Series: Chip design in Europe

28. September 2022

Industry in Europe is facing a great challenge. In recent decades, the continent’s industrial manufacturing of highly integrated semiconductor chips has fallen behind; at present, it is extremely dependent on production facilities in Asia. However, issues such as data security, artificial intelligence and the fight against crime have increasingly become dependent on the availability of semiconductors. That’s why it’s time to act. In the European Chips Act, the EU has presented ambitious plans to strengthen the continent’s technological sovereignty and set the course for the future. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, with its know-how in research and the development and design of integrated circuits, is taking a leadership role in this pan-European project.
In our chip design series, we highlight the importance of a European chip design ecosystem. We present the goals and responsibilities of the Bavarian Chip Design Center as well as what Fraunhofer IIS has to offer companies and SMEs, and we explain how we are promoting the training and development of specialist chip designers. The series begins with a statement from Prof. Albert Heuberger, Director of Fraunhofer IIS.

Professor Albert Heuberger: Chip design is the key to Europe’s technological sovereignty

Fraunhofer IIS / 28.9.2022

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Albert Heuberger
© Fraunhofer IIS
Professor Albert Heuberger, Director Fraunhofer IIS

“Chip design is central to Europe’s innovative power. Semiconductors a key industry and the basis for digitalization. In the process of getting from the idea to the finished chip, it is chip design that turns requirements into functionality and thus shapes product innovations. Fraunhofer IIS plays a major role in this. Our successful research enables companies to use integrated circuits. That way, we strengthen industries such as automotive, medical engineering and IT as well as small, medium-sized and large suppliers and service providers that are heavily dependent on microelectronic components.

Read the statement

Bavarian Chip Design Center – Boosting the region’s innovative strength and economy

Fraunhofer IIS / 19.9.2022

© Fraunhofer / Jens Hartmann
Tailwind for Fraunhofer research: The funding notification for the Bavarian Chip Design Center at three Bavarian Fraunhofer institutes. At the ceremony, from left: Florian Streibl, Prof. Dr. Amelie Hagelauer, Hubert Aiwanger, Kerstin Schreyer, Prof. Dr. Albert Heuberger, Prof. Dr. Georg Sigl.

Investing in manufacturing options will not be enough to safeguard Europe’s leading position in producing future generations of advanced semiconductor technologies. It is essential to translate the results of European research and development into mature technological innovations that can be manufactured in Europe. To this end, the state of Bavaria is funding a preliminary project to pave the way for the Bavarian Chip Design Center BCDC. On September 19, 2022, Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger presented the Fraunhofer Institutes AISEC, EMFT and IIS with a funding notification in the amount of just under 1 million euros earmarked for establishing the Center.
We interviewed Dr. Thorsten Edelhäußer, Head of Research Planning at Fraunhofer IIS, about setting up the BCDC and what its role will be.

Read the interview

Further information


Cognitive Sensor Technologies / 15.6.2022

Digital sovereignty – Maintaining technological self-determination in Europe

Statement by professor Albert Heuberger, executive director Fraunhofer IIS.


Smart Sensing and Electronics


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