Current Research Projects

The system will contain a body worn sensor system, about the size of a large watch which contains the sensors (in the wrist band), data processing and communication.
Funding sources
  • Apple Inc.
Start: 31.03.2022
Information gathering for the IC Designing of the Test vehicles and Definition initial test setups Component characterization Model creation SEED simulation
Funding sources
  • Google Inc.
Start: 08.12.2021
Existing devices will be measured to find important device parameters which influence HD. If needed, a combination of devices inside a more complex electronic circuit will be investigated as well. The continuous operation as well as a burst mode will be investigated. The burst mode is important as devices seem to behave differently during the first oscillations of the high frequency signal. If promising for understanding the root causes, the phase of the harmonics will also be captured. The measurement may include DC bias, temperature variation, digital data traffic to reflect usage scenarios.
Funding sources
  • Nexperia BV Netherlands
Start: 30.06.2021
In this research project, a modeling of materials, as well as a determination of their transport properties is pursued.
Funding sources
  • Infineon Technologies Austria AG
Start: 28.02.2021
Ionizing radiation, like X- and gamma rays, cause a gradual damage in semiconductor devices. Radiationinduced defects build up throughout the exposure time leading to change of transistor characteristics. This leads to reliability issues in integrated circuits (IC). Over the years scaling of the integrated circuit process improved the robustness to radiation thanks to thinner silicon oxides under MOS transistor gate and higher bulk doping levels. However, starting with 40 nm and 28 nm process nodes to reduce high gate leakage currents the gate material had to change to one with high-dielectric constant. This new gate stack in combination with aggressive scaling is expected to uncover new radiation effects. The project SIRENS will focus on these modern process nodes and examine device-level effects and mechanisms of defects forming due to X-rays. Custom integrated test circuits in 40 nm and 28 nm processes will be designed. These will include dedicated test structures, above all arrays of different size and type transistors. Test structures will be exposed to X-ray radiation to characterize parameters drift. Also energy and spatial distributions of traps in the new gate stack will be studied. The effects will be examined from three perspectives. First, the transistor geometry ependence will be examined. The reason of the apparent lack of radiation induced narrow channel effect in p-channel MOS transistor will be investigated. The radiation-induced short channel effect will be examined to determine the dominating effect amongst the three hypotheses: of charge trapping in sidewall spacer, of halo implant increasing the effective doping, and of gate extension area influencing the electric field. The second perspective covers examination of the extent of possible radiation damage. For this, the evolution of traps density will be evaluated up to very high total ionizing dose levels, reaching 1 Grad, including annealing. The final third aspect is studies of dose rate sensitivity of MOS transistors. The hypothesis, suggested in several recent papers, states that high dose rate in accelerated X-ray testing could lead to illusionary lower damage effects than the stress with low dose rate. Today’s understanding of radiation effects in scaled devices down to 28 nm process is only superficial. The proposed studies encompassing two process nodes (40 nm and 28 nm) and three foundries (Fab40, Fab28- A and Fab28-B) will greatly enrich the state of the current knowledge.
Funding sources
  • Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF), FWF
External Partners
  • CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
Start: 30.11.2020
One possible aspect to reduce costs of space exploration and hence allowing for more frequent missions is to reduce the spacecraft size and to bring required launch masses down.Scientific instruments for such missions do require more and more reductions in resource requirements, such as volume, mass and power while at the same time achieving at least the same performance as conventional instruments. Consequently, it is important that especially the instrument front ends and readout units undergo miniaturization.More than 15 years ago, the Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has started to develop a miniaturized front-end electronics based on an Applications Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for the readout of magnetic field sensors. The electronics chip has thus been called Magnetometer Front-end ASIC (MFA). The MFA has been successfully flown on the NASA’s four satellite mission called Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and on ESA’s participation in the South Korean space weather satellite GEO-KOMPSAT-2A (GK-2A). For both missions (MMS was launched in 2015 and GK-2A in 2018) and in total six flight magnetometers, the MFA has been showing superior functionality and competitive performance compared to magnetometers with discretely built electronics. The drawbacks of the MFA as of today are its limited dynamic range, its only moderate radiation harness and the fact that the lifetime of the chip process has come to an end.This project shall be performed in a close cooperation between IWF ad the Institute of Electronics of the Graz University of Technology. It aims for (1) the development and test of a new generation magnetometer front-end ASIC based on a concept study, which was done within a precursor project, and (2) the space demonstration of the new MFA aboard a Finish CubeSat called FORESAIL, which shall enable a rapid technology uplift of the new development and moreover unique radiation belt investigations by IWF scientists.The success of this project will pave the way for the participation of the proposing institutions in ESA’s already selected Comet-Interceptor mission, for which low-resource electronics is mandatory because the second of in total two spacecraft is very much constrained in resources, nd a constellation mission with 32 satellites by NASA, that can only be realised with ASIC based electronics. Besides that, the next generation MFA is considered for various other space missions by the community, such as for NASA’s dual satellite OHMIC mission and the Chinese near-Earth asteroid and main-belt comet explorer. As a result, IWF will be able to keep and even further extend the high level of visibility and expertise in the field of magnetospheric and planetary research based on magnetic field data. For the Institute of Electronics of TUG, this project will be a perfect opportunity to enhance the expertise and competitiveness in the development of high-precision and radiation hard microelectronics.
