Smart factory

Semiconductors – the core of industry 4.0

The transformation to smart factories is on its way

The IoT is becoming increasingly widespread in the industrial sector, where before long more than half of all IoT connections will be found. Here networking and digitalization make smart production possible, where anything and everything is interconnected.

„It is expected that the smart factory market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6 percent to reach around 244.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.”

Statista 2021: Industry 4.0: smart factory market size worldwide 2019/2024

Infineon’s semiconductor solutions shape the Industry 4.0 by empowering the smart factory.


Data transparency for Industry 4.0

The smart factory is based on data: data from the environment, but also operating data from machines and the production process. Infineon’s range of industrial sensors starts with a broad portfolio of XENSIV™ magnetic sensors. Infineon’s portfolio comprises XENSIV™ current sensors, high precision coreless sensors dedicated to any kind of  industrial application, such as industrial inverters and drives or battery management.

The emergence of smart factories is also creating new opportunities for the deployment of 3D image sensors in industrial robots, in monitoring and vision systems and in automated guided vehicles. Infineon’s REAL3™ time-of-flight image sensors let electronic devices acquire a real 3D map of the scene in front of the device. Advanced software and hardware know-how give ToF systems the ability to work reliably in tough environments characterized by strong ambient light, harsh conditions and challenging objects.

Infineon XENSIV™ sensor technology

Infineon XENSIV™ magnetic sensors


Signal processing and control

The XMC™ microcontroller family is based on ARM® Cortex®-M cores. It is dedicated to applications in the power conversion, factory and building automation segments, among others. The XMC4000 family is ideal for digital power conversion, motor control, sense & control and IO applications. The XMC4300 and XMC4800 devices are the first-ever highly integrated Arm® Cortex®-M based microcontrollers with integrated EtherCAT®, bringing real time ethernet communication to an unrivalled level for easy implementation and cost effectiveness. A typical target application of Infineon’s XMC1000 microcontrollers is for example the I/O modules used in automation, where CAN bus provides connectivity to PLCs sensors and actuators. XMC1000 microcontrollers improve system monitoring for predictive maintenance and safety implementation in Watchdogs and Companions. The DAVE™ development platform provides an extensive code repository for XMC™ industrial microcontrollers.

The AURIX™ family delivers the versatility required for the industrial sector, excelling in optimized motor control applications and signal processing. AURIX™ TriCore™ unites the elements of a RISC processor core, a microcontroller and a DSP in a single MCU.

Infineon 32-bit XMC™ microcontroller based on Arm® Cortex®-M

Infineon 32-bit AURIX™ microcontroller based on TriCore™


Empowering industrial automation

Motor control solutions from Infineon drive industrial automation applications. Infineon provides a wide range of solutions for industrial automation power management as well as motor control and drives.

Benefit from our wide portfolio of smart switches for highly integrated and discrete I/O module solutions. We provide a comprehensive portfolio of isolated I/O devices (ISOFACE™) and high-side switch industrial products (PROFET™) designed for a variety of industrial applications.

Rely on our intelligent power modules (IPMs) and discretes for your designs in the low-power range of motors or drives. Our EasyPIM™, EasyPACK™ and EconoPIM™ modules are the perfect match for medium-power drives. EconoDUAL™ and PrimePACK™ are the solutions of choice in the high-power spectrum. CoolSiC™ MOSFETs are an attractive solution for high-speed drives and inverter integration, since they reduce switching and conduction losses, especially under partial load conditions. For battery-powered applications like automotive brushless DC motors, customers count on our wide range of silicon MOSFETs, including our OptiMOS™ family.

We also offer gate driver ICs for all silicon and silicon carbide (SiC) devices, complementing our power semiconductors. Our broad EiceDRIVER™ portfolio ranges from basic to enhanced functionality.

Infineon power semiconductor solutions

Infineon Silicon Carbide (SiC) technologies


From IOs to high-speed-communication

In complex automation, each peripheral system component needs to communicate to a main control unit and to other peripherals via a reliable communication bus. CAN has emerged as the most adequate, reliable and cost-efficient communications standard in this kind of industrial application. Infineon’s industrial CAN transceivers provide proven quality, a reliable track record and high robustness with regards to EMI. ISO compliance is guaranteed.

Infineon’s industrial CAN transceiver portfolio complies with ISO11898 and addresses requirements such as a CAN FD data rate up to 2 Mbit/s, receive-only mode and bus wake up. The range includes solutions optimized for high-speed communication, providing the highest reliability, as well as transceivers that address microcontrollers with 3.3 V logic IOs. Advanced tiny packages are in the making.

