Corporate Distinguished Engineer

Sony certifies its engineers as "Corporate Distinguished Engineer" who formulate and execute technology strategies
while identifying signals of change, and support the development of talent in order to ensure Sony’s sustainable growth.
We formulate the technological strategies that underpin our Sony’s corporate strategy beyond the existing frameworks,
support the execution of corporate strategies through technology by building global network and identifying signs of change.
We will also discover engineers with high potential and support their development.

Seiya Amatatsu

Mechanical development and design

Specialized in mechanical development and design (development and design using polymers and metals, anticipatory cosmetic and mechanical element technology)

Alexander Berestov

Deep Learning based camera signal processing

Advanced knowledge in deep learning-based camera signal processing with the emphasis on sensor design, auto focus system, image processing pipeline, computational photography and computer vision applications. Additionally focusing on multi-sensor content capture for VFX and contribution to international standards for point cloud and mesh compression (MPEG-I).

Eric Diehl

Content protection, Security and blockchain

Specialized in content protection, Digital Rights Management, imperceptible watermark, fingerprinting, tamper-resistance (software and hardware), advanced key management, threat analysis, blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric.

Larry Gritz

Computer graphics for film visual effects and animation, Software engineering, Open-source software development for the film industry

Larry Gritz developed computer graphics technology for animation and visual effects for film production at Sony Pictures Imageworks. His work has included realistic 3D rendering, simulation of lights and materials, and image processing. He is the designer of Open Shading Language, a programming language widely used in high-end computer graphics for film, and founder of the OpenImageIO project.
Leading the Open-source software development at Sony Pictures Imageworks, developing computer graphics technology for use in film production, and exploring how machine learning should be used for visual effects and animation.
Holds
Ph.D. in computer science. Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Received Academy Scientific and Technical Award for Open Shading Language. ASWF technical advisory council.

Sang Han

Large scale cloud architecture, Software engineering

Sang Han has been engaged in architecting and implementing enterprise grade, highly resilient and dynamically scalable applications using object oriented & web programming frameworks, multi-threaded/concurrent processing, event messaging/queuing/streaming, relational databases, virtualization & cloud technologies. He also has deep knowledge of object-oriented programming & UML design, E/R & schema design for RDMBS/Document/XML/Network DB’s, Web & Micro-services architecture/application stacks for browser based & native mobile apps, and data warehousing/ETL/BI reporting systems.
Key achievements are implementing auto-scaling logic leveraging upstream telemetry data to predict capacity requirements based on near term volume changes, managing risk and its mitigation on large scale, complex, and long-term integration or development projects. He leads teams spread across 4 continents through the software engineering life cycle processes and agile practices.
Additionally, mentoring software engineers to architect robust and modular systems using data modeling principals and object-oriented design patterns.

Tatsuya Haraguchi

Network services, Application of advanced technology to entertainment business

Developed information recommendation technology as a software engineer at Sony. After that engaged in a wide range of operations including music-based social media management, web media management, mobile application development, and business management of music distribution business at Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. Exploring advanced technologies in the entertainment business, utilizing advanced technologies for various types of entertainment such as music, anime, and games, and promoting technology-based new business creation activities.

Takashi Isozaki

Statistical causal inference, Data science

Ph.D. in Engineering. Expertise in data science, including basic statistics, as well as research on general-purpose methods and algorithms for statistical causal inference, mainly in the search and discovery of causality from data, and their application to industry. Takashi Isozaki is also involved in the development of data analytics based on causal inference.

Hayato Iwamoto

Process technology design of semiconductor devices

Since joining the company, Hayato Iwamoto has been engaged in research and development of semiconductor process technology and process integration technology.
In particular, he has contributed to the fundamental process design of BSI (backside illumination) CMOS image sensors and realized the start-up in the mass production of the world’s first BSI CMOS image sensors, which greatly contributes to Sony's device business.
He has also led the mass production of a globally acclaimed stacked CMOS image sensor with Cu-Cu direct bonding technology, including its technology research. Currently, he manages the overall design of semiconductor processes ranging from image sensor devices to Microdisplay devices.

