Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field

Next Generation Computing

Computers have become ubiquitous in every aspect of our daily lives – and this digital transformation is creating a torrent of new business models and innovations. As the number of application scenarios increases, so too do the demands we place on software and hardware. Yet conventional computing technologies are gradually reaching the limits of speed, performance, miniaturization and energy efficiency. Next-generation computing aims to solve this dilemma. From quantum-based and neuromorphic computing to next-generation micro-electronic components, Fraunhofer is driving the development of hardware and technologies for next-generation computing.

Germany’s challenge is clear: in order to maintain and enhance its innovative performance, it must achieve sovereignty in strategically important key areas of technology. The most significant innovation drivers of the 21st century are Industrie 4.0, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and edge computing. Today’s computer technologies and IT architectures are struggling to meet our new requirements for energy consumption, data processing and transfer rates. This problem can only be solved by new principles of computing and architectures.

The solutions currently being developed by Fraunhofer researchers include trusted computing, neuromorphic computing and quantum computing. The goal of all their efforts is to develop trusted, high-performance, resource-efficient hardware and software to reinforce Germany’s resilience and security as a hub of industry and technology.

Trusted computing aims to create next-generation information systems that can guarantee extremely high and previously unattainable levels of trust.

Neuromorphic computing uses the human brain as a model for hardware and computing platforms, semiconductor technologies, chip design, architectures and algorithms in order to increase the performance and energy efficiency of computing systems, including mobile and edge applications.

Quantum computers can tackle highly complex calculations that would be almost impossible to perform even with conventional supercomputers. This makes the development of corresponding technologies and algorithms essential not just for Fraunhofer, but also for Germany and Europe.

Conscious of the need to maintain German and European competitiveness, Fraunhofer seeks to drive forward developments and system solutions in the high-tech arena, pooling expertise and resources across the entire value chain of micro- and nanoelectronics, algorithmic and material research.

 

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Toward a more resilient society

Resilience is never accidental. In a crisis, a five-phase strategy helps improve decision-making.

 

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Safeguarding critical infrastructure

Energy, water, food, fuel, information, transportation – ensuring a supply of these essential services and commodities is vital for a properly functioning society and economy. Fraunhofer is devising solutions and strategies to safeguard our critical infrastructure.

 

Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD)

 

National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE

International Data Spaces

Souvereign and therefore self-determined sharing of data between companies for future business models.

Impact on society as a whole

Security and resilient society

There is a growing awareness of the importance of security and a resilient society. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft develops technologies, products and services that aim to identify potential dangers early on in order to take appropriate measures, minimize potential damage and reduce risks across the board.

The need for security has always been a driving force in our society – and constantly evolving threats make this topic just as relevant as ever. Civil security research is a well-established interdisciplinary research discipline in Germany. Firmly embedded in the German federal government’s High-Tech Strategy from the outset, it involves numerous organizations from the realms of science, research, industry, government and security. These key players work together on collaborative projects to develop concrete solutions for tackling complex challenges.  Recent changes in security policy, society and technology have significantly increased the number of challenges we face. 

The concept of resilience marks a logical progression in security research by tying together security and sustainability. The idea of resilience is to view all socially relevant systems as a whole and endeavor to make them more resilient, robust, adaptable and learning-ready. This goal of a secure and resilient society is one of the driving forces behind Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research.

Digitalized value chain

Digital transformation affects almost every area of our lives and opens up new opportunities for our society and economy. The impact of new developments and solutions extends far beyond individual applications and provides a stimulus to entire sectors of industry. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft drives forward targeted aspects of digital transformation in order to accelerate and enhance digital value creation across all areas.

Digital transformation poses both major challenges and tremendous opportunities. Entirely new value chains are emerging on the back of increasing connectivity and automation, the pooling of data from diverse sources and the creation of digital interfaces to customers. Digitalization is radically changing our economy by transforming the nature of production, retail, services, logistics and transport. For many years, Fraunhofer has been one of the key drivers behind connected manufacturing and digital innovation in Germany. Its contributions help companies harness the full potential of digitalization.

Fraunhofer researchers tackle key aspects of IT security, data sovereignty, Industrial Data Space, artificial intelligence, next-generation computing and IT infrastructures. Their expertise plays a key role in driving digital transformation and boosting the competitiveness of German and European companies. All in all, our research and development work helps our economy and society to meet the challenges of digitalization and harness the opportunities that digital transformation offers.