September 18, 2014. Neubiberg, Germany – Europe has started a research project called EMC², which is intended to increase the performance and efficiency of embedded systems for the automotive and manufacturing industries, the Internet of Things, healthcare and aerospace.
With a budget of around €90 million, Jeremy Cowan reports that EMC² is being described in EU circles as “one of the most important subsidised European projects” and one that already includes 99 partners from 19 countries. The EMC² project which ends in March 2017 is being funded by Artemis Joint Undertaking, now part of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking, and by 19 national funding organisations.
The project is intended to simplify and strengthen the use of embedded systems and the project coordinator is Infineon Technologies AG. Germany-based Infineon offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges for society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. EMC² is part of the “European Embedded Systems” industrial programme, which is designed to help Europe maintain its leadership position in embedded systems.
Two examples of the ’embedded systems’ – systems incorporated into larger systems – include the motion control in a robot arm that is integrated in a production line, or the engine control units in a car. With the growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications embedded systems can be found virtually everywhere; in households (such as in washers or dryers), airplanes, trains and large-scale medical equipment.
A medium-sized car, for example, currently contains about 80 embedded systems, all of which must work reliably over the vehicle’s entire lifetime. In an airplane more than 100 integrated systems are embedded, and in manufacturing facilities the number of embedded systems may range into the thousands.
Relevance of EMC² research project and its goals
Embedded systems are controlled, regulated and monitored by cores, microcontrollers with multiple processing units, but these systems are becoming increasingly complex. The intelligence of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) can enhance or even replace simple electro-mechanical devices.
In addition, the future will see more and more networks of embedded systems. Consequently, microcontrollers in these embedded systems will be responsible for many more tasks, and will have to be much faster and even more reliable than today. Their real-time capability will therefore have to improve drastically.
This is where EMC² comes in. The project partners want to lay the foundations for a new microcontroller architecture which is so flexible and reliable that it can be used in all application areas relevant for European industries; particularly automotive, industrial manufacturing and logistics, Internet of Things, healthcare and aerospace. The aim of EMC² is to reduce both the cost of system design and the required development time by 15% each. Another project goal is to reduce the time and effort for system validation to an even greater degree.
Further information on the EMC² project is available at www.artemis-emc2.eu