SEMICONDUCTOR PRODUCTION Gen2 0.13 micron embedded flash process for automotive semiconductors
Key Foundry, the only pure-play foundry in Korea, announced today that it has completed the development of its first automotive semiconductor using its Gen2 0.13 micron embedded flash process and will begin full-scale mass production this year.
Key Foundry has continued mass production of a broad range of consumer application products, such as MCU, Touch and Auto Focus with its Gen1 0.13 micron embedded flash technology for more than five years. This newly developed Gen2 0.13 micron embedded flash process can be applied to automotive parts, satisfying the reliability criteria of the AEC-Q100 Grade-1. The AEC-Q100 is an Integrated Circuit (IC) stress test qualification for automotive applications, and to be qualified for Grade-1, the IC should function properly for 10+ years under an extreme temperature as high as 125℃ while keeping all the data saved in the flash intact. Based on its accumulated know-how and utilizing the robust characteristics of its patented Side-wall Selective Transistor Cell (SSTC) structure, Key Foundry has developed an embedded flash technology that passes all the AEC-Q100 Grade-1 tests by adding ECC (Error Correcting Code memory) in the embedded flash IP. This design improvement increases the flash memory reliability of the technology and makes it suitable for automotive applications.
This new process is first applied to a MCU product for a toll transponder of one of its Korean customers. The 128Kbyte eFlash IP provided by Key Foundry is embedded in the product whose product-level test is completed; mass production will begin in full swing this year. It is the first automotive-bound product utilizing Key Foundry's embedded flash process, and Key Foundry is expecting the product's successful development will help expand the technology's applications to Touch ICs, wireless charge ICs and other various automotive products.
With greater reliability and more cost-competitiveness than the Gen1, this Gen2 technology is expected to be applied to a wide range of consumer applications including MCU, Touch and Auto Focus. Additionally, integrated with the BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) process, it is a good fit for various power products such as USB Type-C PDs, motor drive ICs, or wireless charging ICs. The application of Gen2 technology is expected to further expand to low-power IoT products with an ultra-low leakage process option.
In addition, Key Foundry is also developing an embedded flash process in 0.11 microns, followed by the Gen1 and the Gen2 in 0.13 microns. The plan is to provide a flash IP with a memory density as high as 4Mbits by significantly reducing the size of flash cell in response to its customers' increasing demand for higher memory density.
"We are excited to complete the first product development applying the Gen2 0.13 micron embedded flash technology and begin mass production," said Dr. Tae Jong Lee, CEO of Key Foundry. "We will take full advantage of our accumulated technological strengths to offer highly reliable and cost-competitive foundry services and continue to increase the portion of automotive semiconductors in our portfolio."