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Nr. 82 / June 2021

Dear readers,

Welcome to the summer edition of Microelectronics News. This is the first time that our Group magazine has looked beyond the boundaries of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics to include the collaboration known as the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD), with all of its partners from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Leibniz Association.

In the current edition, experts within FMD and the Group offer an insight into their work under the slogan “People. Make. Microelectronics.”: We speak to researchers and employees from all cooperation partners within FMD about pioneering technologies and gain a better understanding of their everyday work.

In total, some 3,500 researchers within FMD seek answers to key scientific and societal questions on a daily basis: What technologies and innovative electronic systems can we use to tackle the challenges of our time? Artificial intelligence (AI), Industry 4.0, smart living, or driverless cars – all of these digital developments require new methods, processes, and business models for the transmission, storage, and processing of data. Where and how can microelectronics be used as an enabling technology to provide powerful, trustworthy, and resource-efficient support?

So, without further ado, we invite you to join us on a journey of discovery through our institutes. We hope you enjoy reading this edition of Microelectronics News!


Anniversary Edition: 20 years of "Microelectronics News"

Dear Readers,

with this anniversary edition you keep 20 years of history in your hands: 20 years of Microelectronics News and thus also 20 years of highlights in research and development of the member institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics. In the past 80 issues we have reported on exciting projects, presented groundbreaking inventions which paved the way for our technological and social future of society, and we have managed to give a voice to those who are behind it.

This anniversary issue contains:

  • The Highlights and Successes from 20 Years of Fraunhofer Microelectronics Research

  • The Projects of the Former and Current Institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

  • The 3,000 Scientists and their Outstanding and Rewarded Research Work

Nr. 80 / November 2020


  • #WeKnowHow:  Certainty in just 15 minutes – graphene oxide based rapid test for infection detection

Researchers at Fraunhofer IZM and its project partners are developing a handy sensor platform based on graphene oxide. This enables the detection of acute infections such as sepsis or antibodies against the corona virus within minutes.

  • Machine-Close-up: Worldwide unique measurement system  (Research Fab Microelectronics Germany)

At the FMD member institute Leibniz FBH, a measurement system with customized broadband microwave down converters by Keysight Technologies has been brought into operation. Thus, all key components for a novel 5G Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system are available at the institute.

  • GESTRA: The near-earth orbit always “in sight” (Fraunhofer FHR)

In order to monitor the near-Earth orbit, a phased array radar with high beam agility is required. In Autumn 2020, researchers from Fraunhofer FHR officially handed over the semi-mobile space surveillance radar GESTRA to the German Aerospace Center (DLR).


Nr. 79 / August 2020


  • #WeKnowHow:  Fraunhofer solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

Experts from the member institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics are actively involved in combating the pandemic. Microelectronics itself is an important key technology in this context. We present current projects and initiatives from our member institutes. Find out more in our web special Microelectronics vs. Corona.

  • Energy-saving chips for  artificial intelligence  (Fraunhofer EMFT, IIS and IPMS)

The Fraunhofer Institutes EMFT, IIS and IPMS research energy-efficient neuromorphic hardware.  The hardware architecture of the chips profits from embedded non-volatile storage and in-memory computing.

  • Machine Close-Up (Research Fab Microelectronics Germany)

215 newly installed machines in 2019: As part of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany‘s (FMD) investments, the 13 member institutes are expanding and modernizing their infrastructure. Two examples illustrate the institutes’ new competencies gained by this.


Nr. 78 / May 2020


  • Smaller, faster, more energy efficient – powerful devices for digital transformation (Research Fab Microelectronics Germany)

Highly efficient power semiconductors are to pave the way for a wide range of new applications – from electromobility to artificial intelligence (AI). This is the aim of the recently launched project “Power Transistors Based on AlN (ForMikroLeitBAN)”, in which FMD members Fraunhofer IISB and Leibniz FBH are also involved.

  • “We must pool our strengths in Europe.” (Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics)

Prof. Albert Heuberger, executive director of Fraunhofer IIS, is the new spokesman of the board of directors of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics. In our interview, he reviews upcoming challenges and opportunities.

  • “We support 5G network expansion in the millimeter-wave band.”  (Research Fab Microelectronics Germany)

Dr. Stephan Guttowski reports on the FMD’s competencies in RF technology and the challenges in expanding the 5G network.


