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Cost and reliability gains in automotive electronics

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Despite a strong increase over the past 10 years, automakers still integrate more electronics in the cars every year for 3 main reasons. Firstly, governments force new rules and regulations for safety and ecology, secondly existing systems are transformed into electrical versions and finally, new features or applications are introduced to please the occupants. It used to be more pronounced in luxury cars, the trend is also very visible in light cars nowadays. The IC related cost per car is projected to increase by 30% from $300 in 2013 to $400 in 2017. Because this is a huge market worldwide, the automotive semiconductor market will reach 10% of the total $400B semiconductor market in 2017.

However creating ICs for the automotive market is not an ‘easy ride’. There are plenty of reliability challenges. Car makers require ‘zero’ defects, very long system life, all in harsh environments. The operating conditions are different from consumer and industrial markets.

Car makers require strong reliability for the systems and the ICs including ‘beyond standard’ ESD levels, transient latch-up immunity like ESD stress under powered conditions, EMC tests (62132 DPI) and specific automotive tests like ISO 7637-2. The load dump pulse 5 is one of the most famous ones.

To cope with these challenges, Sofics has developed the PowerQubic technology during an investment project of more than 15 man years of research and development, spread over several years. It is a flexible solution set for different applications based on set of ESD concepts that are tunable by layout, schematic variations and do not require process changes. The technology has been validated in BCD, high voltage CMOS and advanced CMOS nodes, spanning 35 voltage domains (from 5V to more than 60V) and is currently being implemented in more than 20 products as diverse as Automotive LIN transceivers, industrial DAC, Switching power regulators and hearing implants.

The technology was discussed during a recent event: On May 16th 2014, several DSPVally members presented their work on an I(C)T seminar in Tokyo, Japan, at the Belgian Embassy, in cooperation with Flanders Investment and Trade.

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Cost and reliability gains in automotive electronics

  1. 1. KOEN VERHAEGE TOKYO, MAY 16, 2014 COST & RELIABILITY GAINS IN AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRONICS
  2. 2. Sofics – Solutions for ICs SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 2 • Develop, customize, and license solutions for ICs – Track record in on-chip electrical overstress protection  More than 75 patents  More than 50 licensees  More than 1 IC release per day including Sofics solution • Serving customers worldwide
  3. 3. PowerQubic SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 3 • On-chip EOS/ESD protection for automotive and high voltage applications – Worldwide track record Three reasons why companies rely on Sofics PowerQubic 1. Reduce cost of development/silicon/manufacturing 2. Meet hard/harsh specifications 3. Enable IC performance with (standard) EOS/ESD reliability
  4. 4. The automotive market SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 4 • Trend: more electronics in harsh EMI/EOS automotive environments – Electrification of systems – New regulations – New applications • Trend: more semiconductors in light cars – $300 [2013] – $400 [2017] • TAM: – $30B i.e. 10% semi market • Reliability challenges: – Zero defect requirements – Very long system lifetime
  5. 5. Automotive electronics: not an “easy ride” SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 5 • Operation conditions different than consumer and industrial • System (reliability) requirements are equally more stringent – DC: 12V, 24V, 40V… – Transient currents: several Amperes Consumer Industrial Automotive Temperature 0 to 40⁰C -10 to 70⁰C -40 to 160⁰C Operation time 2 to 5 years 5 to 10 years up to 15 years Humidity low environment 0% to 100% Field failure rate <10% <<1% 0 failure Supply ~ 1 year ~ 2 to 5 years up to 30 years
  6. 6. Automotive electronics: not an “easy ride” SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 6 • Zero defect requirements – Severe reliability tests and qualification – Cost of errors over product(ion) life time  Early-built-in reliability • Trend: – OEM push reliability specifications on the IC  Adds complexity and cost to the IC Source: Freescale, David Lopez Source: Audi, Christian Lippert
  7. 7. Automotive electronics: not an “easy ride” SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 7 • Severe reliability requirements passed on component and system level – Above standard HBM, MM requirements – Transient latch-up immune  -27V..+40V – ESD under powered conditions  0V..+18V – IEC 61000-4-2 system ESD – ISO 7637-2 load dump pulse – EMC IEC 62132 DPI • Requirements strongly depend on application – Automotive, industrial applications: IEC 61000-4-2, ISO 7637, IEC 62132 … – Battery, power management: IEC 61000-4-2 Source: STMicroelectronics, Philippe Merceron
  8. 8. Automotive IC reliability design challenges SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 8 • EOS: Block DC current at high voltages • ESD: Dissipate transient current, above (high) supply voltage • EMC: Avoid false triggering • Cost opportunity: – Reduce development time – Minimize on-chip protection area – Avoid dedicated process steps
  9. 9. Sofics solution: PowerQubic clamps SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 9 • Tunable trigger voltage Vt1 – Customized DC and transient response • Tunable holding voltage Vhold – To adapt to application/requirements • Tunable performance It2, Ron – High current – Low on-resistance • …and: – Bi-directional, standard process compatible, compact silicon area… I V It2 VhVDD Vt1 Ron
  10. 10. Sofics solution: PowerQubic clamp – example SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 10 • Automotive LIN interface protection clamp – High ESD performance  16A TLP current (@ 48V)  24kV HBM  6kV IEC 61000-4-2 direct injection – EOS tolerant  Load dump pulse ISO 7637-2  Tolerant above 40V – Transient Latch-up immune  High holding voltage  At high temperature  For fast events 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 10 20 30 40 50 I [A] V [V]
  11. 11. PowerQubic adapts to applications, processes SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential 11 • Flexible solution set for different voltages, applications – Different concepts, applied in portfolio of novel device types  Hebistor, quadristor, SMOS, RCS, MCA, MCE, … – Tunable for triggering, holding and protection performance  By layout variation  By schematic adaptation – Standard process compatible: no process changes  Several concepts are even compatible with standard CMOS process flow  No additional masks, and no special implants required • Multiple projects, customers, product implementations – Silicon proven in BCD, HV CMOS and advanced CMOS – >35 voltage domains protected (5V – 60V) – >15 man years of research & development
  12. 12. 3 main reasons why automotive IC designers rely on Sofics solutions Reduce IC cost lower development, design, silicon and manufacturing costs Pass any ESD/EOS/LU specification flexible technology adapts to your requirements Enhance IC performance lowest leakage, capacitance ... 12SOFICS © 2014 Proprietary & Confidential
  13. 13. PowerQubic, TakeCharge, Sofics are trademarks of Sofics bvba Contact us SOFICS © 2015 Proprietary & Confidential 13 Check out our case histories

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