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TSMC and Samsung Announce Advanced Process Nodes for Automotive

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Within a relatively short time period, TSMC and Samsung have both announced advanced automotive platforms, targeted at advanced driver assistance systems, infotainment controls and autonomous driving. TSMC’s automotive-grade process is based on 7nm, while Samsung is expanding its automotive solutions to 8nm.

TSMC’s Automotive Reliability Guide 2.0 for 7nm

TSMC’s solution is a collaboration with ANSYS, an engineering simulation company. The Automotive Reliability Solution Guide 2.0 includes several ANSYS products for chip design and features workflows for IP development and packaging on 7nm. This is a step up from its current 16FFC node for automotive.

The workflows include electromigration (EM), thermal reliability including self-heat and chip package thermal co-analysis, electrostatic discharge, and also a new workflow for statistical electromigration budgeting (SEB), TSMC says. In other words, the goal is to let designers meet rigorous safety and reliability requirements for automotive applications without over design.

"Safety and reliability standards are increasingly stringent in next-generation automotive systems, mandating the need for a comprehensive multi-physics simulation platform that simultaneously solves for thermal effects, reliability, power-timing and performance across the spectrum of chip, package and system," said John Lee, General Manager at ANSYS.

TSMC expect to qualify its automotive-grade 7nm process in 2020. Synposys recently announced that it has made automotive-grade 7nm IP, including LPDDR4X, MIPI CSI-2 and D-PHY, PCI Express 4.0, and security IP.

Samsung Brings 8nm to Automotive

Samsung is currently manufacturing several automotive semiconductor products such as driving assistants and infotainment systems, it says, but those are based on its 28nm FD-SOI and 14nm process nodes. Samsung said last week that it will have an 8nm variant for automotive applications in the near future. Its 8nm is derived from 10nm and is Samsung’s last process node without EUV.

While Samsung did not announce much information or distinct platforms, the company said it is also focused on functional safety and component reliability and said it has received a certification on functional safety in automotive components and is complying with the automotive industry’s reliability standards.