Funding sources
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG) , FFG
Start: 31.03.2020
Electronic Based Systems (EBS) are components, devices and systems with micro- and nanoelectronics as well as the corresponding embedded software. They are a key enabling technology (KET) and form the basis for a wide range of digitized products and processes, such as autonomous vehicles, personalized medicine, the Internet of Things and intelligent machines. The ongoing upswing in the field of digitalization opens up excellent business opportunities for Austrian companies, which already have a competitive edge in individual areas of EBS. However, EBS is also characterized by a high research dynamic with increased international competition from the USA and Asia. In Austria, there are a number of initiatives to promote research in EBS, such as Silicon Austria Labs, which was founded at the beginning of 2019. The qualification program Inno-EBS is set up in a complementary way to this by partly using existing networks of the Styrian, Carinthian and Upper Austrian partners and by putting together an attractive consortium of 5 scientific and 15 corporate partners along the EBS value chain. All company partners have problems finding suitable specialists with EBS know-how on the labor market. The graduates of universities of applied sciences and universities, who are in high demand, are currently being trained internally in company-relevant EBS topics at great expense. However, this lacks the interdisciplinary focus and R&D competence that will be needed in the future. Inno-EBS closes a gap in the market and concentrates on teaching state-of-the-art cross-sectional competencies in hardware, embedded software and systems. The program addresses target groups from these areas as well as generalists in innovation management. In the context of four target group-specific tracks, the most burning topics of the companies in EBS will be addressed. 67 participants will be trained to become certified EBS specialists using current didactic methods such as "blended learning" formats. Transfer projects in the form of labs under the title "Bring your own idea/prototype or design" support the companies with current problems, consolidate the knowledge of the participants and promote cooperation between science and business. Sustainable networking is also ensured by the composition of the consortium and attractive formats such as Expert Exchange Circles.
Funding sources
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG) , FFG
External Partners
  • Universität Klagenfurt, Institut für Intelligente Systemtechnologien (Smart System Technologies)
  • Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
  • Fachhochschule Kärnten gemeinnützige Privatstiftung, FH Kärnten
  • FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH
Start: 31.01.2020
Microelectronics are the brains of all modern services and products. With incredible processing power, they enable billions of computations per second and store vast data. Artificial Intelligence, smartphones, computers, cloud storage, automobiles, space travel and medical equipment all rely on microelectronics. To advance its competitiveness, the EU microelectronics sector needs to overcome severe skills shortages. In this light, METIS (MicroElectronics Training, Industry and Skills) brings a unique European partnership establishing a sustainable framework to: • analyse key global trends affecting the sector and provide strategic insights and foresights • anticipate emerging skills needs, identify jobs of the future, define related occupational profiles and monitor progress in the domain of human capital for microelectronics • develop a Sector Skills Strategy to support the global leadership of the EU microelectronics industry, establishing operational linkages between skills and the future of the sector • federate European synergies towards the needs of data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence enabled by advanced microelectronics and its skills requirements • establish an EU Microelectronics Observatory & Skills Council • design and deliver a modular and blended curriculum, integrating work-based learning that uses OER • pave the way for the pan-European recognition and certification of innovative VET • use innovative tools such as industry mentoring to facilitate inter-generational transfer of knowledge in the sector • embed social (diversity & inclusion) and environmental sustainability (circular economy) issues and EU policy goals in workforce development
Funding sources
  • European Commission - Europäische Kommission, EU
  • SEMI Europe
External Partners
  • Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem
  • Technical University of Sofia
  • WiTEC EU - European Association for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Silicon Saxony e. V.
  • Fast Track Into Information Ltd
  • European Association of Career Guidance, EACG
  • Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge, USN
  • SEMI Europe
  • CIMEA - Centro Informazioni Mobilità Equivalenze Accademiche
  • IAL Innovazione Apprendimento Lavoro Friuli Venezia Giulia s.r.l.
  • Dresden Chip Academy - SBH Südost GmbH
Start: 31.12.2019