1998-08-11

Advanced Semiconductor Developments for Automotive Systems, Part 1 981945

The objective of this paper is to define how complex automotive electronics have become and how advanced semiconductor technology is being developed to simplify the development of these systems.
Automotive systems are becoming more complex electronically than could ever be imagined. There are now many Electronic Control Units being implemented on vehicles which are each linked to separate networks and are sharing data on high speed buses. In order to handle the increasing processing bandwidth required, and to interface effectively with the many sensors and actuators on the modern motor vehicle, significant advances are being made in semiconductor technology. The types of systems which are becoming more complex will be defined along with the reasons for becoming so.
‘System chips’ are now being developed which can integrate together different types of semiconductor technology in order to reduce chip-count, size and increase performance and reliability. Analog, digital, Power and even sensor technologies are being merged in order to address the advanced automotive requirements. Examples will be given of system chips and their impact on advanced automotive applications.
Smart sensors are being developed which will make integrating many sensors simpler than ever before. The smart sensors will allow easier sharing of information between related systems such as chassis control systems (Braking, Steering, Collision avoidance, etc.).The concept and application of such smart sensors will be discussed.
Several other advances in semiconductors for automotive applications will be discussed such as Flash NV memory, power consumption issues and vehicular electronic communication protocols [1]. The impact of these technologies on simplifying development of complex systems will be made clear.

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