Obituary - Dr Ryoiku Togei

Past Vice-President of the IEC leaves a semiconductor legacy

By Philippa Martin-King

A past Officer of the IEC, Dr Ryoiku Togei, has died aged 77. Togei's association with the IEC dates back to 1980 when he first participated as Japanese delegate for IEC TC 47: Semiconductor devices.

An historic moment: the development of the first IEC Masterplan with Richard Brett, Ryo Togei, Hans Gissel, Anthony Raeburn, Mathias Fünfschilling, photo taken in Valais, Switzerland, 1992.

From academia to industry

Ryoiku "Ryo" Togei, who was born in 1935, was special adviser to the EIAJ (Electronics Industrial Association of Japan) and a Vice-Chairman of the IEC Council of JISC, the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee. He was also a Vice-President of the IEC.

Having graduated from Tohoku University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, he went on to major in nuclear physics, receiving his Master's degree in 1960. He joined faculty in the Physics Department of the University of Ryukyus as a lecturer and, in 1964, went abroad to continue his studies in the US. He received his PhD degree from the University of Utah in 1970 with a thesis on compound semiconductors. From then, Togei continued as a post-doctoral fellow in the Physics Department of University of Utah until his return to Japan.

In 1971, he joined Fujitsu, Ltd. where, first as a manager, then a senior engineer, he was responsible for R&D (research and development) on semiconductor integrated circuits, particularly in the field of LSI (large-scale integration) technology. Indeed, in the early days of integrated circuits, only a few transistors could be placed on a chip, but, in the seventies, driven by economic factors, the technology progressed and circuit boards quickly became more complex. By the mid-seventies, with the advent of the computer memory and second generation microprocessors, an LSI circuit could approach tens of thousands of transistors per chip. Today, a typical chip might contain billions of transistors.

Over three decades of dedication to the standardization of semiconductors

Togei's involvement with the IEC began in 1980 when he was assigned by the Japanese NC (National Committee) as an expert to IEC TC 47, the Technical Committee responsible for preparing International Standards for the use and testing of semiconductors, devices that include integrated circuits, sensors, electronic component assemblies, interface requirements, and micro-electromechanical systems. In 1989 Togei dedicated himself wholly to the world of international standardization when he joined the EIAJ which, in 2000, merged with the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association to form the JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association). Later, Togei took on the role of Vice-Chairman of JISC, the Japanese IEC NC.

Vice-President of the IEC

In 1991 Togei was elected to the GPC (General Policy Committee), the precursor to today's CB(Council Board). In 1993 at the Sydney General Meeting, Togei stood for election as a Vice-President of the IEC, a position he occupied from 1994 until 2000. These were particularly fruitful years during which PACT (the President's Advisory Group on Future Technology) was set up to deal with emerging and systems' technologies; it was agreed to create formal liaison with regional bodies such as COPANT (the Pan American Standards Commission) and PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress); and Togei was heavily involved in the first two IEC Masterplan strategic reviews that were instrumental in bringing about a number of important structural and operational changes for the organization; finally, Togei proposed and then established the APSG (Asia-Pacific Steering Group), aimed at enhancing the IEC's position in the Asia-Pacific area and which had its first meeting in July 1999 and still continues today.

In 1997, Togei became Chairman of Group B: Electronics, Components and Applications of Information Technology, one of three groups in the CA (Committee of Action), a body which in 2002 became the SMB (Standardization Management Board).

His election as Vice-President in 1997 was exceptional and reflects the task of geographical representation he took on in order to make the IEC truly global. It was the first time the IEC had seen a third Vice-President take office, elected for "specific and defined tasks" as set out in the IEC Statutes. His setting up of the APSG was the laudable result of that decision.

Heritage in a fast-moving and competitive market

The market for semiconductors is global. It is a fast-moving and competitive environment in which it is not unusual for a market or application to experience a life-cycle of less than a year. Because the competition is fierce and development rapid, the semiconductor environment is one also where energy efficiency is particularly significant. As products become smaller, they become more powerful, highly integrated, consume less…

The work that Ryo Togei helped to develop in standardizing semiconductors now forms the basis of nearly every electronic development throughout the world. He leaves a legacy that will continue for many years to come.

master_plan An historic moment: the development of the first IEC Masterplan with Richard Brett, Ryo Togei, Hans Gissel, Anthony Raeburn, Mathias Fünfschilling, photo taken in Valais, Switzerland, 1992.
two_vps Two Vice-Presidents: Ryo Togei and David Flanders at the 1995 IEC General Meeting in Durban. [Photo kindly supplied by Thérèse Perret
Togei Ryo Togei.