Press briefing

Efficient components for autonomous traffic

18.11.2019

In the framework of the EU research project "Ocean12", sustainable components for autonomous road vehicles and aircraft are being developed.

© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller
Fraunhofer EMFT scientist working on the design and simulation of an analog-digital converter.

Autodriving cars are one of the central mobility concepts of the future, but urban air traffic also provides numerous autonomous applications such as air taxis or drones for shipping time-critical goods and medicines. Such applications require environmental sensors such as camera, LiDAR or radar systems to detect the vehicle environment. Equally important are microprocessors that convert the captured data into control commands such as steering or braking. 

Promising technology

To ensure that these components operate as reliably and energy-efficiently as possible, Ocean 12 researchers are using the approach of FD-SOI technology (Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator). In this process, an additional wafer-thin insulation layer is applied into the chip, which reduces the so-called leakage currents. This reduces power consumption by up to 90% and also increases computing speed. Furthermore, this technology enables particularly compact sensor systems, since sensors with powerful integrated evaluation circuits can be integrated on a so-called SoC (System on Chip). 

European cooperation

A network of 27 European partners from industry and research are contributing their expertise in semiconductor technology, electronics, aerospace and automotive engineering to the project - including the Fraunhofer Institute for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies EMFT, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS. The project runs until 2021 and is funded by the European Union, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Free State of Saxony.