Call me naiive, but I am shocked to find out there are so many different proprietary technologies out there. Does anyone agree here that it's about time to have the industry standard embedde flash for automotive MCUs?
Junko Yoshida wrote: I am shocked [shocked!] to find out there are so many different proprietary technologies out there.
Anyone who has spent more than five minutes listening to technical people arguing fervently and at length about the kind of minutiae that go into making a standard understands quite clearly why there are so many proprietary technologies.
To paraphrase Otto von Bismarck, "People who like sausage or standards should not watch either being made."
But more on a serious note, I was actually motivated to look into this further, when the executive from Globalfoundries discussed the "phase three" where automotive MCUs @28-nm may start looking for the "industry standard" flash.
Junko Yoshida asked: @betajet, did Bismarck actually say that? Far out!
My paraphrase is based on a quote about sausage and public policy that is attributed to Bismarck, but it's not clear how he said it or whether he even said it at all. Personally, I don't care who said it because it's such a great quote. The form I used as my prototype is: "People who like sausage or public policy should not watch either being made." A surprising number of things can be substituted for "public policy" :-)
I wonder if non-automotive companies will start using the 55nm flash for general mcu's(because they' don't have access to 65nm flash which only a few has). And once that shift happens i can see them developing mcu's for 40nm - which can be surely used for commodities , see lattice semi ice40 sub dollar fpga's .
Of course that depends on how spansion's super bus would be accepted but in general , the rule in this business is (integrate or be integrated).
Other areas that might fit 28nm automotive is robotics : complex designs, need for speed, low power and reliability.
The environmental condition in a automotive is going to be different than that in the appliances or computer devices in your house. In addition, electronics product typically has a 3 to 5 years life cycle. If the FLASH is worn out and the capacity decreases, you will buy a new one. Automotives, on the other hands, stay in an uncertain enviroment. Some are in a hot weather. Some constantly stay in a snow weather. Engine temperature is high; so is everything around it. Dusty and greasy are unavoidable. More importantly, most consumers expect a car live for 10+ years. Can today FLASH last that long? I think a standard shall be defined to give consumer a more confident of the next generation vehicles (more electronics to assist mechanical).
@chanj, I think AEC-Q100 standards are exactly set up to answer your questions. Flash memories used in the embedded MCU in cars do need to meet the stringent standards -- as you just described.
And you are absolutely right. Cars must last much longer than consumer products.
That said, what I found most fascinating during the interview with the Globalfoundries' executive was that automotive chips in the future need to clear not only the AEC-Q100 standards but also ISO 26262 safety functions.
How automotive chips will be certified to be compliant with ISO26262 -- in terms of functional safety -- has not been spelled out yet. But at the advent of chips catering to active ADAS, this is a new thing to watch out.