Renesas and TSMC to work on embedded eFlash technology

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After four years of working together on 40nm MCU platform and production, Renesas and TSMC have now embarked on 28nm embedded eFlash process technology to manufacture MCUs for green and autonomous vehicles.

“The auto industry is currently undergoing a major transformation, with next-generation green vehicles and autonomous-driving vehicles on the horizon,” said Ryuji Omura, executive vice president, Renesas. “Innovative semiconductor technology is essential to accelerate the development of next-generation automobiles, and I am confident that the collaboration with TSMC on the technology development of next-generation MCUs will help us to deliver.”

Using the 28nm eFlash process technology, MCUs are claimed to deliver more than four times the memory capacity and performance of current 40nm technology.

Metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (MONOS) eFlash technology uses a structure in which each transistor in the flash cell consists of three layers—oxide, nitride, and oxide—on a silicon base, with a metal control gate at the top. Renesas extended the technology by developing a split-gate structure suitable for MCU internal flash memory. The new ‘SG-MONOS’ flash memory is said to enable MCUs with higher reliability, higher speed and lower power consumption.

This technology combined with TSMC’s low power 28nm high-K metal gate process technology will be used to produce automotive MCUs for a broader range of applications, such as autonomous vehicle sensor control, coordinated control among electronic control units (ECUs), fuel-efficient engine control and efficient motor inverter control for electric vehicles.

There is also a need for larger capacity flash memory to accommodate larger firmware programmes, as well as to enable over-the-air wireless updating of control programmes.