Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS

Director: Prof. Dr. Hubert Lakner, Prof. Dr. Harald Schenk

Contact: Tina Heinz

The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is one of the leading research institutions for the development and testing of electronic, mechanical and optical components and their integration into intelligent systems. The aim of our research is to expand the functionality of our customers' products through the use of our technologies, components and systems and to open up new applications through improved properties, ever smaller dimensions and additional functions.

Our range of services ranges from feasibility studies to the development of wafer-based processes and technologies on 200 and 300 millimeters to qualified small series production in our own clean rooms according to industrial standards - from components to the complete system. In order to meet the high demands of our customers, the Fraunhofer IPMS is certified according to the DIN EN 9001: 2000 standard.

LiDAR - Vehicle Environment Sensing for Autonomous Driving

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) enables distance and speed measurement between objects and vehicles and is based on the emission of laser signals into the environment, whose reflection is detected and analyzed. For this purpose, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing microscanning mirrors that meet the high requirements of autonomous driving while being small and integrable. The approach being pursued is that of a "scanning eye", which enables digital vision in three dimensions.

Due to their low weight and good integrability, the modules are insensitive to vibration despite their mobility and can detect the environment without measurement blur. The MEMS scanners, which are made of single-crystalline silicon, are extremely robust and fatigue-free and feature large optical scanning ranges as well as high shock and vibration stability. Thus, they meet the reliability requirements of a solid state LiDAR. The CMOS-compatible silicon technology also allows scalable, cost-effective manufacturing of the modules and enables their integration into existing systems.

Car-2-Car Communication

Connectivity in vehicles is the basis for innovations such as autonomous driving and platooning, i.e., automated driving in convoys. Up to now, radio-based methods such as WiFi (IEEE 802.11p) have been used. This technology is well established and allows high data rates. However, such standards also have their weaknesses, such as a narrowly limited frequency range, signals that can be manipulated and electromagnetic emissions. Alternative transmission methods to complement these systems are therefore in high demand. Li-Fi uses light sources such as LEDs instead of radio waves and modulates them. The emitted signals are then picked up by a photodiode. The real-time Li-Fi technology with latencies in the microsecond range offers itself as a redundant channel in relation to WiFi. LiFi as an addition to WiFi is also conceivable.

Fraunhofer IPMS offers workshops, consulting, concept development as well as hardware and module design including pilot production in this area.