Markus Kamm

Development of optical systems

Majored in physics at university. After finishing University, Markus Kamm first specialized in liquid crystal optics and later expanded his expertise to illumination-optics and imaging-optics, as well as computational imaging. The central theme of all his activities is the design of optical systems, related to products like projectors, cameras, depth sensors and spectral sensors. For that purpose, he works with several commercial simulation tools (Zemax, LightTools, VirtualLab) but also develops tools by himself (C/C++, Matlab). Currently he is exploring how to bridge the gap between physical optics and geometrical optics, in order to integrate nanophotonic components into classical optical systems. In addition to technical skills, he has also gained experience working with universities and start-up companies in Europe and the USA.

Makiko Kan

Unified design of algorithm and hardware

Ph.D. in mathematics. After joining Sony Corporation, studied forward error correction (FEC) codes, especially algebraic codes such as Reed-Solomon and BCH codes and probabilistic codes such as turbo and LDPC codes. Subsequently, proposed LDPC codes and their peripheral technologies for worldwide digital broadcasting systems in order to obtain standard essential patents in FEC and developed standards and their receiver hardware. As a derivation from the Bayesian network used in the LDPC decoder, also now studies the deep neural network and its implementation, together with sensing signal processing.

Yiotis Katsambas

Animation technology focusing on creative collaboration

Focusing on the technology needs of Sony Pictures Animation and leading the development of innovative applications that enhance creative collaboration. One of those applications is Flix, which is now a commercial product used at many other major animation studios during the story development process. Other applications include innovative workflows for streamlining the design process, rendering, creative reviews, file management, project management, and more. Contributed to the technology needs of many feature animation productions including the worldwide hit “Hotel Transylvania” films, the Academy Award-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and the Academy Award-nominated “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”

Thomas Kemp

Audio, Speech recognition, Machine Learning

Thomas Kemp has been working on statistical machine learning during most of his career. He has applied the methods mostly to audio-related topics (i.e., Speech recognition, Speaker identification, Music analysis, Sound analysis), but has also used it in the context of recommender systems for music, video, and games. His background is automatic speech recognition. Lately, he has been working on Deep Neural Networks and methods to compress them such that they can run on embedded devices.

Hiroki Kikuchi

Advanced optical technology

Majorly specialize in physical optics, laser optics, nonlinear optics (interaction of light and material), and laser application technology. Having been engaged in research and development of new categories of products such as laser displays, laser microscopes (Semiconductor manufacturing inspection equipment), volumetric light field displays, and AR glasses with expertise in optical technology. Currently specially interested in exploration of nanophotonics technology. Also have experience in joint research and development with universities, research institutes, and high-tech companies in Japan and overseas.

Tetsuya Kimura

System architecture design

Started the software development business focusing on the design of User Interface in the product development of Camcorder and digital still camera. Engaged in overall architecture design through the framework and OS areas, as the progress of software in system development expands with the digitization of recording and playback media. Especially in the area of Digital Imaging, while designing a common system for main products, also involved in the design area of LSI specifications and responsible for the system architecture design of overall product development.

Yoshiyuki Kobayashi

Deep Learning, Machine Learning

AI and machine learning technologies mainly based on deep learning, signal processing technologies, and application development.
In particular, deep learning for images, machine learning methods with automatic architecture optimization using evolutionary computation, GUI-based tool development for high development efficiency, and music information retrieval. Consulting and human resource development for the practical application of machine learning.

Reference:
What is uniquely Sony about our AI x Robotics? (March 1, 2019)

Hiroaki Matsumoto

Sensing platform technology adviser

Hiroaki Matsumoto has more than 30 years of experience in system LSI development, software development, image signal processing, and algorithm development for camera products. Sensing Platform developed in Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation is a large system that includes various technologies such as sensor devices, Machine Learning, Vision signal processing, from Edge to Cloud. His main mission is to support project owner and project manager on technology issues related to system architecture and underlying technologies.

