Guiding topics: Audio and Media Technologies

What drives us

Why we carry out research and development in the field of audio and media technology:

Excellent sound at minimum transmission rates: Media technologies are important enablers of today’s entertainment world. And sound is just as significant as images here. Particularly in the case of mobile reception, there is a physical limit on the capacity of transmission channels, making them a precious commodity.

Our technologies for reducing the transmission rate for audio data – such as mp3, AAC, EVS and MPEG-H – ensure that the channels operate at optimum efficiency and reduce the costs of transmission while also increasing reliability. They are used for Internet or mobile telephony as well as for Internet streaming and TV or radio broadcast, whether via cable, satellites or terrestrial systems.

Convincing sound experiences: We strive to improve the user experience through new formats for realistic 3D sound and customization. Our aim is to give users an immersive, location-independent sound experience – whether at home or in the car, via headphones or loudspeakers, and in virtual worlds.

Groundbreaking tools for media production: Our tools for media production help media experts create audio and video content for broadcast, streaming, virtual reality and cinema.

Our approach

These principles define our approach:

We identify existing technological shortcomings and develop solutions to address them. Our technologies are often integrated in open standards. This ensures that access to new technologies is based on fair conditions that are the same for everybody. In addition, we optimize the technologies for various platforms, making it quicker and easier for our customers to integrate them into products. And by founding International AudioLabs Erlangen, we have established a research site for investigating audio topics of the future.

Our competencies

With these competencies, we carry out research and development for the application domains of our customers and partners:

Our scientists and engineers design and build complete end-to-end audio and media production solutions that are tailored to the needs of professional users and end consumers. To this end, we work together with partners in a reliable worldwide network, enabling us to provide easy and efficient access to audio and media technologies.

Our activities here are based on our expertise in audio and image coding, in audio signal analysis and processing, in post-production and standardization, as well as on the development of production tools,

Moreover, we head the Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance to give Fraunhofer Institutes a collaboration platform for jointly offering new media technologies.

For these fields of application

With our expertise, we cover a broad range of applications:

  • AV streaming & music downloads
  • Mobile telephony & VoIP
  • Digital radio & TV
  • Virtual & augmented reality
  • Film
  • Cinema
  • Automotive

Our USPs

What makes us unique:

We have been working on audio coding and media technologies for over 25 years. Thanks to our major contribution to the development of mp3, MPEG AAC and the digitalization of cinema (DCP), we have achieved worldwide recognition. Our Fraunhofer media technologies are already embedded in more than ten billion licensed devices. With over 200 scientists, we have the largest team of experts in this field worldwide. In all competitions held in the context of standardizations, Fraunhofer IIS technologies have always attained top position.

Clear advantages for our customers and partners

How our customers benefit:

Innovation: Our new technologies give our customers the opportunity to create genuine innovations. They lay the groundwork for better products that are substantially different from the predecessor version.

Certainty: Our standardized technologies provide our customers with certainty as regards interoperability and the long-term safeguarding of their investment by means of a FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) patent environment.

Speed: Customers receive fast access to implementation-ready technologies.

Quality: We are world leaders when it comes to the quality of our products.


Teamwork with our partners:

We develop joint technology standards with leading global companies in the mobile phone, entertainment and automotive industries (e.g. for EVS and MPEG-H). In addition, we play a highly active and committed role in over 30 standardization organizations – concerning the development both of fundamental technologies (MPEG AAC, 3GPP EVS, JPEG2000, JPEG XS) and of user standards (DVB, ATSC, UHDTV, Bluetooth). We also carry out research in close cooperation with the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, and many other national and international universities, and research institutions.


Find out more!


Product and research overview for audio and media technologies

Guiding topic: Cognitive sensor systems

In these pages, we present our second guiding topic: cognitive sensor systems.