Vol.2 No.3 2009
Research paper : Creating non-volatile electronics with spintronics technology (S. Yuasa et al.)−202−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.2 No.3 (2009) such as electronics, there is an advanced separation of labor such as among manufacturing systems manufacturers, raw materials producers, device manufacturers, and foundries. Therefore, cooperation with appropriate partners at each stage of R & D is essential. The tag-team approach used by AIST and the manufacturing system manufacturer in this case can be called a model case for Type 2 Basic Research. The importance of production system manufacturers is generally still not fully recognized, and we feel that AIST should actively send out that message through examples of success such as this.As a final matter, we attempt to analyze the factors of success relating to commercialization in a mere three years from obtaining the results of Type 1 Basic Research in the R & D reported here. We can say that the key to success is measured by “the potential of technology seeds.” When Type 1 Basic Research produces some remarkable capability, it is thrust into the limelight and draws great praise. In product development, however, all of ten or more important item tests must be passed, and even one failure can be a fatal defect that makes commercialization impossible. Even if it is a “landmark new technology” that gets published in a well-known scientific journal, there is most often some fatal defect, and in nearly all cases, the valley of death cannot be crossed. Although only the rare technology seeds that have true potential can cross the “valley of death”, and even for those cases the stage of practicality cannot be reached without many collaborators and endorsers brought together from the industrial world. The key here is how to bring together capable collaborators and endorsers. Our feeling is that if the technology seed has strong potential and suitable results are announced with appropriate timing, “People will naturally gather together.” Technology seeds that have strong potential draw capable people. In industry, most people are conservative, and views of new technology are most often skeptical and critical, but there are certainly also developers and managers who can see the potential and appropriately evaluate new technology. If technology seeds fail to bring together collaborators even after a number of announcements and industry is completely unmoved, it is best to first consider whether one’s own technology seeds might have weak potential before putting the blame on the conservatism of industry. NoteThis research was done in part with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and also from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) Nanotech Challenge Project and the NEDO Spintronics Non-volatile Devices Project. Parts of this work were done in joint research with Canon ANELVA Corporation and Toshiba Corporation.TerminologyDRAM: A type of large capacity memory used in computers. Information is stored by charging capacitors. When the power is cut off, the capacitor is discharged and the stored information is lost (volatile memory).SRAM: A type of volatile memory used for CPU cache memory, etc. that uses the bistable state of a flip-flop circuit to store data. It is fast and highly reliable, and also compatible with logic circuits, but it is not suited to increased integration scales and power consumption is high.SSD: An external storage device that uses flash memory as the recording medium. 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