Blog - Zuken joins Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium progressivKI

Zuken joins Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium progressivKI

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI) funds the AI-based development of electronic systems and enables groundworks for the future.

The BMWI is funding a multi-million Euro research consortium named progressivKI in the area of artificial intelligence research where Zuken is collaborating as one of the industry software partners.

Zuken is joining this project as an industrial partner with our development site EMC-Technology Center in Paderborn. Coordinated by Robert Bosch Multimedia Car GmbH with project management support by the edacentrum (a German-based network for electronics, design, and applications in business and science) eighteen partners from the industry and research institutes are collaboration in this consortium.

Launched April 1st and set to run over a three-year period, the project aims to design a generic AI-supported development process for automotive electronic systems.

progressivki research consortium

Growing system complexity calls for new solutions

To optimally support and automate design processes for future electronic systems in vehicles, the use of AI methods is one potential approach for mastering future design tasks. These will be shaped by the significantly increasing system complexity on the road to autonomous and electrified cars.

The long-term goal is to develop reliable electronic systems faster, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively through the use of AI. High-performance and sustainable electronics systems are considered to be the key success factor for the mobility of the future. The main emphasis in the research project is the application of AI techniques. Rather than reinventing the wheels, the plan is to make use of existing AI frameworks (e.g. Keras/TensorFlow) to build the AI modules.

The collaborators expect the existing innovation cycles to accelerate significantly. progressivKI thus underlines the paradigm shift that AI is heralding in the software industry for this century.

AI to increase efficiency significantly

Dr. Michael Kühn is a proven expert in his field and is taking over the coordination and management of the promising project. He is the team leader for electromagnetic compatibility at the Bosch Hildesheim subsidiary. Previously, Kühn worked for Audi, where he established fundamental research and advanced development in EMC and played a key role in promoting the topic of virtual development.


Dr. Kühn explains the project goals: “The use of AI in the design process of electronic vehicle components is a chance to significantly increase the efficiency. For example, pre-trained AI modules using simulation data can reduce the effort for reviews of circuit diagrams or layout data. progressivKI covers the entire value chain for the design of electronic systems. In the course of the three-year project period, I expect a significant increase in profit from AI in the design process of electronic vehicle components.”

Keynote at the ZIW Digital 2021

For those who are lucky enough to speak german, there will be a lecture on this topic at this year’s Zuken Innovation World, where Dr. Kühn himself will cover the scope of the project. And for everyone else, there are many more exciting presentations to come. For more highlights of our virtual event and to register, click here

View Event

He is supported in the industrial coordination of the project by myself – Ralf Brüning, Product Manager and Senior Consultant at the Zuken EMC Technology Center in Paderborn. I have also taken over the leadership of the work package covering the baseline definition of requirements and specifications. With our participation we will bring our expertise in the analysis (signal and power integrity) of PCB structures into the project to implement a connection to the AI ​​modules and thus supporting the learning/training process in our planned cooperation with the various partners in the consortium – and of course, we aim to improve the Zuken PCB design software and analysis functionalities significantly.

Reliable Assessment of AI Methods

The edacentrum is responsible for project management under the leadership of Dr.-Ing. Werner John. He states: “A modular AI platform will be developed in progressivKI, which can be used flexibly via secure, encrypted and intelligent connectors to the individual (distributed) AI modules. A link with GAIA-X is also implemented. This strengthens and accelerates the use of AI-supported EDA methods in the development of electronic systems in Germany and makes today’s industrial design processes more efficient.”

He continues: “By integrating institutes from applied research and universities, it is ensured for the first time for the EDA area that the quality of the training and learning processes of the AI ​​methods used can be reliably assessed and secured. This gives young engineers an excellent opportunity to shape the future edaKI development in Germany. The progressivKI project has the potential to become a beacon in the implementation of AI-supported methods in the EDA area and to point out trend-setting industry-driven implementations.”

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI). According to a resolution of the German Bundestag, the funding grant code is 19A21006A-R.

Ralf Bruening
Ralf Bruening
Ralf works as Product Manager for High-speed Design Systems at the Zuken EMC Technology Center in Paderborn/Germany, responsible for product marketing and business development for the Zuken SI, PI and EMC analysis tools. He holds a diploma degree in computer science, electrical engineering and economics from the University of Paderborn. He has 30 years of experience in Electronics and EDA. He is regular speaker on international conferences, but is involved in European Funding project and standardization activities as well.