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Core topic ULP sensor systems

The Internet of Things has so far been difficult or impossible to harness for many applications due to a lack of suitable energy supply. Rotating machine parts, for example, cannot usually be supplied with wire-based energy, which is why batteries with limited energy resources are used there. To still be able to connect and monitor these parts over long periods of time, energy-efficient sensor systems are needed.

More challenging are applications where batteries are not changeable, such as moulded or widely distributed sensors in road construction or agriculture, and sensors in hazardous areas such as parts under high voltage. Even more demanding are solutions to be developed without batteries for ecological or cost reasons. There, energy-autonomous passive sensor systems are necessary, which are supplied with energy via RFID, for example, as in smart food packaging or digital rapid tests.

But the sensors available for the development of new IoT applications are mostly not energy-optimised and need energy which does not contribute to the function, such as constantly running clock generators or inefficient interfaces.

We research and develop ultra-low-power (ULP) sensor systems that require very little power and have integrated energy management components.

In addition to classical ULP circuit techniques such as clock gating, we are exploring the use of energy storage and converters as well as central control of the energy flow. We develop models as well as generic and automated modelling methods for the energy flow in ULP sensor systems.



Eric Schäfer, M. Sc.

Head of Microelectronics / Branch Office Erfurt

eric.schaefer(at) (0) 361 663 25 35

Eric Schäfer and his team research Integrated sensor systems, especially CMOS-based biosensors, ULP sensor systems and AI-based design and test automation. The results are being incorporated into research on the lead applications Sensor systems for in-vitro diagnostics and RFID sensor technology. It will assist you with services for the development of Integrated circuits and with IC design methods.

Related content

A small circuit board with moulded chip.



We are researching the use of ultra-low power embedded memories in wireless sensor front-end ICs for monitoring the condition of wind turbines and individual plants produced in greenhouses.



IMMS is working on autonomous modular sensor systems for cost-effective options for data collection in agriculture.



Research on novel methods and technologies to enhance sensor-actuator systems to autonomous Industry 4.0 components



Systematic design and economical manufacture for intelligent multi-sensor systems in small quantities


Reinhard Jurisch, microsensys

”IMMS, being the sole research institute in Thüringen for microelectronic applications, has a central role for enterprises like ours in the region, acting as technology partner and coordinator for joint industrial research with public funding.“


Dr. Jörg Weber, Analytik Jena

”The work offers great potential for industrial applications, but also for growing markets in life science and medical technology, where we see a rising demand for intelligent microelectronic sensors.“

All publications ULP sensor systems

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Service for R&D

Integrated Circuits

We offer the design and realisation of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in CMOS, BiCMOS and SOI technologies. We achieve well-performing ASICs with our first runs (first-time right silicon).

Research field

Integrated sensor systems

Here we investigate miniaturised systems manufactured in semiconductor technology consisting of microelectronic components for sensors applications, as well as methods to design these highly complex systems efficiently and safely.

Lead application

RFID sensor technology

We are researching energy-efficient solutions for RFID sensor technology in order to open up new applications and, for example, to make processes in industry more resource-efficient.