Sensitec GmbH is collaborating in the European research project Intelligent Reliability 4.0 (iRel40) with 75 scientific and industrial partners from 13 countries to improve the reliability of electronic systems and microelectronic components. This project is coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG.
"High-performance electronics form the basis for future-oriented technologies such as electromobility, autonomous driving, renewable energies and energy-efficient networked solutions. However, they will only be successful if users can rely on reliable functionality, quality and durability. Reliability is a key differentiator in international competition," says Dr Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG.
The special feature of iRel40 is the holistic approach to optimising the reliability of microelectronic systems along the entire value chain. All stages of a product and its manufacture are examined, starting with the wafer, through the chip, the packaging and the system, and all with the actual application in mind. A significant reduction in failure rates and thus an increase in product quality and service life represent the actual goal. This promotes a more sustainable use of our natural resources. Experts from science and industry rely on the latest findings and methods of materials research and failure analysis, including modelling and simulation as well as artificial intelligence. New, improved methods and procedures for increasing reliability will be developed and verified in concrete application cases from the fields of energy, transport and industry.
The collaborative project aims to build strong partnerships and enable investment in innovation across Europe, securing highly skilled jobs in Europe for the long term. The European Union is funding iRel40 as part of the ECSEL programme (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership). Germany supports the project work of the German partners through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as through the two federal states of Saxony and Thuringia. The project will run for three years and is expected to end in April 2023.
Sensitec is a technology leader in magnetoresistive sensor technology. For more than 20 years, Sensitec has been developing and manufacturing magnetoresistive sensors (AMR, GMR, TMR) in its own wafer fab in Mainz and in system assembly at its headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany. The company supplies innovative sensor solutions for applications in the automotive, aerospace, industrial automation, measurement and testing, renewable energy, medical technology and biotechnology sectors. Main sensor solutions are current sensors, which can be used e.g. for electric speed drives or power electronic converters and inverters, position sensors for industrial plants, automotive controls and medical tools, scanners for non-destructive testing, contactless switches for pacemakers/implanted defibrillators. Sensitec has been part of the German Körber AG Group since 2013. With partners from industry and research, Sensitec develops new solutions for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance within the framework of publicly funded projects.
Sensitec will lead the industrial pilot project 17 "Reliable xMR sensor based current measurement modules" within iRel40. Within this activity, a small group of project partners will investigate current sensor modules to improve their reliability. This will be achieved through simulation, testing, a better understanding of the physics of failure and the selection of new materials and process improvements. Furthermore, intelligent analyses of data from the production and testing of the modules and their components using AI algorithms will be used to increase reliability and reduce production costs. Special attention will be paid to harsh environmental conditions, taking into account an extended temperature range between -40 °C and 165 °C.
In addition to leading the IP17 industrial pilot project, Sensitec will contribute to the development of more reliable AMR current sensor components and modules. In addition, Sensitec will work with the project partners to improve production and testing processes in thin-film technology, with the aim of developing more reliable sensor products even under harsh environmental conditions.
Further information on the project and the project partners can be found on the website www.irel40.eu.