Until 2014, seven German partners from industry and research will be collaborating in the project "RELY" to develop a design methodology focused on reliability. They intend to increase the quality, reliability and load capacity of modern microelectronic systems. The focus lies here on applications in transportation, medical technology and automation.
Many electronic systems from these areas sometimes demand tremendous computing power since they must engage in complex tasks. At the same time, the systems must function safely and reliably for many years without fail despite increasingly existing? manufacturing tolerances for the components in modern nanometer technologies.
RELY will research how the demands on quality, service life and load capacity can be taken into account already at the early design stage of microelectronic systems. Previously, optimization has focused primarily on area, performance and energy consumption. In the future, service life and application conditions will also be included in the design optimization. Only in this way will it be possible to truly take advantage of the potential of new, cost-effective manufacturing technologies and to offer robust, fail-safe products at economical prices. Taking the effects of wear into account during design is especially important in applications that must continue operating reliably for years. These include, for example, production plants, trains and vehicles as well as medical implants such as insulin pumps.
Various avenues of research must be pursued in order to take application conditions and failure mechanisms of chips into consideration. The project partners are working on expanding the modeling of manufacturing technologies to include properties related to service life, formulating new application-oriented guidelines for chip design, defining new reliability parameters even at higher design levels and enabling the system simulation and verification of the chips with regard to failure safety.
Project status: completed