Microelectronics has a key function in our digitized society. Smartphones and other everyday devices, industrial production, autonomous vehicles, communication networks or intelligent medical technology - all of this is inconceivable without microelectronics. To be able to use electronics securely in these important areas of everyday life, they must be reliable and trustworthy.In the production of semiconductor devices, the deliberate introduction of additional functionality in order to gain information about the system and thus circumvent security is a major risk. These opportunities are facilitated by the fact that modern manufacturing of electronic components and systems is now globally distributed across many factories. For example, wafer production, assembly into the packaging and final testing take place in specialized production facilities that often do not belong to a corporate group. The logistics can only be traced via the accompanying documents and serial numbers printed on the housings. This information flow is not sufficient for safety-relevant applications. It can be manipulated at will and thus does not inspire confidence in the components.
"Trusted electronics" is about the sovereignty of manufacturing processes, ensuring that only trustworthy components are used. This means that the production and supply chain must be traceable beyond doubt. The individual components and the structure of the electronic components must be known. Today, this is often not yet possible. In order to find solutions for this, Fraunhofer IPMS is involved in the flagship initiative "Trustworthy Electronics" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF.