Velektronik: Platform for trustworthy electronics based on knowledge graphs


With increasing digitization, trustworthy information systems are needed in Germany and Europe in all application domains. Trust, integrity and ultimately information security in the application for the user can only be achieved if all parts of these systems - in particular the electronic hardware as the basis of all software components built on it - are trustworthy. Due to the strong internationalization of electronics development and the value chain, it is a very big challenge to ensure this trustworthiness: German and European companies have hardly any alternatives to the use of electronic components from not necessarily trustworthy international sources if they want to defend or expand their world market leadership with innovative, digitalized, and also AI-based products.

The joint project »Velektronik« of the Forschungsfabrik Mikroeletronik Deutschland (FMD) - Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics with numerous project partners pursues the goal to improve the sovereignty of German industry and the public sector over trustworthy electronics a significant step. Trustworthy electronics is the basis for successful products »Made in Germany« and helps to sustainably secure the innovation and competitiveness of German companies, especially SMEs.

The research project therefore aims to provide the German microelectronics industry and its user industries with integrated and interconnected solutions from current research that support the development of trustworthy products. To this end, various aspects are being closely examined in the three pillars of design, manufacturing and analysis. Starting with the evaluation and compilation of trustworthy design methods and tools, over the calibration of analysis methods for the investigation of trustworthiness in different electronic integration stages, up to the investigation of approaches for particularly trustworthy manufacturing processes in small series. Furthermore, the project networks the stakeholders with each other via organized working groups and conferences.

The service platform for trustworthy electronics offers added value to all stakeholders

The vision of the project is to prepare a dedicated service platform for trusted electronics that integrates research results such as designs, IP blocks, tools or analysis methods from research projects in this and other related research areas on a voluntary basis and makes them jointly accessible, which then enables combined exploitation. In this way, a contact point is created for companies and users, in which not only individual projects and their results are accessible, but a bundled compilation of research services and resulting offers.

In the future, the platform should be able to identify the necessary solution components for companies' individual problems and present an integrated, demand-oriented concept. In this way, companies will not receive isolated solutions or individual services, but rather integrated concepts of interlinked solution components, also with a view to possible later certification, so that their own existing methods and processes are supplemented by as few dedicated components as possible. The new solution components can originate from different sources, for example from research projects within the research focus or from companies. The unified presentation of all project results on a user-oriented platform ensures their broad and sustainable exploitation. The platform offers functions through which the offers can be identified and selected and which enable a secure assessment of trustworthiness as well as comprehensive and flexible use.


Trustworthy data exchange along the supply chain

Initially, the focus is on the trustworthy exchange of data along the supply chain by means of suitable methods (e.g. on products and fingerprints of the components). For this purpose, there will be an exchange with other joint projects on the guideline »Trustworthy Electronics (ZEUS)«. As a result, a concept and a prototypical implementation of the trustworthy exchange of data and specifications on electronic products will be developed. In addition, concepts for a structured analysis of electronics supply chains and complementary risk assessment with a data-driven assessment approach will be developed. The possibility of including quantitative sources connected via interfaces and real-time data from supply chains will also be considered. Another topic is the analysis of the need for standardization along supply chains. For this purpose, a technical draft is being developed that includes aspects identified as necessary. Later, contributions from other parts of the project can be consolidated with regard to standardization and the results summarized.

Finally, a cross-project methodological kit for the use of technologies to secure the electronics supply chain will be developed in coordination with the advisory board as a basis for consulting projects. In this, a toolbox for technical solutions for the specific use case of secure electronics (both for sea freight, air freight and the last mile) will be designed. Tracking sensors, tamper proof films and other approaches serve as a basis.


»Welektronik« – a wiki based on knowledge graphs as the basis for the platform

The goal is to build a new database regarding supply chains for trustworthy electronics by means of a knowledge graph. To this end, the Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services at Fraunhofer IIS is researching methods and procedures for describing electronics supply networks and analyzing their trustworthiness as part of the project. In this context, a structuring as well as comprehensive description and classification of companies, components, manufacturing processes, services and products along the supply chain of complex electronic products will be carried out. This will be reflected in the semantics of the graph, according to which the data located there will be structured. For implementation, a knowledge graph based on RDF lends itself. Ontologies provide the means for description and structuring in this environment. Also a good usability of the knowledge graph is given, since knowledge graphs can be read well by machines. This will be implemented using the framework Wikibase, which combines an easy-to-use wiki approach (open to contributions from prosumers) with the concept of knowledge graphs. The knowledge graph should be able to be updated via script-based conversion or import of data from freely accessible sources as well as selected project-internal sources.

The ontology and knowledge graph underlying the wiki will be analyzed in the next steps and the supply chains will be examined for their risk and need for standardization. Subsequently, the concept for trustworthy data exchange and the associated method kit for the use of technologies to secure the electronics supply chain can be developed.

Project partners

  • AISEC – Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security
  • EMFT – Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Microsystems and Solid State Technologies EMFT
  • ENAS – Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems
  • IAF – Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF
  • IIS – Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
  • IIS-EAS – Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, Division Engineering of Adaptive Systems EAS
  • IIS-SCS – Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services at Fraunhofer IIS
  • IMS – Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems
  • IMWS – Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS
  • IPMS – Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems
  • IZM – Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
  • FBH – Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik
  • IHP GmbH – Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics
  • edacentrum – Network for Electronics, Design and Applications in Business and Science

Our core competences at our Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services at Fraunhofer IIS

In pursuit of our vision, we focus on three core competences.


Data spaces and IoT prototypes

Freeing data from application and system constraints and making it portable


Cutting-edge data analytics methods

Extracting the unique assets in companies’ data using analytics methods and artificial intelligence


Strategy and organization in the digital transformation

Bringing new perspectives to companies and guiding them through the challenges of digital transformation

Find out more about the Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services at Fraunhofer IIS


Business units

Based on the insights from our fields of research, we devise concrete advisory services for specific sectors and client groups. Find out more about our range of services in the business units »Logistics, Transport and Mobility«, »Wholesale and B2B Markets«, »Digital Production« and »Smart Services«.


Focus projects

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Scientific expertise in the reference process

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