European iDev40 Project aims to Harness AI to Automate Highly-Complex Processes

June 14, 2018 by Paul Shepard

The European research project iDev40 (Integrated Development 4.0) is launched today under the leadership of Infineon Austria. In this project, 38 partners from six countries will be involved in research on the smart networking of development and production processes for electronic components and systems.

With funding of €47 million, iDev40 is among the biggest European research projects with a focus on digitization along the entire value chain and Industry 4.0. Companies are facing the challenge of integrating all their processes in a globally networked, digital value chain.

"Those who use the digitization in the right manner will make development, production and logistics faster, more flexible and more cost efficient ," said Jochen Hanebeck, Chief Operations Officer of Infineon Technologies AG.

"iDev40 aims at automating highly complex processes through methods of artificial intelligence (AI) and to train our employees for the new tasks of the future. Thus, we boost the innovative strength and global competitiveness of the European electronics industry," Hanebeck observed.

"Only by joining our forces, Europe will be a leading innovation and business region with micro- and nano-electronics as key enabling technology for many other innovative industries", said Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG. Herlitschka opts for cross-border cooperation in research.

"Infineon Austria contributes its know-how to the project as one of the strongest companies in terms of research and pioneer in Industry 4.0 in Austria. Infineon also contributes its experience as the coordinator of large-scale European research projects," Herlitschka added.

Jochen Hanebeck (Chief Operations Officer Infineon Technologies AG), Peter Kaiser (Governor of Carinthia) Sabine Herlitschka (CEO Infineon Technologies Austria AG), Michael Wiesmüller (Head of the Department for Information, Industrial Technologies and Space Travel of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology), Bert De Colvenaer (Executive Director ECSEL Joint Undertaking) und Max Lemke (Head of Unit "Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry", European Commission, Directorate General CONNECT).

Digital all-round: knowledge, development and production

The European three-year research project focuses on three areas: secure data and knowledge management along the product life cycle, digital information flow and innovations in the supply chain. Intelligent data management provides secure access to information for people and systems. This makes it possible to deduce information and knowledge from huge amounts of data at high speeds.

Development and production teams will be networked with each other, independent of their locations, and communicate in real time along the value chain.

Processes can be virtually mapped by digital factory and product twins and can thus be simulated comprehensively. Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a central role in all of this.

An important research aspect of iDev40 is the continued development of jobs of the future, in terms of both new job profiles and the skills that are needed to interact with highly automated, complex systems.

Through this project over 15,000 jobs will be secured in the companies involved over the medium to long term. Together with partners along the entire value chain of electronic components and systems this extends to securing work for 50,000 employees globally.

Project launch with top-level participants from the whole of Europe

Top-level project partners attended the kick-off event of Infineon Austria in Villach. Funding agencies and politics were represented by Max Lemke (Head of Unit "Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry", European Commission, Directorate General CONNECT), Bert De Colvenaer (Executive Director ECSEL Joint Undertaking), Michael Wiesmüller (Head of Department of Information, Industrial Technologies and Space Travel of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology - BMVIT), and Peter Kaiser (Governor of Carinthia) represented.

iDev40 is organized as a private-public partnership and as such set to drive the global competitiveness of the European microelectronics industry. It combines investments from industry, individual countries and ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership) Joint Undertaking. In addition to investments from industry, iDev40 is co-financed by funding from Austria (BMVIT), Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and the ECSEL Joint Undertaking.

38 project partners from six countries cooperate in iDev40

Austria: Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, AVL List GmbH, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Infineon Technologies IT-Services GmbH, CISC Semiconductor GmbH, evolaris next level GmbH, KAI Kompetenzzentrum Automobil- und Industrieelektronik GmbH, Know Center GmbH, Kompetenzzentrum - Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, TTTECH Computertechnik AG, Vienna University of Technology, Klagenfurt University

Belgium: Sirris, Yazzoom

Germany: camLine GmbH, eccenca GmbH, Elmos Semiconductor AG, FernUniversität Hagen, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology, Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security GmbH, Dresden University of Applied Sciences, Zittau/Görlitz University, Infineon Technologies AG, Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH, Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg, SYSTEMA GmbH, Dresden University of Technology, University of Siegen, University of Applied Sciences Zwickau

Italy: Infineon Technologies Italia S.r.l., University of Milan-Bicocca

Romania: Infineon Technologies Romania & CO SCS, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, University Politehnica of Bucharest

Spain: AKTING INGENIARITZA, SL, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, JEMA ENERGY S.A., IBERMATICA