This is a clear opportunity to understand better the crucial role of the ECSEL JU in the technology arena and the key importance of ECS technologies in driving innovation in business and society, with a great impact on the daily life of all European citizens.
Projects will be split into major groups in order to give a general overview of the ECSEL JU programme and its impact:
Chips used in the digital domain (computing, memory, etc.) work at speeds and voltages that are not compatible with the harsh real world. Power electronics devices connect the “cyber” machines to the real, physical world. Without them, the computing power of our most advances machines is of limited use in many application domains. Through power electronics devices, the computing power can be connected to real-world applications, unleashing the potential of digitalisation in many new domains. ECSEL JU funded projects: TARANTO, PowerBase, REACTION, R2POWER300, R3-PowerUP, OSIRIS, 5G_GaN2, E450LMDAP.
Advances in computing power and storage come from ever increasingly demanding applications. An autonomous car will require immense computing power at low cost and vanishingly small energy consumption, which can only be feasible if the computing chips and related memories can really be produced, economically and at industrial scale. Development on semiconductor processes, capable of making chips with features that can these days be measured in small numbers of atoms, is vital to be able to meet this demand. Mastering the capability is also strategically key for Europe, in view of the all-pervasive nature of these applications and the security and safety issues they imply. These projects address the key technological challenges at the very source of the value chain. ECSEL JU funded projects: HiPERFORM, WAYTOGO FAST, WInSiC4AP, OCEAN12, ADMONT, SeNaTe, TAKE5, TAKEMI5, TAPES3, 3DAM, PRIME, REFERENCE, EnSo, EuroPAT-MASIP, MICROPRINCE, WAKeMeUP.
Transport and Smart Mobility
Safe, inclusive and environmentally friendly mobility is high on everyone’s agenda. Electric cars with many self-driving features, be they hydrogen-powered, hybrid or battery driven, are slowly becoming available at affordable prices. But there is a lot more to do. For example, the sensors used to “keep an eye” on the surroundings cannot fail to detect objects or people in a scene, especially in bad weather, so more advanced sensors and processing algorithms are needed, to assure safety. But “autonomous vehicles” goes beyond the private car: heavy goods vehicles, ships and even submarine autonomous vehicles (the latter for example used for remote survey and repairs of under-water infrastructures) are also important areas. ECSEL JU funded projects: 3Ccar, Autodrive, PRYSTINE, SWARMs, DENSE, RobustSENSE, ENABLE-S3, WinSiC4AP.
Safety, Security and Reliability
The age of computers and connectivity has brought many advantages and has huge potential for more. The growing realisation that individual or collective privacy is at stake, and that our increasing dependence on these machines makes the impact of failure all the more dramatic, has started a sharp upswing in the demand for secure, safe and private electronics systems. Encryption of data on its own is not enough: a complete review of the way our critical systems are constructed and protected is needed, if the required level of security and safety is to be offered at an affordable cost (both in money terms and in speed and power consumption). ECSEL JU funded projects: SECREDAS, AQUAS, SCOTT, SafeCOP.
Health and Well-Being
Changing demographics is driving up the cost of health-care when done in the traditional way. New paradigms of care and cure are being put forward that can address this issue. And without exception they all rely on electronics in order to work. For example, ECSEL JU projects have brought together results from other work, to be able to create ultrasonic transducers that can make images from inside the body: specifically around the heart, where “stents” are used to reinforce blood vessels that are damaged by, or to prevent, heart failure. The ability to ‘see’ where the stent is going, at the end of a catheter used in minimally invasive heart surgery, reduces the cost and increases the certainty of success of an operation. ECSEL JU funded projects: ASTONISH, FITOPVIS, InForMED.
“Industry”. The heart of any economy and the basis on which we – as individuals and as a society – can enjoy fulfilling and heathy lives. Ultimately, all wealth starts with someone taking something and transforming it into something of value to others. “Industry” is the pivot around which all economies turn. It is unmissable. Without electronics, literally nothing can happen these days. Society rightly demands that the products we enjoy also come to be with respect for people and for the environment. Handling the complexity of all these products and services is far from trivial, and the solutions for this are being developed in “platforms” – common approaches and ICT solutions that facilitate advanced manufacturing and logistics, advancing competitiveness and assuring jobs. ECSEL JU funded projects: EXIST, iDev40, IoSense, MANTIS, SemI40, Productive 4.0.
Systems and Components
With the complexity of electronic systems growing at an exponential rate, it is essential to assure the necessary tools are available, to transform ideas and concepts into innovative, producible and testable devices, and products and services based on them. They provide the link between the ever-increasing technology capabilities (More Moore (MM) and More-than-Moore (MtM) chips), increased connectivity, and the demand for new, increasingly complex and innovative products and services that are needed to fulfil societal needs. At the same time, and to keep Europe competitive in this domain, these tools must ensure increasing productivity, reducing development costs and time-to-market, yet without compromising on quality, performance, cost, energy and resource efficiency, safety, security and reliability. That’s a lot of things to ask!