X-FAB today announced that X-FAB Silicon Foundries, a leading foundry for analog/mixed-signal and specialty semiconductor solutions, has introduced new flash capabilities for its XP018 high-Voltage automotive process.
Author | Fang Wen
Image source | Internet
Massive growth in demand requires stronger automotive-grade flash memory
How to make automotive Electronic chips remain safe and reliable under increasingly complex conditions and meet more and more functional requirements is the cornerstone of the entire automotive industry to achieve subversive innovation.
Product innovation in the automotive industry not only relies on the self-development of auto companies, but in fact is mostly realized by new functions provided by suppliers, and the development of these new functions is promoted and facilitated by the innovation of lower-level chip technology. .
As more and more sensors and MCUs are integrated into the system, higher-performance flash memory is required for data and program storage of each functional unit of automotive electronics, resulting in a massive increase in the demand for non-volatile memory devices.
However, for the automotive industry, there are strict vehicle regulations and standards for electronic devices.
① Faster reading speed and larger storage capacity, the performance requirements of the chip are getting higher and higher;
② A large amount of computing will generate a larger amount of data, requiring the memory chip to have a larger capacity and a smaller volume at the same time;
③ The safety and reliability requirements of the program.
X-FAB automotive technology pushes new flash memory function
X-FAB today announced that X-FAB Silicon Foundries, a leading foundry for analog/mixed-signal and specialty semiconductor solutions, has introduced new flash capabilities for its XP018 high-voltage automotive process.
This new Flash IP utilizes X-FAB’s widely proven Silicon Nitride Oxide (SONOS) technology.
The technology offers higher levels of performance and reliability, meets stringent AEC-Q100 Grade 0 automotive specifications, can withstand operating temperatures from -40°C to 175°C, and fully supports ISO 26262 functional safety levels .
The addition of a built-in self-test (BIST) module is essential for effective memory testing as well as comprehensive product debugging.
In addition to automotive electronics, this flash IP is particularly suitable for battery-powered devices such as portable or autonomous smart sensors; and has great potential in healthcare, industrial, consumer, and IoT.
It has an array size of 32KByte in an 8K x 39-bit configuration with a 32-bit data bus; an additional 7 bits are dedicated to error code correction (ECC) to ensure zero-defect reliability in the field.
X-FAB’s proprietary XSTI embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) IP test interface has also been included to enable full serial access to the memory.
Since this automotive-grade flash IP can operate on a single 1.8 V supply, it is ideal for low-power designs. The new built-in self-test (BIST) module is essential for effective memory testing as well as comprehensive product debugging.
This new IP solution further enriches X-FAB’s embedded flash product portfolio for 180nm open technology platforms, which are available in a wide range of voltages and wafer materials.
The new Flash IP means that the XP018 can now address mixed-signal, high-voltage applications requiring additional logic content and computing resources in a highly cost-effective manner.
X-FAB provides 180nm optimized process for portable analog applications, and various choices of XP018 process to reduce the cost of the chip.
Reduce chip cost for analog circuit design
The newly introduced single-voltage 5V option removes the 1.8V part to reduce the overall number of masks, providing a valuable return for cost-sensitive portable applications.
I/O units, digital libraries, one-time programmable (OTP) memory and analog modules in a 5V environment are compatible with all high voltage options of the XP018, making it usable with any type of drive.
For driving piezoelectric or capacitive systems, the on-resistance-optimized 12V transistor reduces the required chip area.
In addition, the compiler of the one-time programmable (OTP) memory in the 5V module can support up to 16kbit, which is complementary to the existing polyfuses.
Suitable for metal windings of different needs, a new metal module concept is introduced to the XP018 platform for the first time, saving design costs.
It allows flexible stacking of MiM capacitors with other metal layers. Finally, 60V metal marginal capacitors and 1kohm poly resistors simplify the design of high voltage applications in a 60V power supply environment.
The threshold that needs to pass through the vehicle certification certification
①Cars have wider requirements on the working temperature of chips and components, and have different requirements according to different installation positions. For example, the engine compartment requirement is -40°C-150°C; the body control requirement is -40°C-125°C, which is much higher than the 0°C-70°C requirement for consumer chips and components for civilian products.
②Whether it is in the environment of humidity, mildew, dust, saline-alkali natural environment, EMC and harmful gas erosion, or in various changes such as high and low temperature alternating, vibration and wind shock, high-speed movement, etc., the stability requirements of automotive-grade semiconductors are higher than consumer chips.
③The design life of general automobiles is about 15 years and 500,000 kilometers, which is far greater than the life requirements of consumer electronics products. Therefore, the corresponding automobile chips have a longer service life and a lower failure rate. It can be said that the failure rate requirements of automotive-grade semiconductors are zero tolerance.
④Achieving the automotive standard requires one of the reliability standard AEC-Q series, the quality management standard ISO/TS16949 certification, and the functional safety standard ISO26262 ASILB (D). Basically, only semiconductor devices that meet the above-mentioned various rigid conditions can Passed vehicle-level certification.
⑤In terms of architecture, automotive-grade chips need to have an independent safety island design. In key modules, computing modules, buses, memory, etc., there are ECC and CRC data proofreading to provide functional safety for automotive-grade chips.
Automotive, mobile and IoT applications are driving the development of microcontrollers and other flash memory devices, and the flash memory market has grown to around $22 billion.
To gain a foothold in this market segment, many foundries have enabled embedded flash platforms or are actively working on them.
Including GLOBALFOUNDRIES, LFoundry, TSMC, UMC, X-FAB, with more members to join in the future.