Nr. 77 / February 2020


  • High-performance components for autonomous traffic (Fraunhofer EMFT, IIS and IPMS)

Self-driving cars are only one of the many mobility concepts of the future. They require environmental sensors such as camera, LiDAR, or radar systems to monitor the vehicle environment. Within the framework of the EU’s Ocean12 research project, sustainable components for autonomous road and air vehicles are being developed. 

  • “We must develop components that convert energy even more efficiently.” (Research Fab Microelectronics Germany)

Dr. Andreas Grimm, responsible for the FMD’s technology platform of Power Electronics, talks about challenges and chances of energy-efficient components for electromobility.

  • Technologies for the sixth generation of mobile communications  (Fraunhofer IAF)

For future wireless data networks with higher transmission rates and shorter latency, many small radio cells need to be connected via high-performance transmission links at high frequencies up to the terahertz range.



Nr. 76 / November 2019


  • New CNT integration method (Fraunhofer ENAS)

Fraunhofer ENAS has developed a modular method that overcomes previous hurdles in integrating carbon nanotubes (CNTs). This modular technological concept allows a nano-layer system to be established before merging with the final substrate.

  • Technologies based on a human model (Fraunhofer IZM)

In the Human Brain Project, 121 partners from twenty countries in Europe and North America have come together in twelve subprojects. Their common goal is to create a shared European scientific infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neurosciences, and other sciences inspired by the human brain.

  • Artificial intelligence for microelectronics and sensors (Fraunhofer IMS)

Researchers at Fraunhofer IMS have developed artificial intelligence (AI) for microcontrollers and sensors that comprises a fully configurable artificial neural network – a platform-independent machine learning library with which self-learning microelectronics can be realized.


Nr. 75 / August 2019


  • Quantum sensors to measure extremely weak magnetic fields (Fraunhofer IAF)

Fraunhofer’s lighthouse QMag project is developing quantum magnetometers for industry. Two technological approaches are being pursued to overcome the previous limits of magnetometry.

  • A drive-in movie for the vehicle radar (Fraunhofer FHR)

Sensors in autonomous vehicles must be extremely reliable in order to not endanger road users. The new ATRIUM testing device from Fraunhofer FHR means that, in the future, complex road tests will largely take place in the lab.

  • Early detection of Lyme disease thanks to optical microsensors (Fraunhofer IZM)

In the transnational PoC-BoSens project, a diagnostic system based on optical microsensors is being developed to detect Lyme disease at an early stage. Fraunhofer IZM is responsible for developing the microsensors which are vital to the project.


Nr. 74 / May 2019


  • New material to push the boundaries of silicon-based electronics (Fraunhofer IAF)

Scandium aluminum nitride (ScAlN), is being used in the recently launched project “Power Electronics 2020+” to develop more efficient power electronic systems and to pave the way for the next generation of electronics. This is because electronics based on silicon (Si), which has so far dominated the market, will no longer be able to meet increasing industrial demands in the foreseeable future.

  • Breakthrough in magnetic resonance imaging of the heart (Fraunhofer IAF)

Cardiovascular diseases are the number-one cause of death globally. To date, several areas of significant unmet needs remain unaddressed. The MetaboliQs project combines diamond-based quantum sensor technology and medical imaging to advance personalized diagnostics.

  • Acoustic monitoring of machines and systems (Fraunhofer IZFP)

Incorrectly installed system components can lead to system failure. Even inspections cannot always reveal these errors to the technicians. Our solution is AcoustiX – a “listening” sensor system developed by Fraunhofer IZFP.


Nr. 73 / February 2019


  • High-precision diagnostics using NV-doped diamond (Fraunhofer IAF)

Biomagnetic measurements have become a standard part of modern diagnostics. The necessary precision can, however, currently only be achieved with complex and expensive processes. Fraunhofer IAF is working with partners from industry and research on developing a highprecision alternative at room temperature.

  • Protective sheath for embedded systems (Fraunhofer EMFT)

Some burglars only need a drill thinner than 1 mm in order to get to data. The consequences can be serious, particularly in sensitive areas such as banking or health care. Businesses and hackers have long been locked in a battle, and the technological tricks are getting more and more sophisticated.

