Site:                Matsushita Research Institute Tokyo (MRIT)
                      3-10-1 Higashimita
                      Kawasaki 214-8501

Date Visited:  4 June 1999

WTEC Attendees: L. Katehi (report author), T. Itoh, W. Stark, M. Iskander, R. Pickholtz, D. Friday,
                      J. Maurice, N. Moayeri, B. Mooney

Hosts:           Dr. S. Yamashita, President of MRIT
                    Dr. M. Makimotom, MRIT
                    Dr. M. Sagawa, MRIT
                    Mr. M. Hasegawa, MRIT
                    Mr. K. Takahashi, MRIT
                    Mr. S. Ueno, MRIT
                    Mr. Y. Watanabe, MRIT
                    Mr. H. Ogura, MRIT
                    Mr. R. Hori, Director of Matsushita Communications Industrial Co., Ltd. (MCI)
                    Mr. K. Kurosawa, MCI
                    Mr. N. Nakajima, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI)


MRIT is the Matsushita group's R&D Center located in Tokyo. The center employs about 230 research engineers. Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. Ltd. has six production plants in Japan, two in Europe, one in the United States, one in Mexico, and eight in Asia. The business areas the company emphasizes are in Communications, Automotive Electronics, Professional Audio/Video and Data Processing, and Measurements with annual sales of about ¥800-900 billion, with about ¥600 billion coming from Japanese markets and about ¥250 billion from international markets.

The major drive in the Japanese wireless market is the reduction of cellular phone size to less than 100 gr, less than 68 cc, and with more than 330 hours of lifetime. To respond to the needs of the market and develop infrastructure that allows for engineering innovations, Matsushita has a number of closely collaborating centers including Matsushita Battery Industrial, Matsushita Electronics Components, the Multi-media Development Center, the Matsushita Semiconductor Engineering Center, and the Matsushita Research Institute Tokyo (MRIT).

To capture the market, the company is quickly moving to W-CDMA planning to have products available by 2001. The wireless phones the company presently has available are PDC and GSM. However, the product line includes CDMA-1 to help the company expand to the American market and TDMA for future wireless devices. For the third generation mobile communications world the company is preparing products for home/office/public applications, which will be based on W-CDMA and mobile IP. Furthermore, the company is developing products for home and office security.


MRIT is trying to develop an advanced mobile communication technology that will facilitate movement towards a multimedia society. Basic technologies for mobile communications include microwave devices and circuits, antennas and propagation, digital wireless systems, and wireless data networks. The research efforts under each area are given below.

Microwave Devices and Circuits

The major effort of MRIT is concentrating on the development of miniaturized, high performance components for a low cost RF system on a chip technology. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the development of novel millimeter-wave integrated circuits, RF filters with high Q and small size, in addition to wireless terminals, radar sensors, and other RF components.

Antenna & Propagation

In this area the research is concentrating on the development of an integrated antenna design technology such as millimeter-wave built-in antenna, antenna array for ETC, adaptive array antennas and digital beam forming. Finally, in wave propagation, there is a serious effort in multi-path analysis and wireless system design.

Digital Wireless Systems

For digital systems, research is underway for the development of an advanced Codec Technology. Also work is performed in high-speed data transmission, high performance receiver technology (diversity, adaptive equalizer, OFDM) and base-band digital signal processing.

Wireless Data Networks

Internetworking protocols for wireless communications is a large research subject with specific emphasis on Routing, mobile IP, terminal mobility etc. The company is looking at the development of advanced cruise-assist highway systems, multimedia wireless LANs and dedicated short-range communication systems. The attributes of the mobile multimedia access communication systems under study are shown in Table D.1.

Table D.1
Attributes of Mobile Multimedia Access Communication Systems


High Speed Wireless Access

Ultra-High Speed Wireless LAN

Frequency Band

25/40/60 GHz

60 GHz

Transmission Rate

Av. 10 Mbps (Max 25 Mbps)

156 Mbps




Service Area



W-CDMA (IMT 2000)

Matsushita's W-CDMA systems feature global roaming, multimedia transmission of 8 kbps to 384 kbps (2 Mbps) and high frequency utilization. The W-CDMA products extend from voice to visual terminal to PC card terminal to ground stations.


MRIT is funding a variety of research efforts, some of which are described below.

Millimeter Wave System Integration on a Chip

The millimeter wave is expected to be a frequency resource for the next generation's mobile communication systems and is aimed at achieving a high frequency PC-card-type radio terminal. To realize all the wireless functions, including the antenna and the filter on a chip, a three-dimensional hybrid IC structure is one of the most effective solutions. Matsushita has recently developed a 3D millimeter-wave IC that uses silicon micromachining. For the development of this IC several technologies have been utilized including dual mode resonant filter, multi-layer thin-films on silicon and flip-chip bonding for the GaAs devices. This circuit has been utilized in a 25 GHz receiver down converter and has an area of 11 mm2 including the built-in micromachined filter.

High-Power Amplifier Linearizer

In vehicular telecommunication systems, the nonlinear distortion introduced by the power amplifier in the transmitter has to be compensated for through high efficiency. Matsushita has developed a linearizer by means of the "hybrid adaptive pre-distortion method," which is characterized by much less complexity and less power consumption than the "feed forward method." This method was found experimentally to provide a satisfactory ability to compensate for linear distortion and to improve efficiency in the amplifier.

Adaptive Array Antennas

With a fixed zone adopted for base stations, it is possible to increase the number of mobile stations in one area and realize efficient frequency utilization by changing the antenna patterns of the base station adequately. Matsushita has developed a system that recognizes the direction of the arriving beam and turns the antenna in that direction by adaptively changing the phase and amplitude of the individual radiators. The configuration of this system allows for high speed tracking of the various mobile stations. A high resolution algorithm is applied to the eight antenna elements and enables a very good estimation of the direction of arrival.


Matsushita's vision is summarized in the following and is discussed separately on issues related to (1) infrastructure (see Table D.2), (2) bottlenecks, and (3) important R&D activities.

Table D.2


PCS-Mobile Internet

Fixed Services

Other Applications

Next 5 years

W-CDMA (384 kbps-mobile)

LAN: 20-30 Mbps

Electronic Toll Collection System (ETC)

Next 10 years

10-20 Mbps Mobile

LAN: Very High Speed 100 Mbps

Road-side Vehicle, inter-vehicle communication

Next 15 years

156 Mbps

LAN: Ultra-High Speed 1 Gbps

Advanced Cruise Assist Highway System


The issues Matsushita identified include the following:


Table D.3 shows the areas in which the company is investing heavily.

Table D.3
Areas of Heavy Investment



Signal Processing

Modem and Codec



High-speed, high-frequency devices

High Directivity, Planar Antennas


Adaptive Modem

Adaptive Multi- rate codec

Seamless architectures

Micromachined devices

Integrated Antenna-Circuits

Parallel Signal Processing

Interfer. Canceller

Error concealment

Routing for mobile


Adaptive Antennas

Spatial and Temporal Signal Process.

Software Radio

Compression using visual and audio


System on a Chip

Dynamic Cell Control


Published: July 2000; WTEC Hyper-Librarian