Compact eCT MCUs meet automotive reliability requirements

20th December 2016
Posted By : Alice Matthews

Cypress Semiconductor and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) have announced that Cypress has begun volume shipments of microcontrollers (MCUs) containing its proprietary 40nm embedded Charge-Trap (eCT) Flash manufactured at UMC. The shipments mark the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between Cypress and UMC to integrate Cypress’s flash technology with UMC’s 40nm Low Power (40LP) logic process.

The 40nm eCT Flash comes in a 0.053µm2 cell size that is approximately 25% smaller than the nearest competitor, according to the company. The eCT Flash macro is capable of 8nsec random access and 30µsec word-programming speed, two key attributes engineered for the most-demanding, high-performance applications. In addition, it meets stringent automotive reliability requirements.

“This is an important milestone for eCT technology and a testimony to the successful partnership between Cypress and UMC; at the current run rate, we will have shipped more than seven million MCUs containing eCT Flash by the end of this year,” said Sam Geha, Senior Vice President of the Memory Products Division at Cypress. “We set out to deliver an embedded Flash technology with the industry’s smallest cell size. Leveraging our memory expertise and UMC’s process expertise, we were able to fulfill that objective while minimising mask adders and preserving logic device models. We also integrated automotive-grade reliability and performance, making eCT a key enabler of Cypress’s new generation of Traveo-branded automotive MCU products.”

“UMC and Cypress have a long-standing development relationship over many technology generations,” said S.C. Chien, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing at UMC. “Our 40LP is a mature, high-volume production technology that appeals to numerous market sectors due to its proven defect density and yields, resulting in considerably reduced costs compared to smaller process geometries, while still addressing power and performance requirements. UMC also helps customers mitigate geographic risk with fabs supporting 40LP in Taiwan, Singapore and China, and we are pleased to extend the benefits of our 40LP process to support Cypress’s eCT technology and bring differentiation to their MCUs.”

With its small cell size along with high performance and reliability, eCT is a suitable solution for a range of applications, from automotive to industrial to consumer. In addition, the scalability enabled by the relatively low cell profile means that eCT technology will ensure a competitive MCU product roadmap through 28nm and beyond.


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