Applied electronics

  • Care-O-bot® 4 celebrates its première as shopping assistant

    Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot® 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Source: Saturn

    In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot® 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Care-O-bot 4®, alias Paul, approaches Saturn customers and welcomes them to the store. If they ask him about a certain product, he accompanies the customer to the department and points them in the direction of the relevant shelf. As he indulges in small talk about the weather or another subject, Paul turns out to be a most charming contact partner. However, he prefers to leave actual customer service to his human colleagues.

  • Carinthia continues to expand Villach as a microelectronics research cluster

    CTR research cleanroom media conference from left: Werner Scherf (CTR), Gaby Schaunig (Deputy Governor of Carinthia), Simon Grasser (CTR)  CTR/Helge Bauer

    Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) invests €4.5 Mio in research cleanroom for microsensors and systems integration. Carinthian government supports investment in high-tech facilities at the Villach site.

    CTR Carinthian Tech Research is on of Austria’s largest application-oriented research centres in the area of smart sensors and systems integration. In close cooperation with industry, over 70 researchers work on developing the tiniest microsensors and power electronics as well as their assembly and packaging. An important new addition to the R&D facilities at the Villach site is the recently built research cleanroom, which is now available for microchip research and systems integration.

  • CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass

    Picture 1: A matter of shape: the Fraunhofer CeGlaFlex project is developing very thin, malleable and transparent protective covers for OLEDs in the roll-to-roll process. © Fraunhofer FEP, Dresden, Germany.

    Only twice as thick as a strand of hair, or around 100 µm: that’s how thin the transparent, scratchproof and malleable ceramic layers of the future that are meant to protect portable electronics are. Since March 2017, the methods and process chains for producing this material have been in development at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT as part of a three-year research project called CeGlaFlex. Mobile electronics, regardless of whether it is a cellular phone, tablet or blood pressure monitor, rely on the quality of their touch-screen displays. In keeping with the trend of individually shaped smart devices, they should be not only scratchproof, unbreakable and chemically stable, but also easy to mold.

  • Chemists Create Clusters of Organelles by Mimicking Nature

    Two polymersomes assemble by DNA hybridization: the single DNA strands on the surface of the compartments interconnect, creating an extremely stable DNA bridge. University of Basel

    Scientists from the University of Basel have succeeded in organizing spherical compartments into clusters mimicking the way natural organelles would create complex structures. They managed to connect the synthetic compartments by creating bridges made of DNA between them. This represents an important step towards the realization of so-called molecular factories. The journal Nano Letters has published their results.

  • COMPAMED 2016 connected medical devices and people

    Materialise NV from Belgium speaking on “Innovation in 3D Printed Wearables” at COMPAMED HIGH-TECH Forum 2016. IVAM

    Miniaturized connected systems and outstanding business contacts: forming networks on both technical and business level was one of the key features of COMPAMED 2016, the international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technologies. This trend was visible at and enhanced by the joint trade fair booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall 8a, the accompanying presentation forum and numerous B2B meetings between companies from Germany and Japan.

  • Electron highway inside crystal

    Step edges on topological crystalline insulators may lead to electrically conducting pathways where electrons with opposite spin spin move in converse directions - any U-turn is prohibited. Picture: Thomas Bathon/Paolo Sessi/Matthias Bode

    Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science. Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was highlighted again as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physics to three British scientists for their research of so-called topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

  • Enjoying Virtual-reality-entertainment Without Headache or Motion Sickness

    1“ 120Hz WUXGA OLED microdisplay. © Fraunhofer FEP

    Scientists from Fraunhofer FEP developped a large-area high-resolution low-power OLED microdisplay with high framerates. The use of these microdisplays in VR glasses can help to avoid motion sickness. The new displays can be seen at awe europe in Munich/ Germany from October 18 to 19, 2018 at booth no. 322.

  • First Diode for Magnetic Fields

    When the left coil is energized, the magnetic field reaches the right coil (top). When the right coil is energized, the magnetic field does not reach the left one (bottom). Luis Veloso

    Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications. Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the core of any electronic component, being one of the most essential building blocks.