Katsuki Minamino

Speech processing, Language processing, AI technology

Developed a speech recognition algorithm for car navigation and the entertainment robot AIBO/QRIO. Then worked on research and development of robot intelligence models at Sony Intelligence Dynamics Laboratory. Subsequently led the development of speech and language AI technologies for Human Machine Interaction, voice UI, voice agents, and entertainment content creation.

Yuki Mitsufuji

Generative modeling, Music technology

Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology. Since 2015, Yuki Mitsufuji has been leading teams that developed the sound design for the Play Station® game title called “Gran Turismo Sport”, and spatial audio solution called “Sonic Surf VR”. Together with business units, his teams won awards such as TIGA award for best audio design for Gran Turismo Sports, and a jury selection at Japan Media Arts Festival for their 576-channel sound field synthesis called “Acoustic Vessel Odyssey”. From 2011 to 2012, he was an invited researcher at Analysis/Synthesis Team, Institut de Rechereche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), Paris, France. He was involved in the 3DTV content search project sponsored by European Project FP7, in research collaboration with IRCAM. He serves as Specially Appointed Associate Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech).

Reference:
Reviving the Sound of Classic Movies with AI - AI Sound Separation (November 18, 2020)
New Excitement and Fun Ways to Enjoy Video and Audio Content - AI Sound Separation x Entertainment

Hiroshi Mukawa

Display technology of Augmented Reality glasses

Starting from the invention and research on optical displays of AR glasses, Hiroshi Mukawa has led the set product development and its commercialization, as well as the development and commercialization of AR display modules. In recent years, at R&D Center, his team developed a prototype of AR glasses with a spatial tracking function and conducted a public demonstration. He is leading the AR HMD product and technology strategy by understanding trade-offs among image quality, form factor, and cost of various optical display systems.

Kazuta Nakamura

Carrier network, Optical transmission devices

Kazuta Nakamura has been engaged in optical communication related business for over twenty years. He acquired knowledge of optical devices, circuit design, and quality control through the experience of developing wavelength division multiplexing devices. He has contributed to designing and constructing various optical networks such as carrier networks over major cities throughout Japan, campus networks, and public networks. He also has detailed knowledge of access technologies in FTTH, and then his expertise covers the optical communication technologies from access to backbone networks.

Gabriele Nelles

Materials science, Structure and function correlation

Technical expertise in Material Science covers a wide range of material classes, surface science including coating and processing techniques, test device creation and material-function correlation for a variety of applications in organic electronics, energy harvesting, and life science.
Working in the fundamental research, Gabriele Nelles is supporting the next and current generation products, bottom-up project creation, exploring new opportunities for Sony, and on-demand scientific assessments supporting decision making. Along with the material science expertise, she is also skilled working in an interdisciplinary and international environment, promoting scientific discussions with internal and external experts.

Reference:
Pursuing Diversity and Globalization to Strengthen Sony’s Technology (September 10, 2020)

Jun Nishikawa

Research and development of new lens types and lens design methods for catadioptric (reflection-refraction) optical system

Jun Nishikawa has experiences in the lens design and product development of the entire range of projection lenses, from ultrashort throw (UST) to long throw lens. In particular, he has been involved in the development of UST lenses using aspherical mirrors since the early 2000s. While experiencing various difficulties, he has been involved in the lens design of 4K UST projectors and other products. Recently, he has been researching new lens system and its lens design methods on UST lens with catadioptric relay. This lens system enables significant miniaturization and low distortion onto curved screen, which could not be achieved with conventional UST lenses.

Kazumasa Nomoto

Display device, Semiconductor technology, Device physics

Expertise in material/process/device/analysis technologies for organic/compound semiconductors, amorphous/polycrystalline silicon, and CMOS, display device technologies, and device physics. Theoretical and experimental experience ranges from basic research to development in terms of material, process, device, and systems. Recently taken a leadership role in the field of organic and flexible displays in both academia and industry. Additional expertise in display industry analysis, collaboration strategy, and education. Ph.D. (Science), SID Fellow.

