Sustainability in micro- and nanoelectronics

Focus topic »sustainability«

In recent years, enormous progress has been made in developing and producing increasingly energy-saving electronic components, which was essential, for example, for the spread of mobile electronic devices. Due to the exponential growth in microelectronics and the penetration of virtually all areas of work and life with electronic components, the total energy consumption of information and communication technology (ICT) has risen continuously.
 
Current developments in adaptive systems are exacerbating this problem. Energy consumption will be concentrated in large data centers and become noticeably more relevant in the ever-more widespread IoT devices and systems. A growing share of this is also due to the enormous increase in data transmission.
The institutes cooperating in the FMD jointly drive research in the field of resource efficiency and sustainability and develop solutions for the following areas:

  • Green ICT: ICT designed to protect the environment and conserve resources
  • Green by ICT: ICT solutions for saving resources  
  • Green Energy Systems: Resource-efficient energy systems
  • EcoDesign and cycle-compatible technology

The aim is to develop resource- and energy-efficient technologies and systems and consider the entire value chain from manufacturing to supply chains. Here, it is imperative not only to optimize individual components from an environmental point of view but to consider entire systems, including their whole life cycle.

Highlight-Project »Green ICT @ FMD«

To implement the German government's Green ICT mission, the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD) has launched the »Green ICT @ FMD« competence center. The goal is to advance the sustainable development of information and communication technology and to reduce the carbon foot print of digital technologies.

 

Project duration: 2022-2026

»Green ICT @ FMD«

The competence center »Green ICT @ FMD« stands for sustainable information and communication technology. On the project website, you will find everything you need to know about the project, exciting news about research activities, scientific and industrial cooperation, and events around sustainability in ICT.

 

Support program for start-ups and SMEs

»Green ICT Space«

Resource-saving product development right from the start! Sustainability-oriented start-ups and SMEs gain access to the infrastructure of the »Green ICT @ FMD« competence center and benefit from individual support for their ideas. Apply and accelerate your product and company development in an environmentally conscious way!

Fields of application

The institutes cooperating in the FMD jointly drive resource efficiency and sustainability research. The aim is to develop resource- and energy-efficient technologies and systems along the entire value chain. In the process, not only individual components but the whole life cycle of the systems is optimized from an environmental point of view.

 

Green ICT

Due to its rapid growth in recent years, the international ICT market must significantly contribute to achieving climate protection goals.

Research areas:

  • Resource-efficiency in sensor edge cloud systems
  • Energy-saving communication infrastructures
  • Resource-optimized electronics production
 

Ecodesign & Circular Technology

Research areas:

  • Environmental optimization of products
  • Environmental analyses of processes
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle modeling
  • Carbon Footprinting
  • Eco-Reliability
 

Green Energy Systems

Energy systems and infrastructure

Research areas:

  • Energy storage and energy storage management systems
  • Energy Harvesting
  • Self-sufficient microsystems
  • Efficient energy management through optimal conversion of tiny currents and voltages
  • Drive converters
  • Smart Grids
 

Green by ICT

Research areas:

  • Automation Technology
  • Supply Chain Services
  • Electronic solutions for logistics
  • Distributed sensor systems
  • Blockchain
  • Data Ecosystems

Project examples and background information

 

ZEPOWEL

Within the Towards Zero Power Electronics (ZEPOWEL) project, a technology and methodology platform for the realization of highly integrated, extremely energy-efficient IoT modules was developed.

 

Micropumps

Piezoelectrically driven micropumps are the heart of microdosing systems. Especially in laboratory and medical technology, the precise dosing minute quantities of liquids or gases is often crucial for safety reasons.

 

High-performance cell

Storage systems for electrical energy play a central role due to their universal applicability, for example, in electromobility.

 

AI-supported monitoring of critical infrastructures

 

»Green ICT @ FMD«

On the project website, you will find everything you need to know about the project, exciting information about research activities, science and industry cooperation, and events around sustainability in ICT.

 

Autonomous microsystems

Applications in the energy industry

 

ASTROSE®

Autonomous sensor network for monitoring high-voltage lines.

 

Real-IZM-Interview with Dr. phil. Lutz Stobbe

ICT – how can digital technologies become greener?

Dr. Mathilde Billaud and Dr. Nils F. Nissen from Fraunhofer IZM talk about the importance of sustainability and resource efficiency in microelectronics and green electronics opportunities for Germany and Europe. Video in German language.

 

Playlist: Green ICT training videos (in German)

As part of the BMBF-funded project »Green ICT @ FMD«, Fraunhofer IZM's environmental experts for electronics and ICT products have created training videos to convey the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate »green« ICT systems.