  • Wireless energy supply for wearables (Fraunhofer IZM)

There is a new technology gripping the markets of the future – technology to wear. Such wearables collect measurement data from our bodies. Powering their sensors sets new challenges for battery technology.



Nr. 72 / November 2018


  • Key handover at the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

On July 1, Prof. Patrick Bressler succeeded Dr. Joachim Pelka as head of the Berlin-based business office. In this interview, the two of them talked about the Group’s origins as well as the tasks and challenges that lie ahead.

  • Fast Internet high above the clouds (Fraunhofer IAF)

Fast Internet on a plane – a dream of both airlines and passengers. So far, it has remained but a dream due to the low strength of data communication signals between the ground and the aircraft. But there is a solution in sight: signals with a transmission rate of 8 Gb/s can now be sent between a plane and a ground station.

  • Wristband for personalized dementia therapy (Fraunhofer IZM)

In Germany alone, almost 1.6 million patients suffer from dementia. The health and care parameters are often not measured quickly enough – or in a sufficiently structured manner. That is why Fraunhofer IZM is working with partners from industry and research on a wristband that automatically measures and processes this data.


Nr. 71 / August 2018


  • Networked sensors - energy-efficient and powerful (Fraunhofer IZM)

The most important components in the Internet of Things (IoT) are tiny sensor nodes that collect information from their environment and pass it on – and the applications are becoming ever more numerous and sophisticated. The problem is that the energy consumption of the nodes when projecting a “Trillion Sensor” future is enormous. Fraunhofer’s lighthouse project, ZEPOWEL, sees nine institutes working on futuristic solutions for an energy-efficient IoT.

  • The smallest loudspeakers in the world (Fraunhofer IDMT & ISIT)

The world’s first integrated MEMS-based miniature loudspeakers, developed by Fraunhofer IDMT and Fraunhofer ISIT offer impressive playback fidelity and low energy consumption.

  • Detecting cancer tissue more precisely and faster with nanodiamonds  (Fraunhofer IAF)

The number of new cancer diagnoses is rising. This is why Fraunhofer IAF is working on diamond-based optimization of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for cancer diagnosis applications.


Nr. 70 / May 2018


  • A “Universal Sensor Platform” for medium-sized enterprises (Group Institutes)

Fraunhofer researchers and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Dresden intend to develop a modular technology for smaller system providers by 2019. This “Universal Sensor Platform” (USeP) will offer smaller companies without their own chip development department the ability to get involved in the Internet of Things. According to the modular principle, medium-sized companies can take advantage of several design variants in order to be able to make their ideas and visions a reality as simply as possible.

  • Galileo PRS receiver (Fraunhofer IIS)

Galileo PRS (Public Regulated Service) is an encrypted navigation service for governmental authorized users and sensitive applications that require high continuity. Together with three partners, Fraunhofer IIS is developing a cost-effective and compact receiver implementation suitable for this PRS technology.

  • A food lab on your phone (Fraunhofer IPMS)

High-quality food is in demand – but the actual quality cannot always be detected by the naked eye. Researchers at Fraunhofer IPMS have developed a solution to turn smartphones into food laboratories: spectral analysis is used to analyze the real nutritional value of food while shopping.


Nr. 69 / February 2018


A container full of energy (Fraunhofer IISB)

It does seem quite cramped when you enter the 20-foot steel container at Fraunhofer IISB. Inside is hydrogen technology for the storage and release of electrical energy on a large scale.

Intelligent energy supply for smart objects (Fraunhofer EMFT)

Smart objects that communicate and interact on the Internet of Things must be self-sufficient in order to remain operational for as long as possible. As part of the EU’s EnSO project, 39 partners from eight countries are working on new solutions for an intelligent energy supply.

Looking into a basset horn (Fraunhofer IIS)

As part of the MUSICES project, 3D computed tomography (CT) is being used to X-ray historical musical instruments from the collection at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg.



Nr. 68 / October 2017


MIRPHAB: pilot line for customized spectroscopy solutions (Fraunhofer IAF)

Every chemical substance absorbs a very specific portion of infrared light. Like a fingerprint, this absorption can be used to identify a substance. The EU-funded MIRPHAB project is helping companies to set up specially customized sensors and measuring technology in the midinfrared range (MIR).