  • Five developments for improved data exploitation

    Seamless communication from sensor to Internet is a prerequisite for industry 4.0.

    Integrating advanced IT/OT elements throughout the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant – from the IO module and MQTT to the dashboard. The advanced development of IT/OT* elements makes it easier to access the data of the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant. Now data can be displayed, integrated, transported, and recorded much more easily. Highlights include an IO module, operational data publication via MQTT, two dashboards, and a web-based product configurator. The Technologie-Initiative SmartFactoryKL and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will present these developments in cooperation with 18 contributing partner companies at the Hannover Messe on April 24-28, 2017 in Hall 8, Stand D 20.

  • Floating Rotors Report for Duty

    Active magnetic bearings (AMB) use electromagnets to magnetically levitate a rotor.

    Siemens has developed Simotics AMB, a new magnetic bearing system for high-power machines with large rotor diameters. The new technology is based on proven standard electronic components. It optimizes the design, maintenance, and operation of machines that rely on huge rotors and integrates data from their bearings into an installation’s IT environment. Without any physical contact, the controlled magnetic fields of a new magnetic bearing system from Siemens keep 10-ton rotors in the middle of their bearings. What’s more, the rotors do not deviate by more than a hair’s breadth from the center even when spinning at maximum speed. Based on active magnetic bearing (AMB) technology, Siemens’ new Simotics AMB system uses tried and tested standard electronic components that are normally used to control electric motors in machine tool applications.

  • FOSA LabX 330 Glass – Coating Flexible Glass in a Roll-to-Roll Process

    VON ARDENNE FOSA LabX 330 Glass - coating system for flexible glass. © VON ARDENNE Corporate Archive

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and VON ARDENNE will intensify their cooperation in the field of the coating of flexible glass. Due to its properties, this new material is ideally suited as a substrate for various applications in flexible electronics. Since October 2016, the two partners have been operating the roll-to-roll coating system FOSA LabX 330 Glass together. This new, innovative machine was especially developed for processing flexible glass by the equipment manufacturer VON ARDENNE, which is based in Dresden, Germany. It is the first of its kind worldwide.

  • Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

    New materials enable high speed frequencies: Fraunhofer ISE develops resonant DC/DC converters with 2.5 MHz as demonstrator for aeronautical applications. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

  • Fraunhofer Researchers Develop High-Pressure Sensors for Extreme Temperature

    High temperature sensor for extrusion systems: SOI chips (left) and casing (right). Fraunhofer IZM

    Many industrial processes depend on exact pressure gauges. The SOI high-pressure sensors (silicon-on-insulator) developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM makes this exact monitoring possible for processes operating at temperatures of up to 400° centigrade. The sensor promise an exceptionally long life as well as precision and efficiency. To keep up with technological requirements, future iterations of the sensors will be designed to withstand temperatures above 600° centigrade.

  • Hepatitis C and HIV prophylaxis: microwave reduces viral transmission in the drugs scene

    PD Dr. Eike Steinmann und Anindya Siddharta. TWINCORE/Romy Weller

    Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) are a global health problem. For example, sharing of drug preparation equipment within this population contributes to more than 80% of newly acquired HCV infections. As a response to these circumstances, scientists at TWINCORE validated a simple and safe method to reduce the risk of viral transmission, namely by microwave irradiation. This method has been published recently in Scientific Reports.

  • IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

    The cross section shows a SiGe HBT of the latest generation, recorded by a TEM. The measurement curves are used to determine the transit frequency and the maximum oscillation frequency. © IHP 2016

    Frankfurt (Oder)/San Francisco. Scientist Dr. Bernd Heinemann of IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics will present results on silicon-germanium heterobipolar transistors (SiGe HBTs) developed in Frankfurt (Oder) on the “International Electron Devices Meeting” (IEDM) in San Francisco. His contribution titled “SiGe HBT with fT/fmax of 505 GHz/720 GHz “ presents speed parameters that set new standards for silicon transistors. “To present at IEDM is a valuable conclusion of the project ‘DOTSEVEN’, funded by the European Union. Together with Infineon and twelve other project partners from a total of six countries, the four-year project focused on developing SiGe HBTs with a maximum oscillation frequency, which is also referred to as fmax, of 0.7 THz,” says Dr. Bernd Heinemann, project manager at IHP.

  • Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits

    The invention is especially advantageous for oscillator circuits that are installed in radar devices for automotive assistance systems, for example. Foto: TLB GmbH

    Fast integrated circuits (ICs) are used in many ways in applied electronics. Especially, for hard driven fast or high-power components in the circuit, however, there is often a risk of breakdown, e.g. in oscillator circuits (radar systems, etc.) or “smart power” circuits. At the pn junctions present in all components, the breakdown occurs starting at a critical field strength. The circuit is thus destroyed or becomes unusable. A photodiode-controlled feedback prevents breakdown at pn junctions.
    TLB GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovation.

  • Interior Designer with 3D Glasses - Where are the Best Places?

    Special 3D glasses allow the user to immerse into the three dimensional interior design of a virtual model of a production facility.

    Many of today’s products and production processes are created, tested and optimized in the digital world. But until recently, owing to their complexity, this was not true for factories. Now, researchers from Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) have developed a tool that visualizes production facilities in 3D – a development that, by making processes transparent, helps to avoid expensive planning errors. About one year ago, CT researchers presented their visualization concept at Siemens’ Digitalization Day. That’s when they encountered Philipp Bierschneider from the Digital Factory Division, which is located in Amberg, Germany.

  • Investing in the Energy Supply of Tomorrow

    Fraunhofer ISE's TestLab Power Electronics. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    Fraunhofer ISE’s New Research Lab for Power Electronics and Grid Technologies in the Multi-Megawatt Range. With the grid expansion and modernization process for the German energy transformation, a growing number of applications for advanced power electronics and grid technologies arise. Power electronic devices, or converters, are key for connecting power supplies, consumers and storage systems and are playing an ever more important role in our energy supply. Further, these devices must be tailored to meet the increasingly complex requirements that ensure the flexible and reliable operation of our future energy system.

  • Molecular libraries for organic light-emitting diodes

    A new screening process means that promising OLED lighting materials can be identified more efficiently. AG Matthias Wagner

    Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are promising candidates for flexible flat displays. By means of a screening process developed by chemists at Goethe University Frankfurt, it is now possible to identify more quickly lead structures with superior luminescence and charge-transport properties. The rising demand for increasingly sophisticated smartphones, tablets and home cinemas is a growing challenge for display technology. At present, organic materials are the most effective way to master this challenge. In particular molecules from the class of materials known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be used to produce large and mechanically flexible flat screens. They unite brilliant colours with high resolution and are at the same time low in energy consumption.

  • Nanotechnologie in Europa stärken

    Schema der Elektronenstrahl-induzierten Abscheidung.

    Wissenschaftler der Universitäten Bremen, Bielefeld und Erlangen-Nürnberg beteiligen sich an einem multinationalen EU-Projekt zur Nanotechnologie. Nanotechnologie gilt als die Technologie des 21. Jahrhunderts. Sie liefert die Grundlagen, um Produkte von nur wenigen Nanometern Größe in jeder gewünschten Form herzustellen: für Mikroprozessoren, elektronische Schaltungen in Computern und in der Telekommunikation, in der Medizin und in der Biotechnologie, um nur einige Einsatzfelder zu nennen. Die wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Nanotechnologie nimmt rasant zu. Vor diesem Hintergrund fördert die Europäische Kommission seit kurzem das Marie-Curie Trainings-Netzwerk ELENA (Low energy ELEctron driven chemistry for the advantage of emerging NAnofabrication methods), an dem 13 Universitäten, vier Forschungsinstitute und fünf Unternehmen aus 13 europäischen Ländern beteiligt sind.