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Latest Information 2016 Vol. 462

31st Kenjiro Sakurai Memorial Prize from the Optoelectronics Industry and Technology Development Association

Z-PLUS Fiber™ 130 ULL
Z-PLUS Fiber™ 130 ULL

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. received the 31st Kenjiro Sakurai Memorial Prize from the Optoelectronics Industry and Technology Development Association for recognition of the company’s efforts to develop and commercialize ultralow-loss optical fibers for submarine cables.

The prize was established in 1985 to recognize the contribution by the late Kenjiro Sakurai, a former director of the Optoelectronics Industry and Technology Development Association, to the development of the optoelectronics industry, as well as to promote further development of and education within the industry.

Sumitomo Electric succeeded in the first commercial production of pure silica core fiber*1 in 1988. Since then, the company has developed and provided related products for nearly 30 years. In 2013, by further reducing the Rayleigh scattering loss*2 of pure silica core fiber, the prize-winning researchers succeeded in mass-producing ultralow-loss pure silica core fiber, which had a minimum transmission loss of 0.149 dB/km and an average transmission loss of 0.154 dB/km, both breaking the research-level record in the world at that time and still retaining the product-level record in the world today.

The newly developed ultralow-loss optical fibers were commercialized and began to be shipped as "Z-PLUS Fiber™ ULL" and "Z-PLUS Fiber™ 130ULL" in 2013. The products have already been adopted in several submarine cable projects, such as a trans-pacific subsea optical fiber cable project that enables high-capacity transmission of 10 Tb/s or more per fiber, significantly contributing to the global expansion of optical fiber communications.

The prize recognized the indispensable value of the technology developed by the researchers in satisfying the needs of exponentially growing Internet communications and its contribution to the development of the optoelectronics industry in the future.

Encouraged by the prize, Sumitomo Electric will continue its R&D and product development to contribute to the progress of society.

Pure silica core fiber: optical fiber using pure silica (SiO2) at its center, the core
Rayleigh scattering loss: optical scattering loss caused by fluctuations of the refractive index in a frequency shorter than the wavelength of light, due to fluctuations of additive composition and density fluctuations in glass, which is one of the main causes of transmission loss in optical fibers

The details of this prize are as follows

1. Prize winners
Masaaki Hirano, Yoshinori Yamamoto, Yoshiaki Tamura, and Yuki Kawaguchi
2. Prize-winning project
Development and commercialization of ultralow-loss optical fibers for submarine cables
3. Overview of the prize
The development of technology to reduce transmission loss in optical fibers has realized ultralow-loss optical fibers suitable for long-distance, high-capacity transmission and opened the way for commercial applications.
Optical Communications R&D Labs

Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Award in FY2015: Excellent Business Establishment in Association with the Development of Vocational Ability

Itami Works won the Minister’s Award on November 20, 2015, in recognition of its cooperation in implementation of vocational skill tests* for many years and its efforts in developing many qualified personnel.

Itami Works, by concluding a cooperative agreement with the Hyogo Vocational Ability Development Association, has provided a test site for many years, including facilities and equipment together with human resources such as examiners, in implementing the vocational skills proficiency test stipulated in the Human Resources Development Basic Act .

While doing this, Itami Works has also continued its efforts to develop the skills of its workers to enable them to pass the proficiency test, creating about 750 qualified persons in the past 33 years. The Minister’s Award recognized both the cooperation mentioned above and these efforts.

Itami works, while maintaining its cooperation with the association, will effectively use the proficiency test and continue developing skilled workers that sustain the basis of manufacturing.

*Qualifying examination for the maintenance of mechanical and electrical systems

Itami Works

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