Newsletter 02/2022

In the T4T project, we seek to collaborate with partners on developing a split-manufacturing approach for semiconductor production. This will facilitate the secure assembly of subsystems in Germany and safeguard supply chains.

Verteilte Fertigung für neuartige und vertrauenswürdige Elektronik T4T
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Verteilte Fertigung für neuartige und vertrauenswürdige Elektronik T4T

Securing the supply of electronic components is of growing strategic importance for Germany as an industrial location. As more and more companies offshore their integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing to non-European regions, they increase their vulnerability to the introduction of malware and espionage functions into components supplied by contract manufacturers (foundries). At the same time, the risk of intellectual property (IP) theft of circuit designs by third parties is on the rise. The Distributed Manufacturing for Novel and Trusted Electronics T4T project aims to provide German industry with tools to access secure supply chains and trusted electronics. For example, design and manufacturing processes should ensure that IP is protected and tamper-proof, even in cases of cross-company collaboration. Subcomponents can continue to be sourced via existing supply chains (split manufacturing), but the assembly and encoding of the systems will take place in a trustworthy environment in Germany.

A range of demonstrators will serve to illustrate the new technical requirements of this split-manufacturing approach to packaging technology. They visualize new design flows and methods, adapted manufacturing processes and the individual technical expertise of the project partners involved. The knowledge gained from the project is intended to flow into the standardization of packaging processes and, to this end, will help in defining new design specifications and tolerance rules for offset and structural sizes.

Within the project, Fraunhofer IIS/EAS will be responsible for the core work on an end-to-end design methodology. Our researchers will develop components and interfaces required for the design flow and will also create a modular multi-process design kit containing the necessary chip and package data. In addition, Fraunhofer IIS/EAS has a key role in the electrical design of the demonstrators as well as in the electrical measurement following the manufacturing phase.

T4T is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of a program called “Mikroelektronik. Vertrauenswürdig und nachhaltig. Für Deutschland und Europa.” (“Microelectronics. Trustworthy and sustainable. For Germany and Europe.”)