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Kyocera extends software laboratory in IoT push

Steve Rogerson
April 1, 2016
Japanese company Kyocera is strengthening its IoT business by expanding its software laboratory, opened in October last year. The laboratory combines hardware and software technologies including components for automotive, electronics and semiconductor applications, industrial cutting tools, printing devices and energy.
The laboratory was launched with a team of 20 employees and this was doubled to approximately 40 last month. There are plans to increase this to around 200 by the 2020.
The IoT market continues to experience growth with an estimated 26 billion devices to be linked to software by 2020. In Germany, the computerisation of manufacturing has been promoted since the government’s Industry 4.0 action plan began in 2011. The USA is also making efforts towards 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 the IoT.
Kyocera offers components and possesses element technologies in a wide range of areas including the automotive, communications, environment, energy, and medical and healthcare markets. In recent years, software technology has become increasingly important for the competitiveness of components in addition to miniaturisation.
Kyocera’s software laboratory undertakes tasks including strengthening R&D infrastructure for embedded software in its components businesses; enhancing the development capability of software technologies for equipment businesses; and creating new businesses by integrating components, devices, equipment, systems and services.
In December 2015, the laboratory adopted IBM Bluemix, a platform as a service (PaaS) that 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 customers and meet diverse needs for customisation 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 and communications to environmental and energy engineering and healthcare. Our knowledge and experience in these markets allows Kyocera a unique perspective.”