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.

Bright minds wanted for chip design in Europe

Fraunhofer IIS / March 27, 2024

The predominant development and manufacturing of chips in Asia not only render Europe highly dependent on Asian production, potentially leading to delivery challenges. An issue of at least equal importance for Europe is the preservation of expertise and the education of the upcoming generation of chip designers. Harald Neubauer, an expert from the Chip Design Center at Fraunhofer IIS, possesses a deep understanding of these matters and potential strategies to address them. 

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Chip designer: A job for creative researchers

Fraunhofer IIS / March 22, 2024

© AdobeStock/ Raimundas

Developing semiconductor components involves a significant amount of tinkering and tackling complex challenges. However, this profession also offers ample creative freedom, state-of-the-art equipment, and collaboration within exceptional teams. In our videos, chip designers share further insights into their work.

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Innovation in the semiconductor market: chiplets pave the way to the future

Fraunhofer IIS / March 4, 2024

© Fraunhofer IIS
Simplified representation of chiplet design

We caught up with Andy Heinig, a chiplet expert at Fraunhofer IIS, and asked him the following questions: What role will chiplet technology play in the future? What challenges does this raise and what progress can we expect in the near term? What do specific collaborations between Fraunhofer IIS and industry partners look like? 

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Director of Fraunhofer IIS Albert Heuberger defines the German semiconductor industry

Fraunhofer IIS / February 14, 2024

Prof. Albert Heuberger, Institutsleiter Fraunhofer IIS

EE Times Europe and Institute Director and FMD Chairman Prof. Albert Heuberger talk about applied research and the future of the semiconductor industry in this video.

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Fraunhofer to join forces with Taiwan’s chip experts

Fraunhofer IIS / August 2, 2023

© Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik
Professor Albert Heuberger, Director Fraunhofer IIS

A successful start: In February 2023, a German delegation consisting of 22 members visited Taiwan's leading universities and research institutes to explore opportunities to cooperate in the fields of microelectronics and hydrogen. Representatives of Fraunhofer IIS and the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD for its acronym in German) identified promising and extensive potential for intensifying cooperation in the future, for instance in chip design.

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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.

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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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