generates value.

In the industrial world too a game-changing shift from general purpose to specialized chips is happening.

At the same time, technology itself is going through a period of major transformation. The von Neumann architecture and semiconductor integrated circuit which were invented half of century ago to solve the connection problem of large-scale systems are approaching their limits in energy consumption and scaling. We are once again turning to interdisciplinary fusion for help.

How are we supposed to find our way around these revolutionary changes in society, industry, and technology? It is d.lab’s mission to pursue the answer.

Let’s pool our resources and press forward together in this rapidly changing world.