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German IC energy cutting project progresses

Posted: 23 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IT? IC? power? energy?

The Dresden Cool Silicon project, a program launched in 2009 by the city of Dresden, Germany to stimulate technology development in the region and creating jobs, is entering its second phase. The objective of the projects involved is to reduce energy consumption by ICs and IT

The project is outlined to last five years and has a budget of 135 million euro (about $180 million). However, it has to be evaluated in a positive light to allowed to continue drawing down money, explained Thomas Mikolajick, coordinator, the Cool Silicon cluster.

In the area of micro- and nanotechnologies research projects are looking at the effects of variability and how to mitigate them. Work with GlobalFoundries and the Advanced Mask Technology Center GmbH & Co. KG are looking to ways to reduce the variations in photomasks.

There are also projects to create a high-voltage technology, a 700V process in a 0.35micron process with X-Fab and work on improving in-fab logistics which can improve productivity by up to 16 percent, Professor Mikolajick said.

In the communications area local companies including Blue Wonder Communications GmbH have developed a dynamically controlled power amplifier for use in 3G cellular communications. Blue Wonder has also created a baseband for an energy-efficient wireless modem based on the LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard in both its frequency domain channel and time domain channel formats.

The third area of endeavor is sensor networks where scientists have developed self-powered and wirelessly networked sensor systems. One area of application is as a crack sensor for use on airplane fuselage which will be powered by vibrations in the fuselage during flight.

The system has been developed in terms of a number of elements so far, sensor, energy recovery and storage, wireless transmission. "we are less than a factor of 2 away and we need to demonstrate 30 year rather 10 year extropolated reliability," said Mikolajick, adding that would be work for the second phase of the Cool Silicon project. In total there are 192 individual technical projects,

"These are the highlights from phase one. Phase one was about a lot of basic technology. In phase two there will be a lot of demonstrations," said Mikolajick, expressing confidence that Cool Silicon would be given the all clear to continue in January 2011.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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