Networking platform for trustworthy electronics

In order to use electronics safely and reliably, it must be possible to trace where they come from, whether they function correctly and that no backdoors for so-called hardware Trojans are built in. So far, however, there has been no consistent methodology for verifying trustworthiness along the entire value chain and reliably detecting counterfeits. The platform project "Velektronik", in which the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale) is involved, aims to develop new solution concepts for all areas of electronics development and production.

© Slejven Djurakovic-Unsplash / Padlock free icon:, Montage: Fraunhofer IMWS
To use electronics safely and reliably, you have to understand what they do and how they are built.

Electronics are trustworthy when they meet all our expectations of functionality and at the same time leave no backdoors or vulnerabilities open to attackers and manipulation. Whether this is really the case cannot always be answered unequivocally so far due to the complex and international value chains. The participating project partners from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Leibniz Association and the "edacentrum - Network for Electronics, Design and Applications in Business and Science" therefore want to establish a networking platform for trustworthy electronics for Germany over the next three years. Research institutes and companies will work together to develop solution concepts for all areas of electronics development and manufacturing with a view to design, production and analysis.

To this end, the partners will focus on creating a technological overview, making contributions to the necessary standardization and establishing a network of research institutes and companies in order to derive the need for further research projects and to provide the electronics industry with a comprehensive range of services. An industry advisory board, which met for the first time today, accompanies the project.

The Fraunhofer IMWS is primarily contributing its expertise in material diagnostics and the development of new, powerful analytical methods for testing counterfeit security and detecting hardware Trojans. "The very diverse manufacturing chains for electronic components can lead to counterfeit components or backdoors being smuggled in without the companies at later stages of the value chain recognizing this. We want to offer them additional protection. This is because the trustworthiness at the level of the integrated circuits, components and electronic systems can be secured with additional security features or by sophisticated analysis processes for checking authenticity. We will develop corresponding analysis concepts and extended proposals for standardized test procedures," says Frank Altmann, who heads the activities at the Fraunhofer IMWS. This includes the evaluation of suitable analysis procedures for electronic components of different integration levels, the development of qualified analysis workflows and the secure and efficient verification of technology-specific trust features.

The "Velektronik" platform is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding guideline for "Trustworthy Electronics (ZEUS)" and coordinated by the office of Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland. The overall coordination of the research project "Velektronik" is carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC.


To the website:           Velektronik - Vertrauenswürdige Elektronik

YouTube:                    Velektronik − die Plattform für vertrauenswürdige Elektronik