Fujitsu Employee Awarded Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in the 2016 Spring Conferment



KAWASAKI, Apr 29 – Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced that Fujitsu Laboratories employee Akira Nakagawa has been selected by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan to receive the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon for “the development of encoding technology and transmission equipment for digital video” at the 2016 Spring Conferment. The award ceremony will be held on May 17th.

The Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon award is bestowed upon individuals who have contributed inventions or discoveries in scientific fields, as well as outstanding accomplishments in academics, arts and culture, or sports. This award is for the commercial development of digital video encoding technology and H.264 video transmission equipment, which have contributed to the spread of HD video on a global scale.

Award Summary

1. Recipient

Akira Nakagawa, Innovation Director, Life Innovation Laboratories, Applied Innovation Research Center, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

2. Summary of Accomplishment

The years from 2000 to 2005 were witness to a growing volume of HD video broadcasts, which are of higher quality and overwhelmingly more realistic than conventional analog quality SD video. Demand was also growing for the ability to record and display HD content on TVs, cameras, PCs, and other devices. However, the cost burden associated with the devices and video transmission needed to shift to HD was prohibitively expensive.

In order to resolve these issues, the award recipient, Akira Nakagawa, led the R&D efforts on a number of technologies, beginning with a video encoding algorithm that greatly reduces the information volume of HD video at low power while preserving high quality, as well as an H.264 encoding chip that supports HD video based on the algorithm.

Another technology enabled HD video transmission through the public IP network, which was previously thought to be unsuitable for real-time data use for professional-level video with broadcast quality, and a technology that completely prevents deterioration from color bleeding that would happen in multi-stage video relays. The commercialization of these technologies resolved the issues of HD video device and transmission cost.

These technologies made commercially viable digital video encoding and H.264 video transmission devices, enabling huge reductions in the device and transmission costs of high resolution, realistic HD video. Through these technologies, H.264 video transmission equipment was adopted at broadcast stations around the world, contributing both to the development of an industry using HD video across a broad range of fields, from consumer equipment to professional-use broadcasting equipment, and to the growth of HD video on a global scale.

3. Other Awards Received by Akira Nakagawa

2008 – The Promotion Foundation for Electrical Science and Engineering Chairman’s Award and the Electrical Science and Engineering Promotion Award
2010 – SMPTE Journal Certificate of Merit Award
2011 – Local Commendation for Invention of Kanto – The Encouragement Prize for Invention
2013 – Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Prize for Science and Technology (Development Category)
2013 – The Ichimura Prize in Industry for Distinguished Achievement