Smart systems integration involves the integration of different functions like sensors, signal processing, actuators, photonics, power supplies, coolers with a high degree of miniaturization, and the ability to keep costs flexible to meet reasonable cost levels. That’s the opinion of Thomas Gessner, director of Germany’s Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems and chairman of this year’s Smart Systems Integration 2010 show, scheduled for this March in Como, Italy. The conference is part of the activities of the European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration (EPoSS).
“Such a single fully integrated package bridges the gap between nano electronics and the application and its environment,” Gessner says. He envisions using CMOS processes to build the package’s processor and memory circuitry and micro and nano systems technologies to build the power, sensor, communications, and actuator devices.
Gessner cites the ASIL (Active Smart ID Label) project his organization is working on as an example of the complexity of integrating MEMS and NMEMS technologies within a product that provides multiple functionalities. It is a priority topic within the European Union’s Microsystems Framework Programme and is a collaborative project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The project involves the development of an active radio-frequency identification (RFID) label for the monitoring of shock, inclination, humidity, and temperature levels of boxed and packaged goods while they’re being transported. The RFID label must consume low levels of energy. It also must feature high-temperature stability and a high signal-to-noise ratio. And, it must have a thin form factor. Partnering with Franhofer on this project are Germany’s KSW Microtec, Elmos Semiconductor, Memsfab, and Schenker.
Smart Systems Integration 2010