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EETE OCT 2014

Europeans flex skills to commercialize OLED and OPV devices By Paul Buckley A pan -European colaborative project ‘Flexibilis’ is aiming to provide the expertise to both develop and test advances in large area OLED and OPV devices at pilot production scale. The Flexibilis project brings together world class capability in the research, development and scale-up of printed electronics applications. The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is coordinating the project, which includes UK based Teer Coatings Limited (part of Miba ), the University of Bolton, and two Austrian organisations namely the research centre NanoTecCenter Weiz Forschungsgesellschaft mbH and High Tech Coatings GmbH (also part of Miba). Currently the commercialisation of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) and Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) based applications such as flexible displays, lighting and energy harvesting devices is heavily dependent on the use of indium tin oxide (ITO) for transparent conducting films, and encapsulation films with high performance barrier properties. There is an industry need for the creation of alternative technologies and materials that have equal performance but deliver low cost, sustainable, transparent and flexible products for these applications. Throughout Europe, it is proving difficult to develop the manufacture of these alternative materials beyond laboratory scale to the position where they are available in large area quantities at a price compatible with supporting market growth. Flexibilis is striving to address and resolve these technical issues. Phil Hollis, Programme Manager at CPI, said: The Flexibilis project brings together highly capable European players able to develop the technologies needed for flexible electronics. Already we have demonstrated some promising results in the replacement of ITO and the development of a high performing barrier aiming at OLED and OPV applications. The next challenges will be to refine and apply these results to demonstration devices, and test their suitability at pilot manufacturing scale. Centralised architecture: Apps as driver assistant systems By Christoph Hammerschmidt An inovative aproach from Siemens provides for a centralised, powerful computing resource in vehicles, replacing dozens of ECUs and control units distributed over the car. The benefit: essential functions such as driver assistance systems could be implemented as an app and installed flexibly. Plus, the technology would allow for elegant, straightforward architectures instead of today’s complex electronics jungle in cars. The idea of the Siemens researchers in RACE project is to control al electronic functions within a car through one central computer. RACE stands for Robust and Reliant Automotive Computing Environment and aims at developing an architecture that would greatly simplify the complex interplay of today’s safety, driver assistance and infotainment systems. In addition, this approach would enable vendors to retrofit new functions in a very simple way even after the car has been delivered to the customer. The RACE project has been launched about two years ago, now Siemens has presented some intermediate development results. The researchers are about to develop a virtual computing platform; the physical hardware is determined by the respective customer’s requirements and depends on the computing power required as well as the number The RACE approach: a single computing platform replaces multiple distribued ECUs; their function is implemented in software. of I/O interfaces and processes. The plug-and-play principle of RACE enables designers to expand the platform to adapt it to new requirements. Safety and security are integral part of the concept - unlike in today’s distributed ECUs where these elements have to be implemented all anew. Applications can utilise these features but they are not obliged to do so. The system is also redundant: If one computer fails, another one takes over. Another benefit of the system is that due to its flexibility that it can be utilised even in small production series without higher costs. Within the RACE project, the system is currently under development by Siemens Corporate Technology and a number of research partners, including TRW Automotive, AVL Software, the University of Stuttgart, Munich Technical University, RWTH university of Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (Fraunhofer AISEC). Though the principle could be applied also to conventional cars, the development currently aims at the design of electric vehicles, a Siemens spokesperson said. By December 2014, the researchers plan to implant their host computer plus communications networks and software into an electric delivery van from EV maker StreetScooter. By means of the software development environment devised in the project, StreetScooter can develop its own function and integrate them into the vehicle. For the production of automobiles, the electronics and software architecture devised within the RACE project represents a paradigm change. Today, every electronic system in the car, such as anti-lock braking system, parking assistance, or air conditioning is a self-sufficient unit with its own resources like microprocessor or microcontroller, memory, I/O and power supply. In a state-of-the-art midsize car, up to 70 ECUs from multiple vendors are installed, and designers across the automotive industry find it increasingly difficult to enable and secure their smooth collaboration. The RACE computer would greatly reduce this complexity, the Siemens spokesperson said. 12 Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE OCT 2014
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