The institute also known as Fraunhofer HHI or Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is an organization of the Fraunhofer Society based in Berlin. The institute engages in applied research and development in the fields of physics, electrical engineering and computer sciences. The research focus of the Photonic Networks and Systems department are high-performance optical transmission systems for use in in-house, access, metropolitan, wide-area and satellite communication networks. The focus is on increasing the capacity as well as improving security and energy efficiency. The research focus of the Wireless Communications and Networks department is on radio-based information transmission. The department provides contributions to the theory and technical feasibility of radio systems and develops hardware prototypes. This is supplemented by scientific studies, simulations and evaluations at the link and system levels. The focus in the Vision & Imaging Technologies department is on complex 2D/3D analysis and synthesis methods, on computer vision as well as innovative camera, sensor, display and projection systems. The department is researching for the entire video processing chain from content creation to playback.
Employees of this institute hold professorships at the following universities they are Technical University of Berlin (image communication, optical and opto-electric integration, network information theory), Clausthal University of Technology (applied photonics), Humboldt University of Berlin , University of Potsdam (embedded systems architectures for signal processing.
The 2015 total budget of the Institute was around EUR 49.2 million. The external funding ratio was 75 percent. 49,8 percent of the budget came from industrial revenues, 13 percent from federal and state contract research, and 6,5 percent from funds provided by the European Union. Around 270 employees and 140 students worked at the institute in 2015.
A data transmission system was successfully developed in 2006 with a never-before-seen speed of 2560 Gb/s which means transmitting a data volume corresponding to the content of 60 DVDs takes one second. Also a breakthrough was achieved in video compression making it possible to store motion pictures in the high-resolution HDTV format with 2 million pixels per image on DVD. On November 10, 2016 scientists of the Fraunhofer HHI established a bidirectional 1.7 Tbit/s free-space optical communications link over the air. The eye-safe optical beam transmission was transmitted over a distance of 380 meters. Eye-safe operation through 380-m air was successfully demonstrated at a total antenna output power of less than 10 mW. The signals in both directions consisted of 40 wavelength channels of 43 Gbit/s.