Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

With the promotion of new energy vehicle industry and autonomous driving technology, the automotive semiconductor market is ushering in a golden period of development.

According to some data, for L1 to L5 autonomous driving, the semiconductor cost of autonomous driving at L1 is only about 150 US dollars, and when it is raised to L3 level to 600 US dollars, and it rises to L4 and L5 levels, the semiconductor cost of the whole vehicle will be to $1200. In this fast-growing market, storage products and technologies do not attract mainstream media attention.

Feng Yixin, director of product management department of Fujitsu Electronic components (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., also said at an event: “With the deployment of new infrastructure, the popularization of charging piles will rapidly promote the popularization of new energy vehicles, whether on the side of the pile or the side of the vehicle, In the future, more high-performance storage applications will be demanded.” As the main market provider of non-volatile memory FRAM, the company is meeting the needs of the automotive market with the best performance and ushering in a sweet period of market growth.

Fujitsu, which has mass-produced FRAM for 20 years and shipped more than 4.1 billion units, has launched a number of automotive-grade FRAM products that can operate in high temperature environments up to 125°C since 2017. In terms of market promotion, it has successfully entered many Tier-1 and Tier-2 supply chains of OEMs such as Dongfeng, King Long, Yutong, SAIC-GM-Wuling, BMW Brilliance, FAW, Yujie, JAC, and Chery.

Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

Fujitsu AEC-Q100 Grade 1 Automotive Grade FRAM Product Line

1. Very high endurance, reliability and very low latency, special memory for special automotive applications

With the rise of concepts such as 5G and the Internet of Vehicles, vehicle ADAS, in-vehicle entertainment and other functions are gradually becoming the standard of a new generation of smart cars, and the in-vehicle hardware and software systems powered by multi-sensor fusion and large-screen and multi-screen displays are undoubtedly More on-board memory is required.

At the same time, since these memories are distributed in various types of vehicle-mounted terminals and hardware systems as the core carrier of data content such as images, videos and even voice, their usage and data storage characteristics are often very different – ​​or frequently erase and write data. , or need longer cycle life, or need ultra-high reliability, and so on. Therefore, in order to successfully enter the vehicle storage market, there is almost no complete solution, and the market segment with unique performance that meets the storage needs of specific application scenarios has attracted attention.

Taking VCU (Vehicle Control Unit), one of the most core technologies in new energy vehicles, as an example, VCU is the core of the entire control system. The signal can be comprehensively analyzed and determined according to the driver’s driving intention, and then the actions of the lower-level component controllers can be monitored.

It is responsible for the normal driving of the car, braking energy feedback, energy management of the vehicle engine and power battery, network management, fault diagnosis and processing, vehicle status monitoring, etc. And the normal and stable work in a reliable state can be described as the brain of the car.

Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

Application of FRAM in Vehicle Control Unit VCU

“The VCU system needs to record the current state of the car and the transmission gear, acceleration status, braking and output torque at a speed of once per second, and the use of FRAM can be stored and read through simpler software. , while ensuring high speed and high reliability.” Feng Yixin introduced.

In May this year, Fujitsu’s latest automotive-grade product, the MB85RS2MLY, can reach 10 trillion read/write cycles in the temperature range of -40°C to +125°C, making it ideal for applications that require real-time data logging (such as 10 consecutive years If data is recorded every 0.1 seconds per day, the number of writes will exceed 3 billion), which can be said to have extremely high data write durability and reliability.

These features are also crucial for BMS (Battery Management System), another core technology of new energy vehicles. BMS needs to record data and store data in real time, its system will record important data of battery cells (fault information, health status SOH and fuel gauge SOC, etc.) in real time and continuously at the frequency of every second or every 0.1 seconds, while monitoring the short-term battery (60 cycles/sec for the last few charge cycles) and long term (full battery life) battery performance.

According to Feng Yixin: “For a simple example, the battery cell power is generally maintained between 30% and 75%, indicating normal operation. If there is an imbalance, it needs to be supplemented from other units. At this time, the system needs to detect and record the battery. The power, temperature, voltage, current and other data of the unit, and the time interval between single monitoring and recording should not be too long.”

Therefore, by adopting FRAM, automakers can significantly reduce system complexity and improve data integrity. In fact, the presence of FRAM has been spread all over the world such as airbag data storage (Airbag), accident data recorder (EDR), new energy vehicle CAN box (CAN-BOX), new energy vehicle terminal (T-BOX), tire pressure monitoring (TPMS), automotive driver assistance systems (ADAS), and navigation and infotainment systems (infotainment) and other key electronic systems for new energy vehicles.

Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

Automotive grade FRAM, the best memory choice for automotive electronics reliability and latency-free requirements

2. Stones from other mountains can attack jade, and FRAM can deal with the pain points of charging pile storage in this way

In March of this year, China proposed to speed up the construction of new infrastructure such as 5G networks and data centers. Among the seven major areas of new infrastructure construction disclosed later, new energy charging piles were among them. According to “CCID Consulting” data, as of December 2019, the number of charging piles in China reached 1.219 million units, and the vehicle-to-pile ratio was about 3.4:1, which is far lower than the “Guidelines for the Development of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (2015-2020)” According to the plan of 1:1, it is conservatively estimated that in the next 10 years, the construction gap of charging piles in China will be as high as 63 million.

