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Auto industry prompts need for new ASIC methodology

Posted: 05 Jun 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip designs  ASIC  automotive industry 

The automotive industry is pushing for fewer defects in chip designs, prompting the need for a new ASIC methodology. In fact, there is a push towards "zero defects" in ASICs within automotive systems, said Valentin von Tils, vice president of ASIC development for Robert Bosch GmbH.

Bosch itself is deploying a predictive concept called "Design for Zero Defects," or ''DfZD'' in order to achieve that goal, but there are some major challenges.

The problem is that the automotive industry is migrating towards more complex system-on-a-chip (SOC) designs, which are running in more difficult operating environments, he said during a keynote address at the IEEE 2008 International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC).

At some point, discrete components will migrate towards SOCs as a means to lower costs. Electronic control units (ECUs) "will be merged into domain controllers to host several functionalities,'' he said. ''Sensors will be clustered and/or integrated into controllers."

Bosch itself is moving towards what it calls "CAPS," which is a combination of active and passive component integrated on the same device.

Therefore, a new design mindset is required. "A new, integrated design process—which covers all aspects of design, manufacturing, testing, lifetime related stress, and experiences from former designs—is required," he said.

As a result, Bosch is moving towards "DfZD." This encompasses several disciplines, such as design-for-test (DFT), design-for-manufacturing (DFM), and design-for-quality (DFQ), he said.

It also goes beyond the two traditional quality-control methodologies: statistical and single events. Statistics involves Pareto analysis, process capabilities and test coverage. Single events involve stress tests, DFT, and root cause analysis.

To accomplish zero defects, Bosch is deploying proactive types of technologies, such as failure tolerance, redundancy and applications engineering.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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