Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research is helping fund research into single-chip systems for sensor networks.
The ministry has agreed to contribute 3 million euros (US$3.9 million) to the Tandem project, headed by the nonprofit, state-funded IHP Microelectronics research institute in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, IHP said Thursday. Other companies participating in the project include Lesswire and GreenWay Systeme, which are also located in Frankfurt (Oder).
The contribution is part of a larger 150 million euro program spearheaded by the ministry to support high-tech research in the eastern part of the country, the former Communist-controlled German Democratic Republic.
The institute, launched several years ago after German reunification to exploit a former high-tech cluster in the region, is focused on designing system-on-chip semiconductors that integrate a wide range of functions into a single chip. The institute’s core competencies are in the areas of wireless communications, radio frequency design and bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) technology.
BiCMOS enables the integration of bipolar junction transistors and CMOS technology into a single device. This technology is used in amplifier and discrete component logic designs.
The Tandem project involves integrating numerous functions of sensor networks into low-energy, high-performance wireless single-chip systems. The chips could be integrated into devices or materials and used to monitor functions, such as the temperature and stability of components in aircraft or muscle reflexes in “body-area” networks for the health-care sector, according to IHP.
Currently, the institute is working on several single chip projects, including one to integrate all functions of a wireless PDA with transmission speeds up to 1Gbps.
IHP is also working on a new 130-nanometer SiGE: C BiCMOS (silicon germanium: carbon BiCMOS) technology.
Additional information about IHP is available here.
-John Blau, IDG News Service (Dusseldorf Bureau)
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