The digital revolution has changed our society in unprecedented ways. In the process, the ever more extensive use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) is opening up completely new possibilities for communication and networking, but this is accompanied at the same time by ever higher energy and raw material requirements, which contribute significantly to global CO2 emissions. Current projections predict that by 2030, around one-fifth of global electrical energy production will be required for the information technology (IT) sector.
To avoid long-term negative ecological, economic and social consequences of the growing demand for raw materials and energy, we need environmentally friendly information technology that is sustainable and climate-neutral along the entire value chain and throughout the material cycle. Such green (micro-)electronics will be presented at the booth of Ilmenau University of Technology:
From April 17 - 21, 2023, we have provided insights into the development of energy-efficient electronics, so-called neuromorphic electronics, in which biological learning and memory processes are electronically replicated, and showed how innovative materials are used to realize novel microelectronic components and systems.
As an application example, a bioinspired microphone was presented that perceives sound waves like the human ear and can significantly improve speech recognition, computing power and energy efficiency of audio technologies in the future. Once the microphone is developed to market readiness, it can be applied, among other things, in voice assistance systems and hearing aids, but also, for example, for technologies for monitoring machines in production.
Green electronics (or sustainable electronics) refers to the development and production of as climate-neutral as possible electronic devices and components that are manufactured and disposed of in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The aim is to minimize the negative impact of electronics on the environment and conserve our finite resources.
Green electronics is an important approach to minimizing the impact of electronics on the environment and creating a sustainable future:
- Use of environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes, such as recycling of raw materials and toxin-free materials.
- Energy efficiency and low energy consumption in the manufacture, use and disposal of equipment
- Extending the life of equipment through repair, reuse and recycling
- Avoidance of electronic waste through appropriate disposal measures and take-back of equipment by manufacturers
ForLab NSME: The Microelectronics Research Laboratory of the TU Ilmenau
More computing power with less energy consumption - that is the goal of the Microelectronics Ilmenau Research Laboratory for Neuromorphic Electronics. To achieve this, the scientists led by Prof. Dr. Martin Ziegler at Ilmenau University of Technology want to develop highly energy-efficient microelectronic circuits for self-adapting systems.