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EETE MAY 2014

ECSEL Germany launched with automotive touch By Christoph Hammerschmidt As a part of the European Commission initiative to increase Europe’s share of the global semiconductor production, the German part of the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) has been launched. In a kickoff event in Munich, Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss along with a selection of industry and technology managers as well as politicians sketched an image of economic progress through innovation at the semiconductor and application level. ECSEL is a joint undertaking in public-private partnership of the EU member states and the industry, aiming at defending and improving Europe’s leadership position with regards to electronic components and systems. The undertaking stands for a holistic approach and embraces the segments of micro Fig. 1: The national ECSEL organisations benefit from the results of upstream research activities and utilise them to master future challenges. and nanoelectronics (ENIAC); Embedded and Cyber-physical systems (ARTEMIS); and Smart Systems Integration (EPoSS). “ECSEL is a real opportunity for the European Union and for Germany”, said Ploss. The Infineon top manager pointed out that the project is most relevant to strengthen the EU’s industrial core. “It is not only about production - it is about technological competence”, he said. The German “chapter” of the EU-wide ECSEL activities embraces, among others, companies such as Airbus, Bosch, Carl Zeiss SMT, Continental, Daimler, Infineon, NXP Germany and Siemens as well as the universities of Braunschweig and Erlangen and research institutions like Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics. “This is not a private party,” Ploss said. “Instead, it is open to every company and institution to join and share its expertise.” Within the context of ECSEL at the European level, the German contribution will emphasize R&D activities in the fields of nanoelectronics for critical and real-time application systems, complex Embedded Systems and Cyber- Physical Systems (CPS). The group regards system integration technologies as a key competitive factor. Instead of focusing on a specific part of the value chain such as design or production, it intends to pursuit a holistic approach and drive innovation along the entire value chain. Khalil Rouhana, Director Components and Systems at the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect) of the European Commission, highlighted the need for action. “We know that the EU is not doing well in all parts of the technology value chain”, he said, adding that investment in significant parts of technology has decreased. Nevertheless, the EU’s economy is strong in other specific segments, namely automotive, components, and embedded systems - in the latter segment, the EU stands for 30% of the world’s value production. Five global technology megatrends - Big Data; Cloud Computing; Smart Connected Objects and IoT; Broadband and Wireless Connectivity; and Autonomous Systems - translate into three areas of business opportunities for the European countries: These are the High-growth “Smart X” (IoT) markets; selected vertical markets (automotive, energy and security) as well as the continuous growth of mobile and wireless markets. To reverse the declining market share of Europe’s electronics components production, the EU should attract investments to Europe. ECSEL’s task in this context is addressing both demand and supply, he said. “This is very important. The production follows the markets value chain”, he emphasized. The importance of this challenge reflects the size of the funding: ECSEL will have an overall budget of about €5 billion for the timeframe Fig. 2: From the ECSEL perspective, semiconductors are the most basic part of the value creation and enable far larger application businesses. 10 Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAY 2014
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