30 million for Silicon Austria Labs

In order for the digital transformation to further advance the green transition, Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) will receive 30 million euros from the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection as special funding. This is intended to promote developments in the interests of climate protection and also to set up research infrastructure.

Whether e-mobility, energy-efficient device components, industrial production – many developments in the direction of sustainable living and business are based on innovations in the field of electronics-based systems (EBS). In order to drive innovations forward here, the Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) were founded in Austria in 2018 as an international top research center. The various projects include developments for e-mobility, clean energy and smart health. The cutting-edge research center is now receiving 30 million euros from the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection in order to promote the development and use of key technologies for climate protection and the circular economy. This also finances the construction of research infrastructure in Graz, Villach and Linz.

In the Graz lighthouse project power density (headed by Rudolf Krall), the focus is on optimizing and increasing the efficiency of electronic components, for example for use in electric vehicles. An interdisciplinary team is dedicated to increasing the reliability and trustworthiness of electronic systems (Dependable EBS).

Locations with different focuses

At SAL in Villach, researchers led by Christina Hirschl are working on photonic systems. For example, they are essential for photovoltaics and also play an important role for autonomous driving – and “More-than-Moore” microsystem technologies – which are a prerequisite for the miniaturization and increase in efficiency of components – according to the SAL.

At SAL in Linz, under the direction of Thomas Buchegger, work is being done on the future 6G mobile communications standard, for whose planned market launch from 2030 fundamental research is currently being formed internationally. 6G is intended to enable the transmission of large amounts of data in real time, while at the same time being highly reliable, and thus plays an important role in wireless machine-to-machine communication in industry.

According to the SAL broadcast, the special funds will be used, among other things, to set up research infrastructure at all three SAL locations: “In Graz, Villach and Linz, our researchers are working on technological solutions for the future – from the new generation of 6G data transmission to efficient power electronic systems to towards microsystem technologies. An internationally competitive R&D infrastructure is an important prerequisite for cutting-edge research, which we can now create,” emphasized Gerald Murauer, Managing Director of SAL.

Clean room at the High Tech Campus in Villach

New laboratory areas for research into power electronics are being created in the SAL Building currently under construction on the Graz TU Campus Inffeldgasse. In addition, the Smart Testing Lab, a laboratory for functional testing of RDF along the entire value chain, is being built at the headquarters in Graz.

A good part of the budget will go into the construction of a clean room at the High Tech Campus in Villach, which will be the largest research clean room in Austria with an area of ​​1,000 square meters. Clean rooms, which are characterized by a minimum of particles and germs, are the prerequisite for working on miniaturized chips and sensors, which in turn should contribute to optimizing the sustainability of devices.

A 5G Research & Experimentation Testbed will be set up at the Linz location for research on wireless systems. It aims to support the development and validation of industrial 5G applications for industry and SMEs. In the future, 6G applications will also be tested. (APA/red)