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NEC C&C Foundation Awards 2018 C&C Prize

- Recognition of outstanding contributions to the fundamental mechanism for quantum annealing machines and the development of thin-film organic light-emitting devices -

TOKYO, Oct 10, 2018 - (JCN Newswire) - The NEC C&C Foundation today announced that the 2018 C&C Prize will be awarded to two groups for their contributions to quantum annealing and to research into random spin systems which underlie the fundamental mechanism enabling the development of quantum annealing machines, and to discovery and pioneering development of thin-film organic light-emitting devices. Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimori will represent Group A and Prof. Ching W. Tang will represent Group B. Each recipient will be recognized with a certificate of merit and a plaque. Each group will also receive a cash award of ten million yen.

The C&C Prize was established in 1985 and is awarded to distinguished persons in recognition of outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering work related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields. This year's two recipient groups are outlined below.

The prize ceremony and acceptance speeches will be held on Wednesday, November 28 from 15:00 at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.

2018 C&C Prize Recipients

Group A

Professor Hidetoshi Nishimori

Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor, Tohoku University


For contributions to quantum annealing and to research into random spin systems which underlie the fundamental mechanism enabling the development of quantum annealing machines


Quantum computing is computing that exploits the quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement. Two quantum-computing approaches are commonly known. One approach replaces classical logic gates with quantum gates that perform computations with quantum algorithms. The other approach, called quantum annealing (QA), solves the optimization problem by means of an Ising model or other statistical physics model. It is believed that superimposed quantum bits (qubits) can be used in quantum computing to perform massively parallel computations and high-speed processing of data. This ground-breaking computing capability is expected to enhance materials development and combinatorial optimization and, moreover, has potential for future artificial intelligence applications.

Prof. Nishimori's quantum annealing, as a technique of quantum computing, has greatly enhanced the possibility of quick resolutions for complex combinatorial optimization problems that were difficult to solve with traditional methods. His innovative achievements, particularly, his fresh ideas from a field of theoretical research in random spin systems that is away from the information science field, are worthy of special mention. In recent years, Prof. Nishimori has participated in an IEEE Standards Association group to promote standardization of a quantum computer language. He is also involved in the Quantum Enhanced Optimization program, which was launched by the U.S. Government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop high-performance quantum annealers. Through his involvement in these projects, Prof. Nishimori continues to actively contribute to the development, expansion, and dissemination of quantum computing technology. Quantum annealers are interesting not only for their high-speed performance, but also for their ability of low power consumption to utilize superconducting qubits. In light of the high expectations set on quantum computing in promoting sustainability and solving the increasingly complex issues facing our information society, Prof. Nishimori's remarkable achievements make him an excellent recipient of the C&C Prize.

Group B

Professor Ching W. Tang

Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester
Professor, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


For discovery and pioneering development of thin-film organic light-emitting devices leading to the progress of organic electronics industry


Interface technologies are the backbone of today's information and communication society. Flat panel displays (FPDs) in particular play a vital role as general interfaces as well as in compact information devices like smartphones that support everyone within the reach of the mobile internet. While liquid crystal displays (LCDs) have long dominated the FPD market, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which work on the principle of organic electroluminescence (EL), are becoming more and more popular. OLEDs are characterized by their thin, shape-free, flexible, and surface-emitting design, and their low-voltage characteristics that are ideal for portable devices. They outperform LCDs in providing high-contrast images, high-speed response, and wide viewing angles. OLEDs have already acquired a substantial share of the compact information device market and have begun to be used in TVs and other large devices. Their myriad features may lead to revolutionary new device interfaces that will enrich the lives of people in the information society.

Prof. Tang's extensive research on organic electronics, especially OLEDs, culminated in his discovery of a highly luminous and efficient layered thin-film structure with separated functions, has remained one of the most important technological contributions in today's display industry. Since their commercialization in the late 1990s, OLEDs have surpassed LCDs to become the mainstream mobile displays. Furthermore, OLED TVs have been on the market since the late 2000s, and their sales are expected to grow in the future. Besides outstanding image quality and design, OLEDs feature low power consumption, enabling compact devices that connect people and have minimal impact on the environment. These and other aspects have made OLEDs crucial elements in various information devices and display devices; they will help to ensure the sustainability of Computers & Communications (C&C) and the information and communication society. In recognition of the enormous impact his pioneering work on OLEDs has had on the world, we believe that Prof. Tang would be an excellent recipient of the C&C Prize.

About The NEC C&C Foundation

The NEC C&C Foundation is a non-profit organization established in March 1985 to foster further growth in the electronics industry by encouraging and supporting research and development activities and pioneering work related to the integration of computers and communications technologies, that is, C&C, and ultimately to contribute to the world economy and the enrichment of human life. The Foundation is funded by NEC Corporation.

The Foundation currently has two main activities. It presents the annual C&C Prizes to recognize outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering work in the area of C&C. Candidates are recommended from all over the world. Each prize winner receives a certificate, a plaque, and a cash award (ten million yen per group). As of 2017, 110 prominent persons had received the prize. In addition, an Outstanding Paper Award for Young C&C Researchers is awarded annually to outstanding paper(s) presented at an international conference overseas with the support of a grant from the Foundation. Each recipient is given a cash award of 200,000 yen.

The Foundation also gives the following two grants: (1) grant to enable researchers in Japan to attend international conferences overseas to make presentations in the field of C&C and (2) grant to non-Japanese researchers in Japan.

For additional information, please visit The NEC C&C Foundation website at:

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. The NEC Group globally provides "Solutions for Society" that promote the safety, security efficiency and fairness of society. Under the company's corporate message of "Orchestrating a brighter world," NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, visit NEC at

Source: NEC Corporation

Seiichiro Toda        
[email protected]

Copyright 2018 JCN Newswire . All rights reserved.

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