The close networking of any physical objects (via sensors, actuators, mobile devices) with digital services (via software, digital networks) in the Internet of Things (IoT) forms a key element in the implementation of innovative, high-performance systems. A circuit carrier that connects the semiconductor components (e.g. microprocessors, memory, sensors) and enables embedding in the product is essential for this. However, the development of these increasingly integrated systems poses enormous challenges for product developers. Mechatronic Integrated Devices (MID) on the one hand and classic 2D electronics on the other offer different approaches to meeting these challenges. Classical 2D electronics focuses on the integration of ever smaller structures and components, combined with approaches to spatially stacking these 2D circuit boards or integrating structures in them. MIDs, on the other hand, focus on the direct spatial integration of mechanical components, electronic devices and functional areas (e.g. antennas) into overall systems. Both technologies differ fundamentally in their respective approaches and the development systems behind them. Classic electronics is characterized by design workflows and construction-supporting (partially) automated design tools (EDA), whereas MID development is characterized by integrative product and production system design as well as individual solution methods and tools. Product developers must therefore know before the actual development which solution option is to be implemented after the development. This paradox means that holistic optimal solutions may not be found. In addition, the respective advantages of the two technology approaches, in the sense of hybrid solutions, cannot be identified at all. There is therefore a need for a cross-technology development planner that takes into account the advantages of both technologies as well as the different product development methods.
The aim of the research project is therefore to develop a development planner that combines classic 2D electronics and MID technology and provides the product developer with comprehensive and hybrid solution concepts. For this purpose, a development planner will be designed and set up that proposes solution and technology alternatives based on individual product requirements. These solution concepts can then be used to drive forward domain-specific development in a targeted manner. This gives developers access to cross-technology knowledge and enables them, for example, to think about hybrid MIDs from the outset and thus implement new innovative concepts in product development.
The intended research project builds on the established approaches and design tools of 2D electronics and the already existing development planners of MID technology (e.g. Nextra, MID-Plan etc.) as well as the cross-product knowledge base WebMIDIS.
Therefore, first, a higher-level ontology is developed that integrates the cross-technology and cross-domain product functions and solution approaches. Then, inference and integrity rules are elaborated, i.e., rules for inference and for ensuring the validity of relationships. The goal is to identify critical product requirements that significantly limit the solution space in favor of one technology (so-called critical or key requirements). Based on the developed systematics, a web frontend is developed that allows access to the identified expert knowledge. With the help of a guideline (e.g. in the form of a questionnaire about the product to be developed), alternative solutions are calculated for the developer. The development planner also accesses existing product databases and thus provides the developer with “best practices” for implementing various product functions.
Benefits and economic significance for SMEs
The participating SMEs will be enabled to develop new innovative fields of application, to learn about and apply MID technology and to open up new ones for themselves. In particular, the early phase of product development will be supported by the targeted development planner, enabling the participating companies to develop novel innovative products that combine the advantages of classical electronics and MID technology. The beneficiaries of the results achieved by the project are, on the one hand, the companies which, as MID manufacturers, are involved in the design and production of injection molded interconnect devices and, on the other hand, the companies which are currently more involved in the field of classic electronics and, due to their size, do not have the capacities to deal with new technologies such as MID.
The development planner will subsequently be made available to all companies in the participating research associations.
Project accompanying companies
The Research Association 3-D MID is still looking for companies to accompany the project. If you are interested, please contact the office via phone (+49 911 5302-9100) or E-Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). E-Mail to office