Junichi Ogikubo

Solution development, System and software architecture design, Video and graphic processing, and AI

As a hardware engineer, Junichi Ogikubo was in charge of video signal processing LSI and system design for digital VCR. Subsequently, he became a software engineer and worked on the development and design of video processing software libraries, video production applications, and cloud services for professional production such as broadcasting and cinema.
Currently creating new content using AI, computer vision, etc. Also forming a community to support it.

Toshiyuki Ogura

Technology strategy, Technology evangelizing

Worked on the development of television displays and drive circuits/systems, video processing systems, and television chassis. Later worked on planning and implementing technology strategies, and market introduction for DI, digital imaging, and TV business. Currently, leading ecosystem evolution covering production, distribution, and reproduction, with the focus on content experience evolution. Additionally, exploring the direction of entertainment evolution at home and the evolution of cognitive video experiences, and thereby enhancing the content experience. Awarded Sony Outstanding Engineer 2016, IDW ‘18 Best Paper Award, and SMPTE “The Presidential Proclamation 2022.”

Reference:
Who is 8K reality for? (May 13, 2019)
Toshiyuki Ogura, Sony Group's Corporate Distinguished Engineer, Is Awarded the 2022 SMPTE Presidential Proclamation

Yusuke Oike

Image sensor architecture, Image sensor device technology

Yusuke Oike was involved in the development of analog circuit technology, digital signal processing technology, and pixel device technology for CMOS image sensors, and had realized the novel image sensor architectures from research and development to commercial products. Recently, in addition to high-quality imaging, he has been engaged in sensor technologies with AI era, developing advanced technologies for invisible light sensing, spatial (ranging) sensing, and dynamic vision sensing.

Kazumi Sato

System software development and System software architecture

Kazumi Sato has knowledge and development experience in operating systems such as Linux and system software such as filesystem and networking. Along with the understanding of Open-source software technology, he also has technical knowledge of robotics, autonomous driving, and sensing, with a focus on system software. He understands the requirements of various products and system solutions within Sony, to consider the system software architecture that matches the requirements and lead the technical development. He also leads internal Open-source strategy and Open-source compliance activities.

Ryo Sawai

Communication engineering, Information theory, Digital signal processing, Radio system architecture design, Spectrum legislation, and International standardization

Ph.D. Specially Appointed Associate Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology. Ryo Sawai has expertise in digital signal processing, 4G/5G and other mobile communications, wireless LAN, software-defined radio, cognitive radio networks, and research, development, legislation, standardization and new business development of Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA). Leadership in industry-academia-government collaboration, collaboration with Japanese and overseas universities, and collaboration projects with overseas laboratories in Japan, China, and Europe. For the DSA, he has contributed to its commercialization in the United States, Europe and Japan, and his team has obtained commercial system certification both in the United Kingdom and the US. Winning Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award at the 33rd Radio Achievement Award and Sony Outstanding Engineer Award 2021.

Reference:
Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) - Optimizing Use of Radio Frequency Resources towards the 5G/Beyond-5G Era (August 31, 2020)
New Experience Value to be Achievable only by “Sony x 5G” (June 28, 2019)

Tokihiko Sawashi

Immersive audio and acoustic system architecture development

Tokihiko Sawashi has been developing to improve the music listening experience in a room, in a car, and with headphones. Currently, he is developing an architecture that realizes the production, distribution, and playback of 360 Reality Audio, which can express the sound in a full 360-degree sphere. In addition, in order to reproduce full 360-degree spherical sound even with headphones, he has been leading the team to develop personally-optimized HRTF, reproduce acoustic space of the music studio, and optimize the characteristics of headphones.

Dietmar Schill

Wireless communications, Signal processing

After completing a Ph.D. in communications and information theory, Dietmar Schill worked for many years in the area of hierarchical modulation and broadcast transmission systems. Today, he is responsible for projects and researchers in a wide area of technologies, such as speech and language processing, AI, image and video processing with RGB, EVS as well as multispectral sensors, nano-photonics, optics, mm-wave radar, indoor localization, nearfield communications (NFC) as well as digital communications.
He also finished an MA in business studies up to “Vordiplom”, the half-time exam in the former German university curriculum.

