Infineon’s microcontrollers to go RRAM with TSMC

Infineon’s microcontrollers to go RRAM with TSMC

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

Infineon’s next generation Aurix microcontrollers will make use of resistive RAM (RRAM) embedded non-volatile memory instead of embedded flash.

Foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) is offering embedded RRAM as an option on its 28nm CMOS manufacturing process and Infineon said it will make use of this with samples available to customers before the end of 2023.

Embedded flash microcontrollers have been used for electronic control units (ECUs) in automobiles for many years but flash struggles to scale below 28nm and requires charge pumping to produce higher voltages making them less energy efficient than the emerging RRAM.

There are multiple variants of RRAM (or ReRAM) that are usually producing be despositing transition metal oxide (TMO) layers over standard CMOS logic. The material formulations and layering structure may be unique to each company but generally RRAMs is based on metal ion and oxygen vacancy migration under voltage to make and break a filamentary conduction path in a memory cell.

STMicroelectronics has made a different choice for embedded memory on its Stellar automotive microcontroller range choosing phase-change memory (see ST starts shipments of its Stellar microcontrollers to selected customers).

Partnering with TSMC

Infineon claims that the TSMC-supplied Aurix microcontrollers with RRAM will offer higher disturb immunity and allows bit-wise writing without need for erase, which allows for superior performance over embedded flash. The cycling endurance and data retention are comparable with flash, Infineon said.

“TSMC and Infineon have a long track record of successful collaboration, including the first Aurix generation with TC2x products. We have also partnered on RRAM non-volatile memory technology for almost a decade in a range of different applications,” said Kevin Zhang, senior vice president of business development at TSMC, in a statement. “Moving the TC4x to RRAM will open new opportunities in terms of shrinking MCUs into smaller nodes, and we are excited to be working with a leader like Infineon.”

Infineon is already shipping samples of its Aurix TC4x family based on TSMC’s 28 nm eFlash technology, the company said.

“Aurix TC4x based on TSMC’s RRAM technology further expands this success with increased ASIL-D performance, artificial intelligence capabilities and the latest networking interfaces including 10Base T1S Ethernet and CAN-XL,” said Thomas Boehm, general manager of automotive microcontrollers at Infineon. “RRAM technology creates a significant potential for performance expansion, power consumption reduction, and cost improvement.”

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Why ’emerging’ memories have not succeeded – yet

Weebit moves ReRAM on to ‘secret-sauce’ materials

ST starts shipments of its Stellar microcontrollers to selected customers

TSMC offers 22nm RRAM, taking MRAM on to 16nm

SureCore to help UK ReRAM startup come to market

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