€100m project looks at component and system reliability for Industry 4.0

February 03, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
€100m project looks at component and system reliability for Industry 4.0
A major pan-European project is aiming to improve the reliability of a wide range of components and systems across the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

The €103m Intelligent Reliability 4.0 (iRel40) project brings together 75 science and industry partners from 13 countries and is coordinated by Infineon Technologies.

The project is looking across the whole supply chain, optimizing the reliability of microelectronic systems from the wafer to the chip and the packaging and finally to the system and hence the actual application. The aim is to significantly reduce failure rates and thus improve product quality and lifetime.

This is a step beyond the lifecycle management approaches being adopted by design tools vendors such as Siemens EDA and Synopsys. These are using IP blocks in digital chips for monitoring of data and parameters such as temperature and feeding this back to digital twin simulations of devices, systems and applications.

Instead iRel40 is starting from first principles on the reliability of the wafer technologies and building o the latest research in materials and failure analysis, including modelling and simulation, as well as artificial intelligence. Research labs include imec in Belgium, TU Delft in The Netherlands and Fraunhofer IMS in Germany along with chip maker ams in Austria.

The three year project is divided into eight work packages that deal with aspects such as requirements, theoretical principles, materials, test methods, and pilot applications. Infineon will contribute its experience in chip and packaging technology.

“Enhancing electronics performance through miniaturization and integrating more and more functions is progressing steadily. Performance and complexity are increasing, as the costs per function go down,” said Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon. “Powerful electronics form the basis for forward-looking technologies such as electro-mobility, autonomous driving, renewable energies and energy-efficient connected solutions. However, they will only be successful if users can depend on reliable functionality, quality and lifetime. Reliability is a key differentiating factor in international competition.”

The methods and processes for improving reliability will be tested out in 16 applications across energy, transport and industry, as

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