Collaboration brings 28nm MCU for green and autonomous vehicles

Renesas Electronics and TSMC are collaborating on 28nm embedded flash (eFlash) process technology for manufacturing microcontrollers (MCUs) targeted at next-generation green and autonomous vehicles.

MCUs are due to ship in 2017, with mass production in 2020.

Four years after working together on 40nm MCU, the two companies are extending their collaboration to develop 28nm MCUs, combining Renesas’ Metal-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (MONOS) eFlash technology with TSMC’s high-performance, low-power 28nm high-K metal gate process technology. The resulting automotive MCUs will be suitable for applications such as autonomous vehicle sensor control, coordinated control among electronic control units (ECUs), fuel-efficient engine control for green vehicles, and highly efficient motor inverter control for electric vehicles.

 Next-generation MCUs enable high-precision sensing using 3D radar to monitor the environment surrounding the vehicle, integration of data from multiple sensors, as well as real-time judgment processing for autonomous operation.

ECUs capable of safely controlling autonomous-driving functionality require next-generation control MCUs that contribute to fast processing of complex control tasks (including fail-operational capabilities, security, and support for co-ordinated control among multiple ECUs), power efficiency of the overall system, and functional safety.

To meet ever stricter emission regulations, fuel-efficient engines for next-generation green vehicles require powerful computing performance to implement new combustion systems as well as robust and large-capacity on-chip flash memory to accommodate larger firmware programs. Environmental friendliness and longer cruising range in EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) create demand for MCUs with improved computing performance and greater function integration to enable more efficient and compact motor inverters. There is also a need for large-capacity flash memory to allow more fine-grained support for the environmental regulations and standards of various countries as well as to enable over-the-air (OTA) wireless updating of control programs.

According to the company, MCUs developed with the 28nm eFlash process technology can meet the demands of next-generation automotive computing by delivering a maximum of more than four times the program memory capacity and greater than four-fold performance improvement compared to the current 40nm technology. Other enhancements include the use of multiple CPU cores, more advanced security, and support for multiple interface standards.


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