Globalfoundries launches auto chip manufacturing platform

May 07, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Built on its existing 55nm low-power process, Globalfoundries has introduced a technology platform for chip designers to have their automotive chips built by the foundry. The devices will be manufactured in Singapore where Globalfoundries already produces automotive-qualified semiconductors.

The platform includes a comprehensive set of technology and design enablement capabilities tailored to improve energy efficiency and performance of automotive chips, the company said in a press release. The technology set embraces design tools, IP, manufacturing and semiconductor technology and services. Customers - fabless and fab-lite semiconductor companies - can migrate existing automotive microcontrollers, ASSPs and ASICs to the 55nm platform as a more advanced area; such a transition offers benefits in terms of chip area (and thus, productivity), performance, and power consumption. The platform supports ARM core technologies with a range of standard cells and compilers; on top of this, it allows to implement non-volatile memory (NVM) in MCUs and SoCs - Globalfoundries claims to provide best-in-class embedded Flash technology with an endurance of 100K/erase/progtam cycles and data retention of at least 20 years.

For chip designers, the foundry offers design enablement support through certified models and design rules as well as through process development kits and EDA tools. The design process takes place in an automotive-specific workflow which includes defect detection, defect reduction and outlier controls.

Globalfoundries' Dresden facilities will not be involved in the 55nm platform, a company spokesperson said - for the simple reason that the production equipment in Dresden is too advanced; the portfolio covers geometry nodes from 45 to 28nm, with focus on the latter.

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