Noboru Shibuya

System architecture, Product planning

Abundant experience in product development ranging from embedded systems to open systems, and extensive experience in product development projects from system architecture development to commercialization and launch.
Noboru Shibuya implements product planning to create new value through my ability to propose solutions to customers' needs using technology. He is a connoisseur of technology who searches for and utilizes the necessary technology to solve problems, and the leading expert of surgical endoscopes/microscopes at Sony. Recently, he has been studying the creation of new medical value.

Johannes Solhusvik

CMOS image sensor design

Inventor, chip architect, and technical leader of three high dynamic range (HDR) CMOS image sensor product lines for the automotive market. The three HDR technologies have become industry standard and mandated by automotive Tier1s and OEMs. In each case it led to market leader position. The first case occurred in 2008 with the invention of triple exposure high dynamic range sensor readout scheme which was widely adopted by OEMs and Tier1s across the world. The second case occurred in 2011 with the invention of Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) readout technique which widens the dynamic range in a single exposure, thus avoiding motion artifacts in the combined image. This invention made an impact not only in automotive but also in the security camera market and is now an industry standard technique used by practically all CIS vendors. For the DCG invention, Johannes Solhusvik was the winner of 2017 Image Sensors Europe award for ‘Biggest Breakthrough Development’. Thirdly, he and his team developed split-diode HDR pixel technology products which offer flicker free HDR capture when there are blinking (LEDs) or oscillating lamps in the scene. Today, all the above mentioned HDR technologies are used by the CMOS image sensor industry to boost image quality and to enable safer cars.

Michael Spranger

Artificial Intelligence

AI researcher and roboticist by training. Michael Spranger has contributed research on robotics and construction of autonomous robot systems including research on robot perception, world modeling and behavior control.
He has also made contributions to AI and Machine Learning (ML) areas including Natural Language Processing as well as more exotic topics including artificial language evolution. His skills and research interest within AI, ML and robotics are broad and range from extensive knowledge in symbolic processing to ML to motor control. His research has been published in top venues in AI such as IJCAI to top venues in ML, e.g., NeurIPS to top venues in Robotics, e.g. IROS. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and several patents. He is active in the AI community, ML, developmental robotics, and computational linguistics.

Tetsuji Sumioka

System LSI Architecture, System LSI Development

Wide range of knowledge and skills acquired by developing more than 20 types of system LSIs. In particular, technology to break down product requirements into LSI specifications and system architecture at a feasible level, technology to implement algorithms to hardware in a optimum size, design technology for large-scale SoCs by using advanced semiconductor process, management of LSI total design. In addition, construction skills of LSI total development, production and business by using Sony and other company’s technologies.

Teruhiko Suzuki

Image/Video signal processing, coding technology

Research and development of fundamental technologies related to image/video compression. Teruhiko Suzuki contributed to video codec algorithm, signal processing and standardization related to MPEG-2, AVC, HEVC, VVC. He also contributed to the product development and related standardization, e.g. DVD and digital broadcasting for MPEG-2, Blu-Ray, AVCHD and XAVC for AVC, 4K HDR for HEVC. In recent years, he has been developing compression technology using point cloud, and proceeding with application development for video production and sensing technology.

Reference:
Two Sony Engineers Honored with METI’s Industrial Standardization Awards (December 18, 2020)
Standardization creates social infrastructure (March 1, 2019)

Toshifumi Takaoka

Development of Intelligent, Low latency camera system

Specialty is processing sensor signal, controlling actuators and development of camera system technology. Toshifumi Takaoka chooses best combination of sensor and signal processing algorithm by understanding about material characteristic. Recently, he is challenging to achieve limit response of human by combination of AI and actuation, and introduce them to consumer market.

Yoshikazu Takashima

Advanced technology for content creation and distribution

Evaluation and introduction of advanced technologies for Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc businesses (e.g. production, post production, distribution, marketing). Introducing Cloud/Remote tools, next generation image & sound format, AI/ML tools, Data analytics, and Sony R&D technologies into SPE workflow. Fostering Sony electronics product evaluation community with Hollywood creators.

