One of the branches of Industrie 4.0 with the highest sales is that of electronics. According to Bitkom, the estimated turnover of EUR 817 million in 2017 would represent an increase of 22 percent compared to that of 2016.
Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD), the largest cross-location R&D affiliation for micro/nanoelectronics in Europe, will provide relevant contributions in this regard. Jörg Amelung, Head of the FMD, highlights four respective technologies that will determine important areas of microelectronics manufacturing in the future: nanotechnology for the production of extremely compact components that are used in the construction of compact sensors for the Internet of Things. The integration of many small components in extremely compact microsystems. High-frequency technologies for optical high-speed transmission in computer networks or for networking machines. And fourth, power technologies for high-current applications. For e-cars, for example, the electric drive requires highly efficient switches that can provide all of the available power largely without any loss and within a fraction of a second.
All of these technologies are being researched, tested and developed at the FMD. "A very promising development is the flexible networking and interconnection of different production plants and production islands. Even geographically separate production locations will be combined in the future in order to manufacture a product," says Jörg Amelung.
To become a reality, the digital industry requires fast Internet in real time. Fraunhofer now operates 5G test fields in Aachen, Stuttgart and Berlin. Highly dynamic infrastructures and service platforms are operated, for example, by the "Berlin Center for Digital Transformation" service center (Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS, Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK, Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, Institute for Telecommunication, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI). Application fields such as critical infrastructures, telemedicine, mobility and the city of the future as well as those for industry and production provide practical solutions for digital transformation in this regard.
In the EU project TERRANOVA, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and HHI are already working on a successor standard for 5G: terahertz radio solutions will be embedded in fiber optic networks with high data rates, and new frequency bands will be developed. Goal: a load-resilient communication infrastructure that is ready for the demands of the future.
Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland
Berlin Center for Digital Transformation