Mastering Semiconductor Datasheets for Delivering a Robust ECU Design Meeting Stringent Automotive Application Requirements 2019-01-0474
As electronics enters every subsystem of a vehicle, ECU (Electronic Control Unit) designers need to judiciously select the semiconductor components to meet automotive application requirements. Choice of semiconductor components is governed by reliability and robustness on one hand and the needs of frugal implementations meeting the stringent automotive requirements. The former calls for adequate design margin to ensure trouble free life outlasting the vehicle life whereas the later demands in depth knowledge of semiconductor behavior so that cost/performance trade-off does not lead to potential filed problems. ECU designers need to critically study semiconductor datasheets, analyze application literature and extensively interact with semiconductor application engineers so as to arrive at the optimum choice of semiconductor components in their ECU Design.
This paper stresses on the importance of studying and critically understanding finer aspects of the semiconductor datasheets in order to make educated design decisions. The paper discusses difficulties generally encountered by the ECU Designers in correctly interpreting finer aspects of the datasheet parameters sometimes leading to field problems. Real life design examples are discussed focusing on datasheet interpretation of frequently used components like micro-controllers, Low drop-out regulators, DC-DC Converters, capacitors, resistors etc. This aspect is supported in subsequent sections by citing some real life fields problems highlighting lessons design engineers need to derive out of the same. The paper ends summarizing the lessons learnt which can be used to formulate best design and validation practices/guidelines for ECU design teams.