The current semiconductor and chip crisis is having a serious impact on industrial companies worldwide. Due to their high dependence on Asian and American suppliers and value chains, the economies of Bavaria, Germany and Europe are facing major challenges. The Bavarian economy in particular (automotive, medical technology, IT) is heavily dependent on microelectronic components.
Chip design plays a central role in the process from the idea to the finished chip, as it translates the requirements into functionalities and thus shapes the final product innovations.
The Bavarian Chip Design Center (BCDC) is based on the following three pillars:
IC - Design Ecosystem: expansion of design expertise including the creation of an ecosystem IP portfolio (including RISC-V).
IC - Supply Chain: Facilitating access for Bavarian companies to their own integrated circuits (ICs) and building up expertise in transferring production to semiconductor manufacturers, including for smaller volumes.
IC - Design Talents: Strengthening the training of specialists through targeted programs in cooperation with existing university training and the development of experienced specialists through collaboration on research projects (on-the-job training).
The BCDC ensures a bundled approach in order to overcome these challenges and thus make a significant contribution to strengthening the Bavarian economy.
Three Fraunhofer Institutes are working together to achieve this:
- Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security
- Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies EMFT
- Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
In the preliminary project to establish a Bavarian Chip Design Center in 2022, the three Fraunhofer Institutes dedicated themselves to conceptualizing the organization and establishing structures and networks as well as initial research work.
Based on this preliminary work, the institutes jointly drafted the application for the main project to the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy handed over the funding decision for the BCDC on January 18, 2024 at the Fraunhofer IIS Nuremberg Nordostpark site. In this context, the BCDC presented to the public with an overview lecture and an interactive exhibition of the project pillars: IC - Design Talents, IC - Supply Chain and the IC - Ecosystem with five business platforms.
For more information see box below.