Ken Sakamura (坂村 健, Sakamura Ken, born July 25, 1951 in Tokyo, Japan), as of April 2017 is a Japanese professor and dean of the Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation and Design at Toyo University, Japan. He is a former professor in Information science at the University of Tokyo (through March 2017). He is the creator of the real-time operating system architecture TRON.
In 2001, he shared the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Well-Being with Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.
As of 2006, Sakamura leads the ubiquitous networking laboratory (UNL), located in Gotanda, Tokyo as well as the T-Engine forum for consumer electronics. The joint goal of Sakamura's Ubiquitous Networking specification and the T-Engine forum, is to enable any everyday device to broadcast and receive information. It is essentially a dusted-off TRON, paired with a competing standard to RFID.
Since the foundation of the T-Engine forum, Sakamura has been working on opening Japanese technology to the world. His previous brainchild, TRON, the universal RTOS used in Japanese Consumer Electronics has had limited adoption in other countries. Sakamura has inked deals with Chinese and Korean universities to work together on Ubiquitous Networking. He has also worked with French software components manufacturer NexWave Solutions, Inc.
In May, 2015, Sakamura received the prestigious ITU150 award from ITU along with Bill Gates, Robert E. Kahn, Thomas Wiegand, Mark I. Krivocheev, and Martin Cooper. The following is the citation given by ITU:
Born in Tokyo in 1951, Ken Sakamura received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Keio University, Japan in 1979, and subsequently became a research associate at the University of Tokyo, where he has stayed ever since. Currently, he is a professor of the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo, the director of the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory (UNL for short), and the chair of TRON Forum and uID Centre. He has been the leader of TRON Project since 1984, and has designed the TRON open computer system architecture which will be useful for ubiquitous computing of the future.
Today, the real-time operating systems based on the TRON specifications are used for engine control on automobiles, mobile phones, digital cameras, and many other appliances, and are believed to be the among most popular operating systems for embedded computers around world. The R&D results from TRON Project are useful for ubiquitous computing. For example, UNL joined the standardization efforts at ITU-T and helped produce a series of Recommendations, including H.642 “Multimedia information access triggered by tag-based identification”. The idea behind H.642 series is based on de facto “ucode” standard developed by UNL for communication in the age of the Internet of Things.
For his achievements, Sakamura has won many awards: Takeda Award, the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government, Okawa Prize, Prime Minister Award, and Japan Academy Prize. He is a fellow and the golden core member of the IEEE Computer Society.