Wireless technologies like Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® technology for content streaming and Bluetooth Low Energy technology for ultra-low-power connectivity form the backbone of the IoT and are also shaping Industry 4.0. Infineon seamlessly integrates all these technologies to provide state-of-the-art, interoperable solutions for all kind of industrial applications.

Infineon industrial CAN transceiver

Infineon wireless connectivity


Protect the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity

Infineon’s high-quality industrial security solutions let manufacturers monitor whether or not communication is restricted to authorized people and machines only. They also reliably reveal when a production system has been manipulated, helping avoid unnecessary downtime. They also make secured software updates to devices in the field possible.

The OPTIGA™ security solution family is designed for easy integration into embedded systems to protect the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of information and devices. These hardware-based security solutions range from basic authentication chips to sophisticated implementations. The OPTIGA™ Trust family includes turnkey products for smaller platforms as well as programmable solutions, while OPTIGA™ TPM (Trusted Platform Module) products are ideal for embedded PC, mobile and computing applications. OPTIGA™ Connect IoT devices enables secured and dependable cellular connectivity, even in harsh environments.

And finally SECORA™ Blockchain is a fast, easy-to-use Java Card™ solution supporting best-in-class security for blockchain system implementation. It makes the application more secure and easier to design for the customer’s blockchain system.

Infineon OPTIGA™ embedded security solutions

Infineon SECORA™ Blockchain security solutions

Application examples

Control systems

Powerful control systems form the nerve center of smart factories

Far more data is collected in smart factories than industrial control systems have previously had to process. At the same time, the number of potential applications for industrial control systems has grown alongside Industry 4.0. Yet space costs money—including in factories—which is why the growing number of control systems has been accompanied by demand for smaller system sizes. In turn, this requires flexible electronic components that still need to be sufficiently robust for industrial applications. Microcontrollers are at the heart of every control system, no matter how large or small. Every microcontroller devised for industrial applications must feature real-time performance and advanced connectivity that supports multiple communication protocols. A higher degree of integration minimizes the need for external components and ensures a more reliable solution.

Predictive maintenance

IoT solutions prevent failures before they occur

At present, many companies are already using solutions for predictive maintenance, whereby data from machinery is continuously evaluated and compared with past samples. This enables impending malfunctions to be detected before they actually occur. The BASF facility in Ludwigshafen is a good example, where the company has developed an early-warning system that enables it to plan maintenance on production plants, pumps, motors, and heat exchangers more effectively. This analyzes real-time and historic data, enabling it to predict when maintenance will be required. Yet the functional principle of a smart factory is not limited by location. It can connect machines in different locations with others anywhere in the world, yielding one gigantic virtual factory. At Infineon, for example, facilities in Asia transmit their test results directly to the plant in Dresden, where these are factored into production processes.


Smart sensors lend robots sensitivity

Today’s robots are able to detect their surroundings and navigate independently, work side-by-side with humans, and even teach themselves the abilities needed to perform a new task.

Franka Emika’s “Panda” is just one example: The seven-axis robotic gripper arm is distinguished by its ease of handling, high agility, and sensitivity. A combination of numerous sensors, cutting-edge drive technology, and connectivity lends this collaborative robot high sensitivity, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness. Panda has a sense of touch, which enables it to perform complex assembly tasks alongside human colleagues without any safety barriers. The system is operated using apps - just like a smartphone - enabling it to quickly master new tasks. Meanwhile, the design and user interface allow for intuitive programming and flexible application scenarios. As an example, this makes it possible to integrate it into automated processes at a fraction of the cost that would typically be incurred for a robotics application of this kind.

Repel cyberattacks

Protecting devices’ identity and integrity in smart factories

As digitalization continues its unstoppable advance in factories, more and more opportunities for cyberattacks are opening up: According to the “IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020”, the number of attacks on industrial systems in 2019 was 2,000 percent higher than in the previous year. Trusted platform modules (TPMs) are just one tool used to repel cyberattacks. These protect the identity and integrity of industrial PCs, servers, control systems, and even edge gateways. The TPM acts as a safe for sensitive data in smart devices and reduces the risk of data loss and production downtimes caused by cyberattacks. Moreover, manufacturers can keep the cost of maintenance low by updating devices’ software remotely and securely.