The market for microsystems with integrated data processing is growing due to diminishing manufacturing costs and system size. Innovation in intelligent microsystem technology is mainly driven by advances in IC, MEMS and packaging technology. A wide range of applications, including access control units, catastrophe management solutions, technical inspection technology and monitoring of environmental conditions, benefit from miniaturization and improved mechanical robustness.
Designing intelligent microsystems is no small task due to the significant functional complexity and very diverse technology questions that have to be addressed. At the same time, this heterogeneity also facilitates a high degree of design freedom. Current standard design processes are geared towards optimizing individual components in isolation and do not sufficiently support the design process as a whole. The approaches are usually limited to tackling specific design questions, instead of the system as a whole. Fraunhofer IZM employs an entire team of scientists dedicated to helping developers of smart microsystems improve cross-technology optimization.