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Nanomechanical Hardware Platforms for Edge Computing

Project description

New switch platform brings edge computing into harsh environments

Designing for IoT connectivity can be a challenge when conventional electronics are exposed to harsh conditions. For example, extreme temperatures can cause components to fail or operate less effectively. The EU-funded i-EDGE project plans to develop a nanoelectromechanical switch platform for edge devices operating under demanding conditions, for example at temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and radiation doses of up to 1 Mrad. The planned switch platform will consume no electric power while in standby mode and will have a non-volatile memory.


Challenging operating environments are common across many important internet of things (IoT) applications related to enterprises and the circular economy, including automotive, aerospace, industrial and power generation. However, conventional electronics are not suitable for operation in challenging and harsh environments, e.g. at high temperatures. i-EDGE establishes an enabling nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switch technology platform for IoT edge devices operating under demanding conditions, i.e. high temperature (<300 °C) and/or high-radiation (<1 Mrad), uses zero standby power, non-volatile memory and has low compute performance requirements.
i-EDGE will realize a proof-of-concept demonstrator of a NEM “system-on-chip” (SoC) IoT node with an FPGA, non-volatile memory, and a temperature sensor, powered by a high-temperature capacitor bank, with a wireless power receiver for trickle charging the capacitor, and a simple data transceiver and sensor readout to interface to the on-chip FPGA and non-volatile memory. The FPGA fabric will be based on the NEM switch technology for digital logic, and integrated with a non-volatile memory array, analog utility blocks for wireless power transfer, data exchange and sensor readout. We will develop a NEM physical design kit (PDK) for design and circuit simulation, which will facilitate broad usage by application engineers. The technology and design flow will be demonstrated with a condition monitoring application, that has been developed for industrial IoT processes. In several previous EU and national projects, our technology has matured to TRL3 and i-EDGE will bring it to TRL5.
The i-EDGE consortium has all expertise to establish a full supply chain, from basic logic and memory cell design to Systems-on-Chip and a migration path to pilot manufacturing of the NEM technology in Europe. Thus, i-EDGE will help position the EU at the cutting edge of chip design and manufacturing capabilities, as envisaged by the EU Chips Act.


Net EU contribution
€ 679 718,75
Otto blumenthal strasse
52074 Aachen

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Städteregion Aachen
Activity type
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (3)

Partners (4)