‘Smart system’ platform to be developed in Europe


Catania, Italy — (METERING.COM) — November 22, 2011 – The “SMArt systems Co-design” (SMAC) program has been launched in Europe to develop a design and integration environment for the design of smart systems.

These are intelligent, miniaturized devices that incorporate multiple functions such as sensing, actuation, computation, wireless connectivity and energy harvesting. They will be key components of next generation applications in energy saving and other areas ranging from healthcare and automotive to factory automation and consumer devices.

The three-year project, which is being coordinated by STMicroelectronics, aims to put European companies in pole position to lead in these key markets by reducing design costs and time-to-market for next generation smart systems.

The bottleneck in developing smart systems is due not to the technologies but the design methodology. Advanced packaging technologies such as System-in-Package (SiP) and chip stacking (3D IC) with through-silicon vias already allow manufacturers to package all these capabilities more densely to meet increasingly demanding cost, size, performance and reliability targets. However, design methodologies have not kept pace with technology advances.

“The major obstacle to the rapid expansion of smart systems applications is the lack of a structured design methodology that explicitly accounts for final integration,” commented Salvatore Rinaudo, SMAC project coordinator and Industrial and Multisegment Sector CAD R&D Director at STMicroelectronics. “Ideally, the total combination must be designed as a single system and the tools and methodology are currently lacking. By filling this gap with a holistic, integration aware, design platform, the SMAC project will give European industry an advantage in exploiting the potential of smart systems.”

The SMAC Platform will be co-developed by academic and industry partners, including several electronic design automation and semiconductor vendors to ensure its usability in realistic, industry strength design flows and environments.

The SMAC project will involve an investment of approximately €13 million, of which the industrial partners will contribute around €5 million with the balance funded by the EU’s FP7.