01.01.2023 — 30.06.2026
Nanomechanical Hardware Platforms for Edge Computing
Förderer Funding Agency:
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.
The i-EDGE project has received funding from the European Union, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee (grant numbers 10061130 and 10063023).