Communication Systems

On course for success: satellites in the mobile network

Communication Systems / June 14, 2024

© Fraunhofer IIS

Satellites are the shooting stars in the 5G universe. This is because with their extensive geographic coverage, they have the potential to bring 5G – and one day 6G – to every corner of the planet and thus pave the way for global connectivity. At Fraunhofer IIS, we’re working on enhanced satellite coverage, cellular base stations on satellites, and handover procedures that in the future will enable our smartphones to communicate seamlessly via satellite.

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Women power inventors at Fraunhofer IIS: Dr. Elke Roth-Mandutz – 5G could be even better

Panorama / August 11, 2023

Dr. Elke Roth-Mandutz leverages her creativity and experience in standardization to improve the security and energy efficiency of this mobile communications standard

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When the fascination of space comes to life

Communication Systems / 7.7.2023

For 15 years, Rainer Wansch and his team have been researching the idea of an on-board processor that can be controlled from Earth when it’s aboard a satellite orbiting the globe. Now the Fraunhofer On-Board Processor has arrived in space. A story of patience and perseverance.

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Campus radio funklust e.V. is broadcasting from a new home

Audio and Media Technologies / Communication Systems | 23.11.2022

© Fraunhofer IIS / Julian Popp

About 19 years ago, Fraunhofer IIS and the Chair of Information Technology (LIKE) at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) founded a digital campus radio station. It was a research project aimed at testing technical innovations and digital broadcasting systems and working with FAU students on developing innovative, content-related concepts. The campus radio station has long since outgrown its status as a research project, and in 2022, the broadcasting studio moved from Erlangen’s E-Werk cultural center to the “Blue House” on the Europa Canal in Erlangen. On the occasion of this move, we take a look back at 19 years of fruitful collaboration.

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Pooling and applying research – How the InSignA High-Performance Center is helping local SMEs with digitalization

Communication Systems / Cognitive Sensor Technologies / 14.10.2022

© Fraunhofer IDMT / Stefanie Theiß
Jörg Robert, stellvertretender Abteilungsleiter, demonstriert das Open-Source-Modul mit dem KMU unkompliziert Erfahrungen mit der drahtlosen LPWAN-Technologie mioty® sammeln kön-nen.

Located in the town of Ilmenau in the German state of Thuringia, the InSignA High-Performance Center aims to harness synergy effects at a local level and to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with digitalization and other projects. Jörg Robert, Deputy Head of the Electronic Measurements and Signal Processing (EMS) department and professor at TU Ilmenau, explains: “Part of our mission as a research organization is to successfully transfer the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s research and technologies and apply them to serve industry and society. High-Performance Centers are incubators of innovation with a regional focus.”

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Dr. Marco Breiling – “We can’t wait for the rest of the world”

Series: AI / 21.03.2022

© Fraunhofer IIS / Paul Pulkert

Dr. Marco Breiling (51) wants to assist in shaping the future of Germany. The electrical engineer from Erlangen helps get successful high-tech products made in Germany. Inspired by the energy efficiency of a bee’s brain, his team develops clever microchips that process very large data volumes in an energy-saving manner. This achievement impressed the jury of the pilot innovation competition “Energy-Efficient AI System” organized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Here, Marco Breiling gives fascinating insights into his field of research.

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Fraunhofer-project SEC-Learn

Series: AI / 18.03.2022

Icon image - neuromorphic hardware
© zapp2photo –
Künstliche Intelligenz - KI

The SEC-Learn (Sensor Edge Cloud for Federated Learning) project, involving eleven Fraunhofer Institutes, promises a major technological leap in the field of neuromorphic hardware: for the first time, a chip is being developed to accelerate spiking neural networks (SNN) in conjunction with what is known as federated learning. This would offer practical benefits for companies and individuals.

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Neuromorphic hardware turns AI into a “quick thinker”

AI series

© Kaikoro

Bottlenecks are not exactly popular – after all, they bring entire processes to a standstill. Artificial intelligence has a bottleneck of its own to contend with. To be precise, it is impossible to speed up artificial intelligence indefinitely on classical computers. The hardware needs time to “think”.  Read here how we solve this problem.