Tetsuya Tatsumi

Plasma process

Tetsuya Tatsumi specializes in plasma physics. He has long been involved in research and development of device manufacturing processes such as dry etching technology. He has a wide range of knowledge and expertise from basic research to device development and mass production. He has also led joint research activities with institutes and universities. Papers on the mechanism of plasma and surface reactions during etching and damage formation of various materials have been highly evaluated worldwide.
Ph.D. (engineering). Fellow of the Japan Society of Applied Physics. Specially Appointed Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Akira Toyoshima

Leveraging advanced technology to insurance and finance business

Specialty is technology advisory dedicated to insurance and finance business; Specialize in financial-unique back-end technologies with an emphasis on fault tolerance, cloud computing, AI and machine learning to improve operational efficiency. In addition, leading HR development for technology specialists in the financial group.

Yoshifumi Ueno

Service design development technology consisting of growth hack and design thinking, and Data analysis area

Worked on the design of applications for VAIO since VAIO’s launch. Along with the establishment of the PC Application Center, Yoshifumi Ueno has contributed to each division’s efforts to develop Windows/Mac applications. He has subsequently been engaged in technologies such as growth theory, design thinking, and data analysis through service development centered on cloud and mobile technology. He is currently promoting solution development through AI development and data utilization, and accelerating contribution to business through data analysis.

Yosuke Ueno

Analog circuit design

Engaged in research and development of semiconductor analog circuits especially for data conversions, clock generations and data communications, and commercialization of the circuits. Applications range from games, wireless communications such as TV tuners and GPS, to stacked CMOS image sensors and distance sensors. Along with the realization of new functions, Yosuke Ueno has been continuously working on high accuracy, high speed, low power, and miniaturization.

Magdalena Wasowska

Security, Privacy, Blockchain, Data analytics, AI/ML, Cloud services

Expertise was mathematics with the specialization in the game theory at Warsaw University. Magdalena Wasowska joined Sony in 1996 as a software engineer. She has gained knowledge in various technologies such as embedded SW, cloud technologies, security, privacy, blockchain, big data analytics, ML/AI as well as vast experience in all aspects of product development from research and QA to productization and factory processes.
Most recent examples include:

  • Privacy preserving secure computation technologies (differential privacy, MPC, homomorphic encryption)
  • Fraud detection systems (combining rules, machine learning and neural networks)
  • Blockchain & Web3 technologies for Decentralized Digital Identity, Rights & License and crypto asset management

Her team also offers offensive security services to find exploitable vulnerabilities in Sony products and services.

Reference:
Pursuing Diversity and Globalization to Strengthen Sony’s Technology (September 10, 2020)

Shinya Yamakawa

Semiconductor device simulation, Semiconductor device modeling

Engaged in Semiconductor process/device simulation and modeling; Revealing stress enhancement mechanism of high-k/metal gate technology for advanced CMOS; Next generation simulation and transistor device development for image sensors. Serving as Chair of the Symposium on VLSI Technology. Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Kazuyuki Yamamoto

Interaction technology

Expertise in interaction technology using various sensors, display devices, and advanced algorithms. Kazuyuki Yamamoto has taken a lead in concept creation to development, design, IP portfolio building, and human resource development in these areas.
Commercialization of touch panel UI, motion gesture UI, haptic feedback, etc.

Takayuki Yoshigahara

Computer Vision

Engaged in various aspects of Computer Vision. Specialty in the technology development for the purpose of extracting information from images, such as basic algorithms (camera calibration, tracking, segmentation), 3D image sensing (stereo vision, structure from motion), image recognition (object detection, face/human identification) and so on. Takayuki Yoshigahara has worked extensively on the development of new businesses for Sony. Specialized areas as sciences are projection geometry, mathematical optimization, Bayesian statistics, and machine learning.

Teiji Yutaka

Interactive technology as Real-Time Graphics, UI

Since developing the first-gen PlayStation®, long career in gaming industry. Currently Teiji Yutaka is leading research of the cutting-edge technologies to contribute to future PlayStation®. Wide variety of future research especially, photo realistic rendering technology by Real Time Ray Tracing and UI technology using emotion recognition by machine learning.