Compared with gas stations, charging piles can carry more information, in addition to current, there are information flow, capital flow, etc. As an important port for data collection of the Internet of Vehicles, the large-scale construction of the charging pile network will surely become an important information platform for the future social transportation system.

Therefore, the recording and storage of charging pile data is very important. As a supporting product for providing electric energy to new energy vehicles, charging piles need to process a large number of parameters during operation. Through system monitoring data and event information, centralized remote monitoring of equipment can be realized, which provides necessary data support for equipment fault diagnosis, and also provides power stations with necessary data support. Comprehensive management provides comprehensive statistical data and various statistical reports.

To this end, all data must be collected, viewed and analyzed uniformly, and functions such as real-time monitoring of equipment operating status, danger warning and notification, data query analysis, total equipment operation and management are provided.

“Charging pile manufacturers need to select suitable storage products to respond, and their data storage application requirements are very similar to smart meters.” Feng Yixin pointed out, “At present, FRAM memory has been widely used as a standard memory in the smart meter industry, and it has The three major advantages of FRAM are unmatched by many similar types of memory.” Feng Yixin said that the three major advantages of FRAM are high-speed writing, endurance and low power consumption. Compared with EEPROM, FRAM has a write lifespan of up to 10 trillion times, while EEPROM is only one million times (10^6).

Fujitsu FRAM writes data in 150ns, which is about 30,000 times faster than EEPROM. The power consumption of writing one byte of data is only 150nJ, which is about 1/400 of that of EEPROM, which is a huge advantage in battery-powered applications.

Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

Comparison of main parameters of FRAM, EEPROM and FLASH

FRAM is capable of not only high-speed writing, but also high-speed erasing. Taking data security as an example, if hackers illegally steal and analyze the confidential data of charging piles, it will lead to a wide range of information leakage. In this regard, low-power and high-speed FRAM can use small battery power to instantly erase important data, thereby ensuring user information security.

At this time, FRAM only needs a working current of 0.1mA to erase 256bit data in 0.3ms, which has a significant advantage over EEPROM.

Application Requirements for High-Performance Storage in the Automotive Semiconductor Market

Comparison of working current and erasing time of FRAM, EEPROM and FLASH

3. Meet differentiated market demands and build a full-coverage storage product array

Although FRAM has more advantages than traditional Flash and EEPROM in terms of read and write durability, write speed and power consumption, it also has the disadvantages of high cost and low capacity. To this end, Fujitsu has launched two other storage products that can complement the market with FRAM products – variable resistance random access memory ReRAM and nano random access memory NRAM, to meet more differentiated needs.

ReRAM can completely replace large-capacity EEPROM. In August 2019, Fujitsu successfully developed MB85AS8MT – the world’s highest density 8Mbit ReRAM product, which uses SPI interface and is EEPROM-compatible non-volatile memory that can operate in a wide voltage range between 1.6 and 3.6 volts. Only 0.15mA is required to read data at 5MHz operating frequency.

“At present, there are only two companies in the world that can mass-produce ReRAM, and Fujitsu is one of them.” Feng Yixin said, “The maximum EEPROM capacity is only 2Mb, and in some cases the power consumption is too high. Our mass-produced 4Mb and 8Mb products can meet the EEPROM customers with these needs can guarantee prices close to EEPROM 2Mb.”

Fujitsu ReRAM launch time

According to the plan, Fujitsu is expected to bring 16Mbit or even 32Mbit ReRAM products around 2021, which will further meet the needs of enterprises and customers for various special applications.

NRAM has both the high-speed writing and high reading and writing endurance of FRAM (1000 times higher than that of NOR Flash), and also has the same large capacity and cost as NOR Flash, and achieves very low power consumption (power consumption in standby mode is almost At the same time, the reliability is very high, the storage time limit of data is up to 1000 years at 80 degrees, and it can also reach 10 years at 300 degrees.

When talking about the application of NRAM in on-board storage, Feng Yixin pointed out: “The current high temperature tolerance range of FRAM-based automotive-grade ICs is 125 degrees, while NRAM can reach 150 degrees. Therefore, NRAM-based ICs are expected to appear in the future. In the car engine.” As the first generation of NRAM products, Fujitsu’s 16Mbit DDR3 SPI interface products will be available at the end of 2020 at the earliest.

It can be seen that by building a complete array of FRAM, ReRAM and NRAM products, Fujitsu can completely replace traditional storage products EEPROM and NOR FLASH, which will inevitably lead to a new round of reshuffle in the storage industry.

4. Summary

It is foreseeable that the market demand for automotive semiconductors will generate a great increase in the future, especially 2020 is destined to be a key year for the domestic new energy vehicle-related electronic product market and technological change. In the future, the development of autonomous driving is destined to become more and more extensive, and the requirements for data processing and storage will reach a very high level.

Author: Yoyokuo