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SEMICONDUCTORS New Gen3 0.18 micron BCD process for power semiconductors

Editor: Johanna Erbacher

Key Foundry, headquartered in Korea, announced in early February the start of mass production with a Gen3 0.18-micron Bipolar CMOS DMOS (BCD) process enhanced for mobile and automotive power semiconductors.

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Key Foundry starts mass production of Gen3 0.18 micron BCD process for mobile and automotive power semiconductors.
Key Foundry starts mass production of Gen3 0.18 micron BCD process for mobile and automotive power semiconductors.
(Source: gemeinfrei / Pexels )

The BCD technology is a specialized process technology that integrates three components - bipolar transistor for analog signal control, CMOS for digital signal control, and DMOS for high voltage driving - on a single chip applying to various power semiconductor products. This third-generation (Gen3) 0.18 micron BCD offers about 20% more improved performance than the previous generation.

According to the published press release, the lower ON-resistance and the smaller parasitic capacitance of 8~40V power NMOS/PMOS reduce conduction and switching loss. Such features render the technology as a suitable process for products whose power efficiency is important. The technology has already been applied for product development with several Asian and American power semiconductor design houses, and it now attracts growing interest from various IC designers for DC-DC, battery chargers, audio amplifiers, motor drivers, etc.

As it fulfills the Grade-1 qualifications of AEC-Q100, the reliability specification defined for electronic parts used in the automotive industry, it is also suitable for automotive power semiconductors such as a motor driver IC, a DC-DC IC, or a BMS IC (Battery Management System IC).

To satisfy the diverse requirements of customers, the company provides option devices along with the process. In particular, it offers MTP (Multi-Time Programming) and OTP (One-Time Programming) IP without adding more process steps, to help shorten the design cycles of the power semiconductor designers that require memory functions and at the same time improve their price competitiveness.

It also offers a dielectric process that operates at 10kV or higher so that DC-DC ICs or motor driver ICs can encompass a capacitive isolator function. The company is now developing more option devices such as low operating voltage power devices, power PMOS with low ON-resistance for high-side circuits, and depletion-mode NMOS for startup circuits. These option devices are expected to be available in the first half of 2021.

“As the power semiconductor market is making a rapid growth recently, there are escalating demands for highly reliable and price-competitive foundry technologies,” said Key Foundry CEO Tae Jong Lee. “Based on our accumulated technological capability, Key Foundry will continue to improve our process technologies and provide competitive BCD processes that satisfy the market demand and the needs of power semiconductor designing companies.”