1998Technical Report

1.Development of MHEG Viewer


The authors developed a viewer program for MHEG, acronym for Multimedia and Hypermedia information coding Expert Group, by which one can interactively browse multimedia information coded by the MHEG format. The information may be consisted of motion picture (MPEG), still picture (JPEG or BMP, acronym for bit map), sound (WAVE), character (ASCII or JIS X 0208) data and so on.
In addition the authors drew up the MHEG profile that defines the complete specifications for the implementation.
Finally the authors will refer to an MHEG viewer for Macintosh programming accomplished in collaboration with companies that are playing a leading role in development of such subjects as the &puot;transition effect&puot; (scene change), playback of MPEG and WAVE data.

2.Development of Cable Modem System


The authors have developed a High Data Rate Transfer System (Cable Modem System) over a CATV.
The purpose of this project is to develop a new application over the CATV using multi-level digital modulation technology and CATV technology.
As a result of this project, the authors were successful in developing a cable modem system.
Main specifications of the Cable modem system are shown below.

Down Stream

Modulation Format : 64QAM(6MHz:ITU-T SG 9)
Data Rate : 31.644 Mbps
Data Multiple Format : TDM

UP Stream

Modulation Format : QPSK (100 kHz)
Data Rate : 128 kbps
Data Multiple Format : FDMA


Pioneer-Designed MAC Protocol for IP over Cable Pioneer's status
toward the agent technology

3.Development of a File Server System using CD-R/DVD-R Changer


We have developed a file server system with changers incorporating CD-R/DVD-R writers. The system can be used as a Huge Capacity Storage via network just like a large capacity HDD.
When using a DVD-R as a storage medium, the capacity of a 100 disc changer will correspond to about 400 Gbytes and the capacity of a 500 disc changer reaches about 2 Tbytes.

4.MPEG-4 Video Overview


The standardization of MPEG-4 is currently under way and is planned to be finalized in December 1998.
First an explanation is needed on a basic concept used in the MPEG-4 known as "Audio/Visual Objects (AVO)". The idea is to provide a means to code the audio/video information not only as a whole picture or sound but as an object that composes the picture or sound so that each can be optimized independently. This is different from the approach adopted by the former standards like MPEG-1 and-2 and therefore new functions can be realized.
Second the author will explain MPEG-4 video coding. To realize the function of an AVO that has an arbitrary shape, we need to use the information about the shape in the MPEG-4 video coding called the shape coding. Explanation will be given about the motion compensation and the texture coding on which the shape information has influence.
Finally the author updates the present status of MPEG-4.

5.Trend of the Agent Technology


The concept of an "agent" has been recently applied to the software technology and is becoming increasing active. Pioneer has joined the Foundation for Intellectual Physical Agents (later refereed to as FIPA) in April 1996. The purpose of this body is to specify an international standard for the Agent Technology.
In this article the author briefly describes the recent trends of the technology and the latest resolution of the FIPA.

6.A Network System for On-line KARAOKE


A network system for on-line KARAOKE has been developed. The center host computer is able to transmit MIDI music files to the KARAOKE terminals via the public telecommunication network. The host computer can receive several kinds of account data from the terminals such as number and genre of requested music. Because the system is used by plural number of distributors and customers, the authors developed with the following targets in mind.
  1. Cost effective operations
  2. Security of data
  3. Reliability and Security
The system consists of
  1. A center host computer that deals with distribution of music files, data and application management etc.
  2. A center host computer and sub-host computers that interact between KARAOKE controllers and the host computer. The sub-hosts are installed in areas all over Japan.
  3. KARAOKE controllers that select and play music files and terminals that send the account data.
The main features of the system are the following.
  1. Music files are transmitted periodically and stored in the KARAOKE controller using the incorporated hard disk drive so that low cost and prompt response to a music selection is possible.
  2. A centered management in the host computer makes the running cost minimal and the relay using sub-host computers minimizes communication costs.
  3. The center host computer manages data or applications on an individual distributor basis in order to establish system's and data security. The authors named it the "house configuration".
  4. System operates 24 hours a day.

1.Digital volume holographic memory


Improving the performance of the storage material is one of the highest priorities in putting 3-D holographic memory to practical use. The authors found that by using stoichiometric LiNbO3 single crystals, containing very little nonstoichiometric defects compared with commonly used congruent LiNbO3, higher recording sensitivity, higher diffraction efficiency, and a lower bit-error rate was obtained in a digital holographic multiplexing recording system. The superiority of stoichiomtric LiNbO3 becomes apparent with the extraordinary ray layout where recording times an order of magnitude less than those obtained from conventional congruent LiNbO3 structures using ordinary ray layouts.
The authors also developed a compact "demonstrator" able to record motion picture digital data using a single LiNbO3 crystal.

