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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

We have received various questions about the activities, organization, and technology of T-Engine Forum. The following are frequently asked questions and our answers.

What is T-Engine Forum?

  • Q1

    What type of organization is T-Engine Forum? Is it an incorporated nonprofit organization (NPO)?

    It is a nonprofit voluntary organization, whose chair is Ken Sakamura, professor of the University of Tokyo. The forum has been conducting the promotion and educational activities for T-Engine, T-Kernel, and Ubiquitous ID technology to promote the standardization of ubiquitous computing infrastructure technologies. In addition, it has been maintaining ITRON specification OS since TRON Association has been integrated into T-Engine Forum in 2010.

  • Q2

    What has happened to TRON Association?

    TRON Association has been integrated into T-Engine Forum in 2010. Its activities have been taken over and continued by the forum.

  • Q3

    What is the relationship between T-Engine Forum and Ubiquitous ID Center?

    Ubiquitous ID Center is set up and operated under T-Engine Forum. A- and e-members of T-Engine Forum promote activities related to Ubiquitous ID Center.

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  • Q4

    Are there any rules or regulations regarding intellectual property rights in T-Engine Forum?

    The rules of the forum are T-Engine Forum charter. This establishes our policy (IPR policy) with respect to the intellectual property rights at the time of standardization and the proper management of information provided in the process of deliberation within the forum.

  • Q5

    How long is the annual membership fee valid for?

    The annual membership of T-Engine Forum is valid for one year (from April to the end of March of the next year). For the first year of membership, the fee is valid from the day you join the forum to March 31. There is no admission fee.

  • Q6

    Are there any requirements for admission?

    A-, B- and e-members, Supporting members and Liaison members are meant for corporations. As a rule, individuals are not allowed to join the forum.
    Academic membership of the forum is for organizations that conduct educational and research activities related to T-Engine or Ubiquitous ID technology at universities, technical colleges, etc. You can join the forum as a university, faculty, department, laboratory, etc.

  • Q7

    We are not an electronic device manufacture and are not in the information industry. Can we join the forum?

    Yes, of course, no problem. Some companies join the forum as an e-member to utilize Ubiquitous ID technology and some companies join it to utilize technologies and products provided by A- and B-members. A lot of e-members are companies that are not involved in the information industry at all and the e-members form a cross-industry community.

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Membership types

  • Q8

    What are the differences between A-, B-, and e-members?

    A-members design and develop specifications of T-Engine and T-Kernel, or of Ubiquitous ID technology. In particular, Executive Committee members are corporations who would like to be deeply involved in the activities of T-Engine Forum.
    B-members promote standardization regarding the promotion of T-Engine. In other words, they are positioned as user members who develop products using T-Engine and T-Kernel.
    e-members are members who promote standardization regarding Ubiquitous ID Center and conduct activities related to applications and feasibility study experiments of Ubiquitous ID technology.

  • Q9

    Does the information members have access to vary according to membership types?

    Yes. Executive Committee members are entitled to receive the IPR policy, licenses, promotions, etc. regarding the whole forum operation and A-members are entitled to receive the relevant technical specifications respectively as they are being designed and drafted. B-members conduct activities based on the designed specification information, but they can obtain such information before it is released to the general public. e-members can receive information on Ubiquitous ID technology and ucode tags as soon as A-members have designed the specifications in the working groups (hereinafter, referred to as "WG"). In other words, members are given different priorities regarding the information received (membership types in order of precedence: Executive Committee members > A-members > B-members, e-members > general public), which means members are given different levels of privileges depending on the membership type..

  • Q10

    What are the differences between B-members and e-members?

    To put it plainly, B-members are involved in "T-Engine and T-Kernel" and e-members are involved in "Ubiquitous ID technology and ucode tags." We made these two different membership types because they handle very different application fields. An organization (or a department) that develops and designs both technologies must become an A-member. If you are in a position to use both technologies, you have to be both a B- and an e-member.

  • Q11

    What are the advantages of being an A-member?

    A-member can:
    (1) Be deeply involved in designing T-Engine specifications.
    (2) Be deeply involved in designing Ubiquitous ID technology specifications.
    (3) Participate in Committee and WGs.
    (4) Obtain information earlier, such as specifications that are being designed and drafted, and production prototypes.
    (5) Have all the privileges that B- and e-member have.

  • Q12

    Our company develops middleware for embedded systems. Which type of membership will be appropriate?

    If your company develops and sells middleware products for T-Engine, A- or B-membership will be appropriate.

  • Q13

    What is EAP available to A- and e-members?

    EAP ( Experimental Activity Procedure ) is a system through which Ubiquitous ID Center supports feasibility study experiments related to ucode tags conducted by A- and e-members of T-Engine Forum.

  • Q14

    Is it possible to change the membership type after becoming a member of T-Engine Forum?

    (1) It is possible to join the forum as a B- or e-member and then to change to an A-member. In this case, you will have to pay the membership fee difference.
    (2) As a rule, changing from a B-member to an e-member, and from an e-member to a B-member is not approved.
    (3) It is possible to join the forum as a B-member and then to join also as an e-member later, or, conversely, to join the forum as an e-member and then to join also as a B-member later. In this case, you will have to pay the additional annual membership fee. Please note that the period of an additional membership fee’s validity conforms to [Q5].

