The research project, called EMMA, includes seven work packages as well as a doctoral program to qualify young scientists in order to build long-term talent and promote the region's competitiveness. With a budget of more than 15 million euros, EMMA is the largest industrial project contract ever awarded to a Fraunhofer Institute by a company nationwide. Researchers at Fraunhofer IPMS are primarily working on new process developments for Globalfoundries' particularly power-saving FDX technology in the project. Other project parts focus on the development of non-volatile embedded memories as well as the characterization and modeling of high-frequency (RF) transistors.
In the RF project part, the Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT is responsible for evaluating new RF transistor concepts in FDX technology. This will identify particularly high performance RF chip designs that are critical for future 5G cellular deployment. Various test designs will be investigated for their functional performance and reliability over extended periods of time. In addition to extensive expertise and know-how, this requires highly sensitive measurement equipment. The most important measurement instrument here is an electrical prober, which can be used to contact and measure RF transistors directly on the wafer. In combination with Globalfoundries' FDX technology, the transistors achieve very good performance values with only extremely low parasitic influences. This allows higher output powers to be achieved in future 5G base stations without having to use more expensive compound semiconductor devices or integrate different devices on one chip. This enables more efficient, high-performance 5G chips that are easier to miniaturize compared to the alternatives.