Automotive & Transportation

TSMC and Renesas Team Up to Develop 28 nm MCUs for Autonomous Vehicles

01 September 2016

Pure-play foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) and Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics are collaborating on a 28 nm embedded flash process to build microcontrollers (MCUs) for green and autonomous vehicles.

The goal of the collaboration is to have sample shipments available in 2017 and ready for mass production by 2020. Renesas will contribute its metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (MONOS) eFlash technology that will be combined with TSMC’s high-performance, low-power 28 nm high-K metal gate process technology. This process will be used to create automotive MCUs for applications such as autonomous vehicle sensor control, coordinated control among electronic control units (ECUs), fuel-efficient engine control for green vehicles and efficient motor inverter control for electric vehicles.

The companies say MCUs help to meet the safety requirements for future self-driving cars because they can enable high-precision sensing using 3-D radar to monitor the environment around the vehicle, compile data from multiple sensors and can perform real-time judgment processing for autonomous operation. Next-generation MCUs will also enable fast processing of complex control tasks, power efficiency and functional safety in ECUs.

Through the eFlash process technology in this collaboration, MCUs developed can deliver a maximum of more than four times the program memory capacity and greater than four-fold performance improvement compared to current 40 nm technology. The new MCUs will also employ multiple CPU cores, advanced security and support for multiple interface standards.

“The auto industry is currently undergoing a major transformation, with next-generation green vehicles and autonomous-driving vehicles on the horizon,” says Ryuji Omura, executive VP of Renesas. Omura says next-generation MCUs will be essential to accelerate the development of next-generation green and self-driving cars as well as provide the peace of mind to deliver a stable supply of products to carmakers.

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