Micronas to rely on X-Fab's 0.18µm HV process for next-gen SoCs

June 24, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The capability to combine digital logic with analog high-voltage circuit elements and non-volatile memory blocks on a single chip persuaded chipmaker Micronas to implement its next generation of automotive and high-voltage industrial SoCs for automotive and industrial motor embedded control applications in X-Fab's XH018 mixed-signal HV CMOS process.

According to Dirk Behrens, Vice President Automotive at Micronas, the feature set of X-Fab's process enables Micronas to devise a generation of versatile single-chip smart actuator solutions. These devices will interface directly to the communication network as well as to the actuator (in this case to the motor).

Micronas' embedded controllers for use in automotive and industrial applications are single-chip, high-voltage controllers with flexible peripherals and direct motor driving capabilities. The various integrated digital and analog components include comparators with virtual star point reference, power management features, diagnosis and protection functions, a fast A/D converter with programmable gain amplifier, communication interfaces, regulators for direct 12V operation, as well as all power bridges required.

The computation capacity supports complex motor control algorithms such as Space Vector Modulation in addition to six-step commutation with sensor feedback or sensorless control. All these features can contribute to improving system efficiency in customers' motion control solutions - for example by making removing transmission stages, or by reducing the motor size and weight. In addition, they enable a compact and cost-effective motor system design and help to save space within the application. All the different commutation schemes supported by the Micronas embedded controllers can be operated either in a sensorless or in a sensor based mode in combination with the company's Hall switches or 2D Hall sensor families.

For the time being however it remains unclear when such products from Micronas will be available. Upon request, the company declined to elaborate.

Smart actuator system solutions n vehicles are contributing in reducing fuel consumption a variety of applications such as DC motors drives with integrated electronics for fans and oil or coolant pumps.

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