RF & Smart Sensor Systems

The department of RF & Smart Sensor Systems focuses on research and development of application-specific wireless sensor nodes, radar and proximity sensor systems as well as wireless communication and high-performance computing (HPC) modules for a wide range of application fields.

Furthermore, we perform in-depth characterization of electronic packaging technologies, and develop innova-tive designs for RF/high-speed, millimeter-wave (mmWave) and terahertz (THz) packaging.

Our R&D activities concentrate on the following areas:

  • High-frequency Packaging
  • Components and Modules for Communication (e.g. 5G/6G) and Computing
  • Radar and Proximity Sensor Systems
  • Wireless Sensor Nodes and Systems
  • Micro Energy Storage
  • Physical Design Tools and Software

We collaborate closely with industry partners worldwide and provide cost-effective and innovative solutions at every level along the value chain, from materials to systems.

We look forward to welcoming you as our cooperation partner.

The key R&D areas in the department are as follows:

  • High-frequency Packaging
    • Measurement and characterization of packaging materials, processes and interconnects in dependency on frequency (up to 500 GHz), temperature (-40°C to 200°C), humidity and aging
    • Design and optimization of application-specific RF packaging platforms (e.g, AiP/AoP) for heterogeneous system-integration of active devices (SiGe, GaAs, GaN, …), antennas and passive components
    • Investigation of novel metamaterial concepts for application-specific RF packages and components
  • Components and Modules for Communication and Computing
    • Development of application-specific antenna arrays, energy-efficient frontend modules and active antenna systems for the following:
      • Mobile communication network infrastructure (e.g. base stations for RAN) and wireless interface of end devices and systems in vertical applications, e.g. for 5G & 6G connectivity
      • Satellite communication (LEO, MEO, GEO), considering earth stations and space segments
    • System-level signal and power integrity driven design, measurement and optimization of high-speed interposers, boards and modules in accelerator cards for high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data workloads
  • Radar and Proximity Sensor Systems
    • Design, integration and middleware development of novel radar sensors (including AI-signal processing) for automotive, logistic, transportation and home automation applications
    • Development of cost-effective, miniaturized and application-specific radar and proximity sensor systems for medical & healthcare, industrial automation, smart farming and security applications
  • Wireless Sensor Nodes and Systems
    • Low power system design of energy autarkic wireless sensor nodes for smart farming, industrial automation and smart city applications
    • Implementation of hardware based AI-algorithms for data preconditioning
    • Leading edge wireless sensor nodes-based monitoring system for overhead power lines
    • Collective intelligence in decentralized and distributed systems
  • Micro Energy Storage
    • Development of micro batteries for ultra-miniaturized medical applications & energy autarkic sensors
    • Materials development for micro batteries: solid state electrolytes and novel battery packaging
    • Hydrogen storage in galvanic Zinc cells and Ni-Zn rechargeable batteries
  • Physical Design Tools & Software
    • Machine learning algorithms for Big Data applications
    • Planning tools for IoT-Systems
    • Development of add-on layout tools considering EMC, thermal and RF requirements

We offer R&D services in the following areas:

  • Feasibility studies for application-specific development of new microelectronic components, modules and systems
  • Provide consulting services on emerging and future technologies (e.g. 5G, 6G, THz sensing, …) to industries (SMEs and large companies) as well as to municipalities, state and federal agencies
  • Wireless Sensor Nodes & Systems
    • Low-power system design (hardware & software) and integration of energy autarkic wireless sensor nodes for the following application fields:
      • Smart farming, smart factory and smart city
      • Monitoring of overhead power lines
    • Development of proprietary protocols for wireless sensor nodes
    • Implementation of edge AI algorithms for data preconditioning
    • Power supply and energy management in microelectronic systems
    • Design and Development of scalable decentralized systems
  • Radar and Proximity Sensor Systems
    • Design, integration and middleware development of novel radar sensors (including AI-signal processing) for automotive, logistic, transportation and home automation applications
    • Development of cost-effective, miniaturized and application-specific radar and proximity sensor systems for medical & healthcare, industrial automation, smart farming and security applications
  • Components and Modules for Communication and Computing
    • Development of application-specific antenna arrays, energy-efficient frontend modules and active antenna systems for the following:
      • Mobile communication network infrastructure (e.g. base stations for RAN) and wireless interface of end devices and systems in vertical applications, e.g. for 5G & 6G connectivity
      • Satellite communication (LEO, MEO, GEO) considering earth stations and space segments
    • System-level signal and power integrity driven design, measurement and optimization of high-speed interposers, boards and modules in accelerator cards for high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data workloads
  • High-frequency Packaging
    • Measurement, characterization and analysis of packaging materials and processes in dependency on frequency (up to 500 GHz), temperature (-40°C to 200°C), humidity and aging
    • Design, measurement and optimization of packaging interconnects up to 500 GHz
      • Chip interconnections (e.g. bond wires, flip-chip interconnects), transmission lines and vias
      • Package-to-board and board-to-board interconnects (e.g. BGA balls, sinter interconnects)
      • RF connectors
  • Micro Energy Storage
    • Design and prototype fabrication of customized micro batteries with application specific dimensions, temperature, voltage and power range
    • Battery testing service and consulting
    • Electrochemical testing of novel battery systems
  • Physical Design Tools & Software
    • Planning tools for IoT-Systems
    • Development of add-on layout tools considering EMC, thermal and RF requirements
    • Database systems for processing data from sensor networks
    • Provision of client-server architectures for data analysis

The department is structured into eight R&D groups.

Three groups carry out R&D on miniaturized and low-power wireless sensor nodes, energy storage components as well as on physical design tools & software.

Sensor Nodes & Embedded Microsystems / Group Leader: Carsten Brockmann

Physical Design Tools & Software / Group Leader: Bernd Stube

Micro Energy Systems / Group Leader: Dr. Robert Hahn

Five groups carry out R&D on RF packaging as well as on high-frequency components, modules and systems for sensing, communication and computing, thereby covering the entire value chain of the respective applications, from materials to systems.

High-Frequency Materials / Group Leader: Dr. rer. nat. Julia-Marie Köszegi

High-Frequency Interconnects & Components / Group Leader: Michael Kaiser (Acting)

Wireless Communication Modules / Group Leader: Michael Kaiser

Radar Frontends & Modules / Group Leader: Dr.-Ing. Christian Tschoban

Branch Lab, High Frequency Sensors & High-Speed Systems / Head: Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. habil. Ivan Ndip