2.Electron Beam Mastering for High Density Optical Disc


A mastering system for the next-generation digital versatile disc (DVD) is required to have a higher resolution compared with the conventional mastering system.
The authors have developed an electron beam mastering machine which features a thermal field emitter and a vacuum sealed air spindle motor.
This resulted in the following findings:

  1. The electron beam recording showed better jitter values in the reproduction signal than those obtained from a laser beam recording. This was evident in test cuttings of a disc with a recording density of approximately 12 Gbytes/side.
  2. Recording accuracy of the electron beam recorder were comparable to those of a conventional laser beam recorder.
The authors have shown that electron beam mastering is feasible with a higher resolution and that it could be a prominent candidate if further resolution is required.

3.High density optical disc mastering using photobleachable dye


To realize the next generation of DVD, the authors have devised a new optical disc mastering process making use of photobleachable dye. Adopting this new process, a 15 Gbyte prototype disc was made, which the authors tentatively set as the target capacity for the next generation of DVD. The disc was read using a playback system equipped with a crosstalk canceling system.
The playback system had SHG laser (?= 430 nm), a high NA objective lens (NA= 0.6) and the crosstalk cancel system.

4.Tilt Servo Using A Liquid Crystal Panel


TThe authors have made used of a Liquid Crystal Device (LCD) in a tilt servo for an optical disc system.
Compared with a mechanical tilt servo, this system is more compact and has a faster reaction time.
In addition, improved reliability is expected as there are no moving parts involved.
The principle of the system is that wave front aberration, caused by disc tilt, can be compensated by changing the refractive index of an LCD incorporated in the optical pickup. This is done by controlling the applied voltage to an LCD pattern optimized for tilt compensation.
The authors have also developed a method for tilt error detection based on variations in the RF signal level. A tilt servo without using any separate sensors is thus achieved.
A radial tilt margin of more than 1.5 degrees for a DVD disc playback was obtained.

5.High Density Reproduction System using a Cross-Talk Canceller


To increase the playback capacity for the next generation of DVD, the authors investigated a cross-talk canceler (CTC) that cancels the cross-talk components from adjacent tracks vis-a-vis the center track being read.
The CTC system reads the two adjacent tracks of the center track by projecting three beams on the three tracks at the same time. It then generates quasi-cross-talk signals from the adjacent tracks' signals and subtracts these from the center track signal.
A disc having the same recording format as that of the current DVD with a narrower track pitch was experimentally prototyped. A track pitch and minimum pit length of 0.37 μm and 0.25 μm respectively, was used with the capacity corresponding to 15 Gbytes. The disc was evaluated for jitter using a pick up head with an SHG blue laser (wavelength:430 nm).
The CTC system contributed to the improvement of jitter and could provide virtually the same tilt margins as that of the current DVD system.

6.Development of a DVD Dual Layer Disc manufacturing process


The authors at PVC have developed a proprietary structure and manufacturing process for single sided dual layer DVD disc production. The gold (Au) semi-reflective layer is covered with a photopolymer protective layer. This protects the Au layer from foreign particles which, the authors found, physical damage. To circumvent this type of damage, a spacing layer, made of an adhesive sheet having high transmittance is added to protect the Au layer. Optical and playback characterizations satisfy the DVD specifications. The spacing layer is characterized by a uniformity of the thickness with negligible variation.
A vacuum pressing and Film-Liquid bonding method was developed which has advantage in terms of bubble defects. Furthermore, high-pressure air pressing treatment achieves better playback characteristics.
The disc durability was confirmed under test with the optical and mechanical characteristics after the durability test remaining almost the same as compared to those prior to the test.

7.Development of DVD-RW (ReWritable) Disc


The authors have developed a DVD-RW (ReWriteable) disc which can be played on DVD-ROM players as an extension of the disc category of the DVD-R system. The resulting disc has characteristics which are equivalent to those of the DVD-R disc. Although its reflectivity does not conform to that of a DVD-ROM single-layer disc, it satisfies the dual-layer disc specification (Rtop≧ 18 %). The disc uses a groove recording method and showed the following characteristics: modulation≧ 60 %, jitter≦ 8 %, number of overwrite cycles≧ 1000 and tracking signal of differential phase detection Δt/T≧ 0.5. The data capacity is 3.95 GB/side. Moreover, the authors have confirmed the possibility of even higher density recording which could be an equivalent counterpart of the 4.7 GB/side DVD-ROM.

8.DVD-R Format


The specification of DVD-R 3.9 Gbytes disc, "DVD Specifications for Recordable Disc ver.1.0", was published in July of 1997. This specification is constructed with the physical format specified in Part 1 and the logical format specified in Part 2.

9.Development of An Incremental writing DVD-R system And A DVD-RW System


The authors have developed a prototype DVD-R system with incremental writing capability along with a prototype DVD-RW system on which a pre-formatted DVD-RW disc, having identical pre-format to that of a DVD-R, is playable and/or recordable.
The authors confirmed that the DVD-R and RW discs, made using the developed systems could be reliably played back on Pioneer commercially available DVD video players.

10.A simple authoring systems for DVD-VIDEO using DVD-R drive


We propose a simple DVD-video authoring systems as one of many possible DVD products. A simple DVD-video authoring system can be created using a PC, a DVD-R drive and some easy-to-use software. Using this a user will be able to create DVD-video from his home videos. A prototype DVD-video authoring system was constructed using a PC, DVRS-101 and specially developed software.
We confirmed that DVD discs made using the simple system developed could be played on DVD players currently on the market.

11.DVD-VIDEO authoring system for still pictures with audio


We propose a DVD-VIDEO authoring system for still pictures with audio. The authoring system for still pictures makes possible DVD-VIDEO disks with many photographs or bitmaps. The system can multiplex photographs and audio data. So the discs made by this system can be played as a "Slide Show" by DVD-VIDEO players.

12.Development Of A DVD Navigation System


A DVD Navigation system utilising a single sided, dual layer DVD disc containing a complete geographic map of Japan along with extraneous information has been realized. The DVD disc also contains programming code to make full use of the DVD capabilities.
The unit consists of

  • A DVD-ROM drive
  • A car computer

High precision absolute and relative positioning sensors and processors. Reliable design which takes account of noise and high temperature conditions
The large amount of data recorded on the disc and the high speed at which this data can be processed along with improved position detection makes for a superior product. By internalizing the navigation functions the entire system is realized in a single compact unit which is very easy to install.

1.Development of High Efficiency Electron-Emission Device (HEED)


The device was found that has higher electron-emission efficiency and emission current density than those of the existing cold cathodes. The structure of this device is an MIS type or Pt/SiOx/Si/Al on a thermally-oxidized Si substrate.
The thickness of the Si layer and the SiOx layer were 5 μm and 400 nm respectively, and all of the films can be deposited using generally available technology. The authors named this device as High Efficiency electron-Emission Device (HEED), which the authors think will be applicable to the next generation flat panel display equipment, and to vacuum microelectronics devices.

2.High Luminance Efficiency, High Definition and High Contrast Co-Planner AC-PDP with "T"-shaped Electrodes


The authors developed "T"-shaped electrodes divided in each discharge cell targeting brighter and high definition co-planner type AC-PDPs. A luminance efficiency of 1.2 lm/W and a contrast ratio of 150:1 for a 40-inch VGA panel and 1.0 lm/W for 50-inch XGA wide panel were realized using these electrodes and a low-voltage resetable discharge drive. In our discharge cell structure, the maximum tolerance necessary for panel assembling process was 0.03 mm.
Accordingly, the authors developed the high precision manufacturing process thereof and succeeded in mass-producing the PDP products.

3.Development of a 50 inch AC Hi-Vision PDP


The authors developed essential technologies such as a high-speed addressing method and a dynamic false contour reducing method by which one can display high quality and fine resolution picture in Hi-Vision and XGA formats.
These efforts made it possible to produce the world premier 50-inch High Definition PDP.

4.Organic Electroluminescent Displays


An Organic EL display is a self-emissive type and it provides wide viewing angle, high contrast ratio and fast response time.
The authors have improved the characteristics of the organic EL devices and developed technologies for putting the organic EL display into practical use.
The technologies consist of the following four points:

  1. Micro-patterning process for the cathode of the organic EL display by introducing cathode separators of the shape of a reverse tapered cross section.
  2. Technology to ensure reliable encapsulation.
  3. Circular polarizer to improve contrast ratio of the display panel.
  4. Newly built driver and controller ICs.

Each one of these points shall be described in detail

5.Development of a driving circuitry for an Organic EL Dot-Matrix display


he authors have developed a driving system and circuit for a 256 x 64 Dot-Matrix display of Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) device.
To avoid the effect of parasitic capacitors that could hinder the sure driving, a new method was engineered which can reset cathodes of the OEL device. The display luminance of 100 cd/m2, frame rate of about 100 Hz and a 2 bit gray scale were realized by this method. At the same time, the authors succeeded in integrating all the necessary circuitry for the system into ICs and in building a display module. They are incorporated in the products today at the Tohoku Pioneer Electronic Corp.

6.Development of an LCD Projector with Reflective LCD Panels


The authors developed an LCD Projector which can represent characters, graphics, still pictures and movies with high resolution and brightness by employing reflective LCD panel named as "DRI", or Digital Reflective Imaging. The DRI has been realized by introducing up-to-dated semiconductor processes. It flattens the surface optically of the 1024 x 768 dot active-matrix transistors formed on a single crystal silicon, on which dielectric reflective layer is deposited and realized 98 % or more reflectivity. Corresponding reflective optics to cope with the DRI was also developed.

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