Cypress Semiconductor and United Microelectronics announced Monday 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.
Cypress introduced its two initial lines of 40-nm, ARM-based microcontrollers, one for automotive-grade products, and the other optimized for high-volume consumer applications. These families, based on Cypress’s proprietary embedded charge trap (eCT) technology, move Cypress into the next generation of programmable solutions, which are made on the 180nm and 65nm nodes. Cypress’s 40-nm eCT-based MCU families are targeted at high-volume growth opportunities.
The 40nm eCT Flash comes in a 0.053 μm2 cell size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than the nearest competitor. The eCT Flash macro is capable of 8 nsec random access and 30 μsec word-programming speed, two key attributes engineered for demanding, high-performing applications, apart from meeting automotive reliability requirements.
With its small cell size along with high performance and reliability, eCT is an ideal solution for a wide 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.
The eCT Flash macros are also available for licensing from Cypress. Cypress’s programmable systems-on-chip, general-purpose microcontrollers, analog ICs, wireless and USB-based connectivity solutions and reliable, high-performance memories help engineers design differentiated products and get them to market first. Cypress is committed to providing customers with ideal support and engineering resources enabling innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers to disrupt markets and create new product categories.
“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 minimizing 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.”
This embedded technology has also been used in the Traveo S6J342xxx series that includes cost-efficient implementations for body control modules, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, collision warning systems, gateways and lighting applications. The MCUs are based on an ARM Cortex-R5 core with 132-MHz performance and feature up to 1MB of high-density embedded flash for application storage.
A unique partial wake-up mode allows the MCUs to minimize average power consumption. Cypress offers a range of variations in the series that enables OEM customers to develop derivative solutions.
This series also supports the Controller Area Network Flexible Data-rate (CAN FD) standard for high-speed, in-vehicle networking, enabling large amounts of data to be exchanged between each CAN node. The MCUs address the critical need to secure data on in-vehicle networks with enhanced Secure Hardware Extension (eSHE) support, preventing unauthorized connections to electronic control units (ECUs).
The Traveo series continues Cypress’s expansion of its broad automotive portfolio that includes MCUs, wireless radios, memories, capacitive-touch solutions and Power Management ICs (PMICs).