  • Q15

    What are Supporting member and Liaison member?

    Those who provide financial support for the activities of T-Engine Forum are entitled to become Supporting members. They are not involved in designing the forum standards.
    Organizations that research and develop the open architecture that can collaborate with the activities conducted by T-Engine Forum are entitled to become Liaison members. They can participate in meetings approved by the Executive Committee.

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Activities of the forum

  • Q16

    What type of activities does the forum conduct?

    T-Engine Forum conducts activities that include research and development, and promotion of embedded systems and ubiquitous computing as a whole, such as T-Engine and T-kernel, ITRON Specification OS, ucode, Ubiquitous ID technology, etc., by holding various meetings as necessary, such as quarterly general meetings, monthly Executive Committee meetings and Committee meetings, and WGs for various topics. Also, the forum holds various training seminars regarding embedded systems technology and Ubiquitous ID technology.

  • Q17

    What type of activities does the Committee conduct?

    Only A-members can participate in the Committee. The Committee meetings are the main conduct to promote research and development activities regarding particular technology. In principle, meetings are held monthly to report discussion results and working progress in WGs and to authorize standards and guidelines. Also, a wide range of technologies, elements, overview, etc. are summed up and the trends of related technologies are explained.

  • Q18

    What type of activities does the WG conduct?

    In WGs, members design drafts for standards and guidelines and members have to share the workload to participate in WGs. A WG is organized to achieve a specific objective (ToR: Terms of Reference) within a limited deliberation period (SP: Study Period) and is formed and dissolved according to its specific mission, as decided in Executive Committee meeting. The WG reports its activities to Committee or Executive Committee to which it belongs. Meetings are held on a monthly basis as needed and the actual work is shared among members. Only A-members can participate in WGs, but if your aim is to do research and collect information only, participating in a committee will be sufficient.

  • Q19

    What type of activities are conducted at general meeting?

    General meetings for B- and e-members are generally held quarterly to report the latest information, information on the Committee and WGs, the status of their activities, industry news, etc.

  • Q20

    How can we participate in the Committee meeting or WG?

    (1) First, you must apply for registration for the committee or WG in which you want to participate on the website.
    •You must be an A-member to participate in the Committee or WG.
    •The Committee and WG are independent organizations. When you register in the Committee, you have no obligation to register in the WG under the Committee in which you registered. Similarly, when you register in the WG, you have no obligation to register in the Committee above the WG in which you registered.
    (2)After your application is approved by the Executive Committee and the secretariat has processed it, you can register for participation in the Committees and WGs.
    (3) How to participate in meetings after being registered in the Committee or WG
    •When the Committee or WG schedule is fixed, meeting information will be sent via email and you will be able to register for the participation.

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How to obtain specifications and information

  • Q21

    How can we obtain the latest information, specifications, and various other documentations that are released early to the forum members?

    After joining the forum, you can access the "members-only website" for your membership type and obtain information from there.

  • Q22

    Are specifications that are standardized by T-Engine Forum released to the public?

    When specification details are fully fixed, they will be released to the public. However, draft specifications are not released. We aim that specifications standardized by T-Engine Forum will be released eventually, but disclosing them without final editorial work such as removing some ambiguities in the specifications might make it difficult to promote the standardized specifications such as the promotion of products that are similar but not exactly the same. Therefore, draft specifications are released to members only and specification details are checked and fixed after members’ developing and testing prototypes.

  • Q23

    Are standardized specifications and other documents also provided in English?

    All information that is released to the public is provided in English and Japanese. In the future, we will support more languages including Chinese and Korean, depending on the increased number of members and development of overseas offices.

  • Q24

    Can we download information?

    All specifications created by T-Engine Forum can be downloaded. Please note that the levels of information that can be downloaded are varied between members and the general public in accordance with [Q22] above.

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  • Q25

    Who can answer technical questions about T-Kernel?

    T-Engine Developer Network (TEDN), a website for developers in English-speaking countries, which has been set up in Singapore provides BBS in English for information sharing. It plans to support posting in Japanese as well in the future. If you require paid support, please consult with the manufacturers who are listed in product introduction of the T-Engine Forum website.

  • Q26

    Are there any reference materials?

    If you need further details for T-Kernel, we recommend that you read "T-Kernel Standard Handbook" published by Personal Media Corporation.

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ucode Allocation

  • Q27

    How can I receive ucode allocation?

    48-bit (approximately 281 trillion) ucodes can be allocated to A-member (including Executive Committee member), e-member, Academic member, and Supporting member of T-Engine Forum for free on request. For details such as activities, annual fee, etc. of T-Engine Forum, please refer to this page.

  • Q28

    How can organizations and individuals who are not the members of T-Engine Forum issue ucodes?

    Try ucode Universal Information Service "ucoder" or ucode Issue Service provided by YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory (Executive Committee member of T-Engine Forum/Director: Ken Sakamura). "ucoder" is a service which lets you issue up to 100 ucodes and associate information with them. ucode Issue Service is a service which allows you to issue one ucode by entering your email address.

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