Nationwide coordinated technology expertise from a single source

Fraunhofer is one of 13 members of the FMD (Forschungsfabrik Elektronik Deutschland – Research Fab Microelectronics Germany): with more than 2,000 scientists, it is the biggest cross-site R+D alliance for microelectronics and nanoelectronics in Europe. Under this novel collaborative venture, the advantages of two outstanding, decentralized research organizations – Fraunhofer Society and Leibniz Association – are linked via a central organization to the world’s most high-performance provider for applied research, development and innovation in the field of microelectronics and nanoelectronics. Due to its close dovetailing and coherent presence, the FMD is able to offer more comprehensive and straightforward access to the next generation of technologies – serving not just large-scale industry customers but in particular for SMEs and start-ups.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides funding for establishing the FMD amounting to a total of EUR 350 million, mainly covering the modernization of the institutes’ research facilities. In providing this funding, the BMBF is seeking to strengthen the innovation capacity of the semiconductor and electronics industry in Europe against the background of global competition, supporting this endeavor with the largest-scale investment to be made in research equipment since German reunification. 

One and a half years after the start of the project on April 6, 2017, a wide range of equipment purchased to modernize lab facilities at FMD sites all over Germany has been put into operation. The festive inauguration of an initial integration line took place on September 28, 2018 on the occasion of the 1st FMD Innovation Day at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin.

© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller

In order to be able to offer nationwide coordinated technology and system developments from a single source, the technological expertise areas of the institutes have been grouped into six general sections during the initial set-up phase and developed on this basis: these are the so-called technology platforms “Microwave and Terahertz”/”Power Electronics”/“Extended CMOS”/
“Optoelectronic Systems”/“Sensor Systems”/“MEMS Actuators”. On these technology platforms the FMD offers technological developments along the entire supply chain – from system design to testing and reliability. 

In addition to these technologically oriented services, the FMD also provides cross-institute application solutions from a single source. This enables customers to realize combined and optimized system solutions with the FMD and their institutes. Here the research fab collaborates synergetically with the business units of the institutes. In this way the FMD is able to offer customers a much broader range of application solutions.