The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, headquartered in Germany, is the world’s leading applied research organization. Its research activities are conducted by 74 institutes and research units at locations throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employs a staff of 28,000, who work with an annual research budget totaling more than 2.8 billion euros.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, conducts world-class research on microelectronic and IT system solutions and services. Today, it is the largest institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
Research at Fraunhofer IIS revolves around two guiding topics:
In the area of “Audio and Media Technologies”, the institute has been shaping the digitalization of media for more than 30 years now. Fraunhofer IIS was instrumental in the development of mp3 and AAC and played a significant role in the digitalization of the cinema. Current developments are opening up whole new sound worlds and are being used in virtual reality, automotive sound systems, mobile telephony, streaming and broadcasting. Any mobile phone you buy today, for instance, uses audio technology developed by the institute, while Fraunhofer codecs provide the basis for sound of more than half of all TV broadcasts worldwide and almost all radio and streaming services. The institute’s professional tools for digital film and media production are also being used globally.
In the context of “cognitive sensor technologies”, the institute researches technologies for sensor technology, data transmission technology, data analysis methods and the exploitation of data as part of data-driven services and their accompanying business models. This adds a cognitive component to the function of the conventional “smart” sensor. The results of this research have been applied in the areas of connected mobility, communication and application solutions for the Internet of Things, digitalization of human sensing, product and material monitoring, and business analytics in supply chains.
More than 1100 employees conduct contract research for industry, the service sector and public authorities. Founded in 1985 in Erlangen, Fraunhofer IIS now has 14 locations in 11 cities: Erlangen (headquarters), Nürnberg, Fürth and Dresden, as well as Bamberg, Waischenfeld, Coburg, Würzburg, Ilmenau, Deggendorf and Passau. The budget of 169.9 million euros a year is mainly financed by contract research projects. 26 percent of the budget is subsidized by federal and state funds.