Sens-o-Spheres: mobile spheres as a measuring device (Fraunhofer ENAS)

Fraunhofer ENAS, in conjunction with several partners, has developed a new type of measuring device for bioprocess engineering. Small spherical sensors with a diameter below 8 mm are directly brought into such processes instead of using conventional electrodes.

Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize: double success for Group institutes

Not one but two institutes within the Group for Microelectronics were able to impress the jury of the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize, and in two different areas – they were Fraunhofer IIS and Fraunhofer IKTS.

Nr. 67 / August 2017


Introducing the ”Research Fab Microelectronics Germany”

Institutes in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and two Leibniz institutes are bundling their expertise. What they want to achieve is to strengthen and build on the technology locations of Germany and Europe for microelectronics and nanoelectronics. 

A monitoring system that can hear production errors (Fraunhofer IDMT)                  

In industrial production, the testing of machines and products by means of acoustic signals still takes a niche role. Researchers at Fraunhofer IDMT have developed a cognitive system that can hear erroneous sounds more objectively than human hearing. The technology was proved in initial practical tests, in which it detected up to 99 percent of the errors.

Micro-energy harvester for self-sustaining, integrated chip systems (Fraunhofer IPMS)

Fraunhofer IPMS is starting the two-year CONSIVA research project focusing on the development of micro-energy harvesters for self-sustaining, integrated chip systems. The use of novel piezoelectric materials in vibration- based harvesters can drastically reduce their size and significantly prolong operation time.

Nr. 66 / May 2017


The thinnest loudspeaker in the world (Fraunhofer IZM)

They save space and energy while producing a new sound quality: MEMS-based loudspeakers were developed by an Austrian startup company in cooperation with Fraunhofer researchers. The devices, which are only between two and twelve millimeters thick, offer great potential for use in smartphones, headphones, or even hearing aids.

Watching the computer think (Fraunhofer HHI)

It used to be difficult to sort photos on a computer. Now you can just click on facial recognition, and the desired selection appears instantly. Thanks to neuronal networks, computers are good at analyzing large quantities of data. The particularly interesting thing is finding out how these networks work.

Intelligent energy management with high-tech electricity meters (Fraunhofer IMS)

With new types of electricity meters and smart algorithms, Fraunhofer researchers intend to revolutionize future energy management. The scientists and their partners have succeeded in itemizing overall power consumption down to every appliance. All it takes is a single high-tech power meter.

Nr. 65 / February 2017


Super-brains for the IoT age (Fraunhofer EMFT)

Without microelectronics, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) would be blind, deaf, and mute. But in order to be able to keep up with rapid development in this digital age, chips must become smaller, more multifunctional, and more powerful. 3D integration is considered a key technology in order to keep moving the boundaries of the possible out more and more.

New automotive lighting revolutionizes road safety (Fraunhofer IAF, Fraunhofer IZM)

A German research alliance has developed the basis for smart, high-resolution LED headlights, taking adaptive forward lighting to a new dimension. Fraunhofer IZM developed a connection technology that allows the resolution of LEDs to be increased by a factor of more than a thousand. Fraunhofer IAF demonstrated a method of eliminating μ defects; this method can increase component yield.

Magic RFID formula for the packaging industry (Fraunhofer IKTS)

Intelligent packaging is on the rise. The implementation of RFID technology in the packaging industry is becoming increasingly important especially in terms of information, identification, and security. With its ROAD server, Fraunhofer IPMS provides an easy solution to combine the wireless and optical identification of packaging. This makes it easy to use integrated RFID tags to identify packaging and their content and to read and evaluate product information.

Earlier Editions (2012-2016)

Nr. 64 / October 2016
Nr. 63 / June 2016
Nr. 62 / March 2016
Nr. 61 / February 2016
Nr. 60 / October 2015
Nr. 59 / July 2015
Nr. 58 / April 2015
Nr. 57 / February 2015
Nr. 56 / October 2014
Nr. 55 / August 2014
Nr. 54 / April 2014
Nr. 53 / February 2014
Nr. 52 / October 2013
Nr. 51 / August 2013
Nr. 50 / April 2013
Nr. 49 / February 2013
Nr. 48 / October 2012
Nr. 47 / July 2012
Nr. 46 / March 2012