Key Technology Innovation Makes New Safety Systems Affordable in Automobiles
ZMD AG (ZMDI), a global supplier of analog and mixed-signal solutions for automotive, industrial, and medical applications, and edacentrum, an institution that promotes research and development in the area of electronic design automation, today announced the results of the SyEnA (synthesis-supported design of analog circuits) research project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Enhanced safety is one of the most important issues in the automotive electronics sector. Intelligent and affordable emergency systems that aid in avoiding accidents and ensuring that help arrives quickly have been in demand for years. In this context, the results of the project SyEnA provide for innovative and cost-effective application possibilities for future technologies. Thanks to highly accurate sensors, vehicles can communicate the course of events and their exact position to the emergency services ensuring help arrives quickly resulting in potentially leading more lives being saved, all of this done without the need for a GPS signal.
Behind all this is a technological key innovation in the design of electronic systems, which significantly improves EDA (electronic design automation) resulting in a new quality in so-called mixed-signal engineering. EDA effectively bridges the technical gap between the “analog” world and digital signal processing, as is the case in microprocessors. Experts have been specifically working on the project to develop new solutions for the automated design of electronic systems. These systems combine complex sensor technology with digital circuits. Until now, the development process of such products, which process analog data such as speed or temperature, has been highly complex and very expensive. The SyEnA project has significantly simplified and accelerated the process making it possible to develop innovative and cost-effective products. Experts put the average reduction in design time and effort at around 15%; in certain areas this can be as much as 95%. The main areas of application for the new development processes will initially be the automotive electronics and medical technology sectors.
Dr. Achim Graupner, SyEnA project coordinator and expert in design automation at ZMDI: “The project results will lift the quality of mixed-signal engineering to a new level. SyEnA speeds up the time to market and reduces the need for redesigns. A lot of what was previously far too complex can now be implemented quickly and efficiently. Particularly in the area of automotive electronics, this will lead to greater safety and lower costs.”
Andreas Brüning, director of the technology office at ZMDI, also emphasized the strategic significance of the project: “The targeted funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research enables German companies to assert their innovative advantage relating to crucial technological topics in the global competitive environment and makes a significant contribution to safeguarding the semiconductor industry in Germany.”
The SyEnA joint project (funding reference number 01M3086) received funding of approximately 6.8 million Euros from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the federal government’s high-tech strategy in the IKT2020 funding program, making it one of the most comprehensively supported EDA projects. Nine partners from the areas of research and industry worked together on this three-year research project, and the edacentrum in Hannover provided the project management. With Dresden-based ZMDI as project coordinator, companies and institutions involved in the project included DMOS GmbH, Fraunhofer IIS/EAS, Infineon Technologies AG, IMMS GmbH, Northrop Grumman LITEF GmbH, Melexis GmbH, MunEDA GmbH, and Robert Bosch GmbH. The four subcontractors IP-Gen Microelectronics GmbH, the Technical University of Ilmenau, the University of Frankfurt am Main, and the Technical University of Dresden also contributed to the project’s success.
All industry partners involved in the consortium have already signaled their intention to use the results from the SyEnA research project over the coming years in product development.
Detailed information on the SyEnA project can be found at www.edacentrum.de/syena