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Dramatically reducing the risk of stroke with neuromorphic hardware

Communication Systems / Smart Sensing and Electronics / Engineering of Adaptive Systems 6.5.2021

The team from Fraunhofer IIS and FAU with its “Lo3-ML” (Low-power low-memory low-cost ECG signal analysis using ML algorithms) project triumphed as one of the four winning teams in the “energy-efficient AI system” pilot innovation competition.

Computer architecture inspired by the human brain – to most people, this sounds rather abstract and removed from everyday life. Far from it: a research team from Fraunhofer IIS and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has developed neuromorphic hardware capable of detecting early signs of atrial fibrillation and considerably reducing the risk of stroke. In other words, this application has an entirely practical place in everyday life.

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Neuromorphic hardware for autonomous driving

Communication Systems / 22.3.2021

Bringing intelligence to devices is an essential prerequisite for autonomous driving. After all, real-life traffic situations demand fast responses and leave no time to transmit sensor data to a cloud for intelligent analysis. In the KI-FLEX project, researchers are developing neuromorphic hardware that allows artificial intelligence (AI) to be integrated directly into a car – in the form of a flexible platform. Project coordinator Michael Rothe from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS offers his insights into the project.

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AI series: Neural networks that fire spikes

Communication Systems / 9.3.2021

Johannes Leugering
© Fraunhofer IIS/Paul Pulkert

Analog or digital – two terms that will be quite familiar to most people. But when it comes to artificial intelligence, only the experts know that there’s something “in between.” They call this “in between” the spiking neural network (SNN). One of the main hopes for the SNN approach is that it will resolve how to integrate “intelligence” directly into devices. Cognitive scientist Johannes Leugering explains what’s involved.

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AI series – Edge AI: Energy-saving “building blocks” for smart end devices

Communication Systems / Smart Sensing and Electronics / 4.1.2021

© ©Siarhei -

The purpose of Edge AI is to relocate artificial intelligence to where it is needed: end devices. For this to work, however, processing operations cannot be too energy-intensive. In the ECSEL projects ANDANTE and TEMPO, researchers at Fraunhofer IIS are paving the way for this emerging technology with the development of suitable chips, algorithms, and tools.

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Edge AI: Stronger together

Communication Systems / Smart Sensing and Electronics / 21.12.2020

© ©Siarhei -

Some challenges are best faced shoulder to shoulder – like developing the chips, algorithms, and the hardware needed to integrate artificial intelligence directly into end devices, a paradigm also known as “Edge AI”. Marco Breiling, chief scientist at the Fraunhofer IIS Communication Systems division and Dr. Loreto Mateu, group manager at the Fraunhofer IIS Smart Sensing and Electronics division, talk about why their collaboration on Edge AI is so fruitful, and the benefits of working in an international team.

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Beyond 5G – Is it time to start thinking about 6G?

Cognitive Sensor Technologies / Communications Systems 24.11.2020

As Head of the Department of Broadband and Broadcast, Bernhard Niemann coordinates the activities of Fraunhofer IIS in relation to 5G. In this capacity, he focuses on the potential uses of 5G in new areas of application, such as Industry 4.0 and automated driving.

Interview with Bernhard Niemann, Head of the Department of Broadband and Broadcast at Fraunhofer IIS

5G technologies for a range of use cases

Cognitive Sensor Technologies / Communications Systems / Positioning and networks 25.11.2019

© Fraunhofer IIS/Karoline Glasow
Prof. Albert Heuberger, Director of Fraunhofer IIS: "It is our job to give industry access to the latest technologies."

Prof. Albert Heuberger, Director of Fraunhofer IIS, explains the significance of research in the development and use of 5G and how it can benefit users.

“5G will bring far-reaching changes”

Cognitive Sensor Technologies / Communications Systems / 13.3.2018

Gebäude des Fraunhofer IIS mit Sendemast
© Fraunhofer IIS
5 G – Schlüsseltechnologie für Industrie 4.0.

5G is much more than the follow-up to 4G. We spoke with expert Bernhard Niemann about what the next generation of wireless networks can do better, what it will make possible, when it will be available, and what role Fraunhofer IIS is playing in the 5G rollout.


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