What is Automotive Grade? Is consistent reliability.
An intelligent car will carry thousands of chips, including functional chips, main control chips (SoC chips for intelligent cockpit and autonomous driving), sensor chips, etc., which meet the vehicle specification level, which means higher chip quality and service life, and higher technical threshold.
Car gauge chips vs. consumer electronics chips
The design considerations of consumer electronics chips and automotive chips are very different, resulting in a very different process.
01 Mobile phone chip: the world martial arts only fast not broken
No matter for mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes or smart wearable devices, performance, power consumption and cost will be considered in the research and development stage.
Strong and weak chip performance has become an important standard to evaluate a model in the era of smart phones. Taking Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip as an example, it adopts the architecture of 1*Cortex-A77 (2.84GHz) +3* Cortex-A77 (2.42GHz) +4*Cortex-A55 (1.8GHz). NPU can achieve 15 teraflops: ISP speeds up to 2 billion pixels per second and can support 200 megapixel cameras.
Billions of transistors on a chip work at high frequency, will produce a large number of dynamic power consumption, short circuit power consumption and leakage power consumption, if not controlled, not only the results of calculation errors, or even some links in the circuit will be fused together and make the chip can not be repaired. Therefore, in addition to the pursuit of performance, consumer electronics should also take into account the power consumption problem, otherwise it is easy to appear hot fuselage, standby time reduction, use experience decline and other problems.
As chips get more powerful, their prices keep rising, accounting for an ever larger share of the total cost of a phone. Take Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 as an example, the cost is about 700 yuan, accounting for the cost ratio of the models respectively Xiaomi 10pro accounted for 14%, Redmi K30pro accounted for 23%, OPPO findX2pro accounted for 10%, Samsung S2ultra accounted for 7%; The Kirin 990 costs about 500 yuan, about 16 percent of the nova6, 10 percent of the P40, 7 percent of the P40 PRO, and 5 percent of the P40 pro plus. The Mediatek Guet 1000 costs 280 yuan, about 9.8% of the price of OPPO Reno3. Therefore, no matter from the perspective of improving the competitiveness of products or improving corporate profits, it is necessary to control the cost of chips.
02 Car chips: Stability trumps all
Because of the particularity of vehicle, automobile chip attaches great importance to reliability, safety and long - term performance. Why reliability first? Because of the characteristics of the car gauge chip:
1、Vehicle operating environment is bad
The temperature range in the engine compartment is -40°C to 150°C, so the vehicle chip needs to meet this temperature range, while the consumer chip only needs to meet the operating environment of 0°C to 70°C. In addition, the vehicle will encounter more vibration and impact, and the interior environment humidity, dust, erosion and other problems far exceed the requirements of consumer chips.
2、Automotive products are designed to last longer
The life cycle of mobile phones is 3 years, not more than 5 years, while the design life of automobiles is generally about 15 years or 200,000 kilometers, much longer than the life requirements of consumer electronics. Therefore, the product life cycle of automotive chips is required to be more than 15 years, and the supply cycle may be as long as 30 years.
In this case, how to maintain the consistency and reliability of the chip is the first problem to be considered.
3、Security is particularly important in automotive chips
The security of automotive chip is mainly composed of function security and information security.
Mobile phone chips can be stopped and restarted when they die, but once the car chip breakdown may cause serious safety accidents, which is out of the question for consumers. Therefore, in the automotive chip design, functional safety should be placed at the beginning of the architecture design and become an extremely important part of the vehicle gauge chip. Independent safety island design is adopted, and ECC and CRC data verification are carried out in key modules, computing modules, bus, memory, etc., including the whole production process of the vehicle gauge chip. To ensure the functional safety of the car gauge chip.
For functional safety, the international organization IEC has issued IEC 61508 standard, and derived a series of functional safety standards applicable to different industries, as shown in the figure below:
4、Automotive chip design also takes long-term consideration
The development of mobile phone chips basically follows Moore's Law. Every year, a new generation of chips will be released, and every year, a new flagship computer will be launched. Basically, a chip can meet the performance requirements of the software system within two or three years. However, the vehicle development cycle is long, and it takes at least two years for new models to be developed and verified on the market, which means that the automotive chip design must be forward-looking to meet the customer's forward-looking demand in the next 3 to 5 years.
In addition, with the increasing amount of software in today's cars, from a chip development perspective, there is not only a need to support multiple operating systems, but also a need to support the requirements of continuous iteration in the software.
So the car gauge chip shows the characteristics of long industrialization cycle and high supply system threshold. Basically, a chip vehicle gauge level certification generally takes 3-5 years, which is a huge test of technology cost, production cost and time cost for chip manufacturers. Mobileye took eight years to land its first order from an automaker, and Nvidia spent $2 billion developing its current flagship chip, the Xavier.
In the future, as policies continue to support the semiconductor industry, new energy vehicles and electric vehicles continue to drive the market demand for auto gauge chips, the upstream and downstream of the semiconductor industry coordinated development, and domestic enterprises continue to reserve technical strength, the process of auto gauge chips localization is expected to accelerate, and the prospect of independent control of chips in the domestic auto industry is promising.