Future Mobility: Green mobility "made in Saxony"

Applications in the field of moblity

Technology development and process innovations aim to improve the quality of technology designs by enabling performance improvements through reduced power loss and longer battery life. A focus is placed on quality assurance throughout product and process development and across the product life cycle. Adequate methods for process analysis, design and monitoring are being developed to ensure these standards.

In high-volume production, the focus is on further automation and digitalization. Unforeseen bottlenecks are to be avoided through factory simulation applications and visualization of material flows. At the same time, the digitalization of decision-making processes in office workflows is being driven forward in order to create transparent and efficient processes. It is particularly important to establish people-centered workplaces that promote collaboration and the well-being of employees. This integrated approach not only promotes technological development, but also creates a sustainable and efficient production environment.

LiDAR - Vehicle environment sensor technology for autonomous driving

Applications in the field of moblity

In autonomous vehicles, the human is only a passenger; the car keeps the lane independently and detects obstacles and dangers. LiDAR sensors are used so that the vehicle can detect its environment. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) enables distance and speed measurement between objects and the vehicle and is based on the emission of laser signals into the environment, the reflection of which is detected and analysed.

For this purpose, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing microscanning mirrors that meet the high requirements of autonomous driving and are small and integrable at the same time. The approach being pursued is that of a "scanning eye", which enables digital vision in three dimensions.

A micromirror scanner module captures the environment by distributing laser radiation in two dimensions. The third dimension in space is determined from the light reflected from the object using various methods such as time-of-flight measurement, coded pulses or the demodulation of FMCW signals. The MEMS mirrors of Fraunhofer IPMS can ensure ambient detection in the range of a few centimetres up to several hundred meters. Due to their low weight and good integrability, the modules are insensitive to vibration despite their mobility and can detect the environment without measurement blur.

The MEMS scanners, made of single-crystalline silicon, are extremely robust and fatigue-free and meet the requirements in terms of optical scanning ranges as well as shock and vibration stability. As such, they meet the reliability requirements of a solid state LiDAR. CMOS-compatible silicon technology also allows for scalable, cost-effective manufacturing of the modules and enables their integration into existing systems. The application of LiDAR technology for a MEMS scanner-based "eye" for vehicles is thus a promising path towards autonomous driving. 

Car-2-car communication

Applications in the field of moblity

Connected vehicles are fundamental for innovations such as autonomous driving and platooning, i.e. automated driving in columns. Up to now, radio-based methods such as WLAN (IEEE 802.11p) have been used. This technology is well established and allows high data rates. However, such standards also have their weaknesses, such as a narrowly limited frequency range, signals that can be manipulated and electromagnetic compatibility. Alternative transmission paths to complement the systems are therefore in demand.

Li-Fi uses light sources such as LEDs instead of radio waves and modulates them. The emitted signals are then picked up by a photodiode. Real-time Li-Fi technology, with latencies in the microsecond range can be used as a redundant or additional channel to WiFi.


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  • Technology Consulting
  • Concept development
  • Hardware and module design
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Realistic holography with spatial light modulators

Applications in the field of moblity

A virtual projection that appears so close to reality that you want to touch it. Traffic signs superimposed on the windscreen, embedded three-dimensionally and realistically in the driver's field of vision. This is not fiction, but should be possible in the future with the micro-mirror matrices of Fraunhofer IPMS.

Millions of tiny mirrors built on a semiconductor chip will bend the light in such a way that realistic 3D images are created as spatial projections. The individual mirrors, which vary in number and size per chip depending on the application, can be lowered individually to create a two-dimensional pattern that can be used to generate three-dimensional holographic images.

The underlying process of holography uses the wave character of light to achieve spatial representations. The basis for this is the perception of the human eye, which only perceives the reflected light waves and not the object itself. On this basis, holographic projections enable the spatial representation of objects as holograms. However, these images were mostly static and unable to depict moving images. Previous approaches for moving holography, on the other hand, were not close enough to reality because light modulators are not available in sufficient quality.

With the micro mirror arrays of Fraunhofer IPMS, computer animated holography will be possible in the future, reproducing such a realistic light field that the real and virtual worlds merge - moving and in real time. This makes the use of holography in driving as augmented reality or also in the field of multi-dimensional television possible. 

Displays and Wearables

Applications in the field of moblity

We offer special miniaturized solutions with low power consumption, such as microdisplays in data glasses.  These solutions increase requirements for new device concepts such as bidirectional microdisplays (equipped with display and sensor image function) and novel layers to achieve advanced optical performance and quality.

Digital and energy-efficient radar networks for heterogeneous E/E vehicle architectures

Applications in the field of moblity

The aim of the project is to research distributed, efficient data processing using AI methods in digital radar networks to be used in fully automated vehicles. The focus is on the comprehensive digitization of all system-relevant functionalities and the development of an optimal distribution of the computing load between domain controllers, sensor nodes and the central computer. The distribution of the computational load is to be optimized in terms of image quality, cost, energy efficiency, reliability and real-time capability. At the end of the project, the demonstration of an intelligent radar sensor network is planned.

The project contributes to the development of sustainable communication technology and thus supports the achievement of climate protection goals. First and foremost, it enables the resource-efficient and safe use of communication technology for fully automated driving. However, the project results can also be transferred to other sensor types and applications such as Industry 4.0, logistics and medical technology.

Within the project, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing a future-proof automotive TSN network architecture as well as suitable high-performance network nodes for the exchange of vehicle data. It will contribute its expertise in the areas of Ethernet TSN networks and systems as well as IP core design. The institute will develop new concepts for requirement-specific TSN network IP cores based on existing TSN IP cores with a focus on real-time, very low latency, low jitter, determinism, high data rates (10GBit/s), redundancy and functional safety (ISO26262).

In addition, the Fraunhofer Institute is responsible for the development and integration into FPGA platforms as well as the setup and configuration of zone-based demonstration networks and the demonstration setup. Finally, together with the partners, it is involved in performance analysis in an application environment with connection of radar sensors and zone gateways.

Central Car Server - Supercomputing for Automotive

Applications in the field of moblity

© Sergey Nivens - shutterstock
Fraunhofer IPMS develops platform-independent IP core controllers with very low latencies for automotive vehicle electrical systems.

Autonomous driving is revolutionizing the electronic/electrical vehicle architecture. In order to process and calculate the numerous and complex data volumes in highly automated vehicles, completely new customized and at the same time flexible approaches with energy-efficient and secure automotive qualified high-performance processors are required. The CeCaS project is the first step in this direction.

The project is initially creating the processor and software basis for heterogeneous real-time high-performance central computers in cars. Security and high performance are being combined specifically for the automotive sector by developing proprietary processors, interfaces and system architectures. In short: automotive supercomputing.

The central computing unit is based on non-planar transistor technology (FinFET), with application-specific hardware accelerators and an adaptive software platform for autonomous vehicles supplementing the processors. In the process, the consortium is aiming for automotive qualification (ASIL-D) at the system level.

Within the project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is supporting the definition of the requirements for the overall system with a focus on vehicle networking. The institute contributes its expertise in the area of Ethernet TSN communication networks for the requirements analysis of the server system architecture as well as the communicative connection of the central car server in an in-car network. In this respect, the institute designs and analyzes new TSN networking technologies based on automotive requirements with data rates up to 50Gbit/s and develops automotive communication controllers for ASIC & FPGA systems according to ISO 26262 up to ASIL-D. Additionally, Fraunhofer IPMS supports the TSN performance analysis of the demonstrator.

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