Globalfoundries Inc. has introduced a manufacturing process technology optimized and qualified for digital automotive circuits. It is an extension of a 55nm low-power CMOS process that had been added to with IP cores and design tools suited to automotive applications and qualified to the AEC-Q100 Group D standard.
At the 55nm node Globalfoundries is using non-volatile flash memory licensed form the Silicon Storage Technologies subsidiary of Microchip Inc. (Chandler, Arizona) although it is in the middle of development program with Infineon Technologies AG to port Infineon's eFlash embedded memory to a 40nm node.
The 55nm process, should still give Globalfoundries an advantage over rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC). The process supports the implementation of SST-based embedded flash in MCUs and SoCs with an endurance of 100k erase/program cycles and data retention of more than 20 years.
TSMC qualified a 90nm eFlash technology, developed with Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) for automotive use in 2013 and production is expected to start in 2014. TSMC also has embedded flash for 65nm and 55nm nodes but has not yet reported them to be qualified for automotive applications. The company is also developing 40nm and 28nm embedded non-volatile memory modules.
Part of the Globalfoundries "design enablement" is arranged to allow customers to migrate existing automotive microcontrollers, ASSPs and ASICs to the 55nm process.
In April 2013, Globalfoundries and Infineon announced that Globalfoundries had replaced TSMC as the preferred partner to develop eFlash modules. Globalfoundries said that it was working on joint technology development and production agreement for 40nm eFlash process technology. This follows on from the 2009 announcement that TSMC would be extending a partnership with Infineon to a cover 65nm embedded flash process technology.
Automotive-specific design flow
Globalfoundries is offering an automotive IC design process backed up with certified models, design rules, PDKs. The design flow includes special provision for defect detection, reduction and outlier case controls.
The automotive platform supports the use of ARM core technology with a variety of standard cell and compilers, as well as IP blocks for GPIO, interface, and oscillator functions. The platform is backed by an automotive services package to meet automotive grade quality and reliability requirements. The services offering includes 15 years record retention, a failure analysis
The 55nm low power process PDK, embedded flash PDK, and flash macro design service are available now, which would allow manufacturing of new designs to take place in 2015. Production of next-generation automotive 40nm eFlash MCUs is scheduled for the first half of 2017 and will take place initially in Singapore with subsequent transfer to its wafer fab in Dresden, Germany.
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