MRAM enables new features to accelerate OTA updates and remove bottlenecks

19-05-2023 | NXP | Automotive & Transport

NXP Semiconductors is collaborating with TSMC to supply the industry's first automotive-embedded MRAM in 16nm FinFET technology. As automakers move to software-defined vehicles (SDVs), they need to support numerous generations of software upgrades on a single hardware platform. Combining the company's high-performance S32 automotive processors with fast and highly reliable next-generation non-volatile memory in 16nm FinFET technology delivers the perfect hardware platform for this transition.

MRAM can update 20MB of code in less than three seconds compared to flash memories that take about one minute, minimising the downtime associated with software updates and allowing carmakers to remove bottlenecks that occur from long module programming times. Moreover, MRAM supplies a highly reliable technology for automotive mission profiles by delivering up to one million update cycles, an endurance level 10x greater than flash and other emerging memory technologies.

SDVs allow carmakers to roll out new comfort, safety and convenience features via OTA updates, prolonging the vehicle's life and improving its functionality, appeal, and profitability. As software-based options become more widespread in vehicles, the frequency of updates will grow, and MRAM's speed and robustness will become even more essential.

TSMC's 16FinFET embedded MRAM technology surpasses the rigorous demands of automotive applications with its one-million cycle endurance, support for solder reflow, and 20-year data retention at 150C.

"The innovators at NXP have always been quick to recognise the potential of TSMC's new process technologies, especially for demanding automotive applications," said Dr Kevin Zhang, senior vice president of Business Development at TSMC. "We're excited to see our leading MRAM technology employed in NXP's S32 platform to enable the coming generation of software-defined vehicles."

"NXP's successful collaboration with TSMC spans decades and has consistently delivered high-quality embedded memory technology to the automotive market," said Henri Ardevol, executive vice president and general manager of Automotive Processing at NXP. "MRAM is a breakthrough addition to NXP's S32 automotive solution portfolio supporting next-generation vehicle architectures."

By Seb Springall