Memory

Auto Talk

By Angelina Zamora - 2019-09-18

To become autonomous, cars need to “talk” to everything else — other cars, the surrounding infrastructure, road conditions, traffic, maps and so much more.

Self-driving cars will need advanced telematics to wirelessly exchange safety and operational data between vehicles and roadway infrastructure. With such technology, cars will talk with one another to reduce collisions and enhance traffic flow (vehicle-to-vehicle or V2V) and with infrastructure to enable cloud-based map updates, real-time traffic management, automatic fare collection, and emergency vehicle access (vehicle-to-infrastructure or V2I). For artificial intelligence, cars will communicate with the cloud to obtain real-time traffic information and software updates (vehicle-to-cloud or V2C). Cars will also talk with pedestrians via smartphones/watches to prevent collisions (vehicle-to-pedestrian or V2P). Taken together, these communication paths are called V2X, or vehicle-to-everything.

The communication among these various V2X sources is handled by a vehicle’s telematic control unit (TCU). Typically, the TCU is located on the roof of the vehicle, sometimes in a “shark fin” where space is very limited. Multichip package (MCP) memory solutions provide an ideal match of memory capabilities in a small footprint to meet TCU and V2X requirements.

MCPs are single packages with multiple memory devices inside. While the traditional definition of an MCP described packages with multiple die of the same technology (like DRAM, NOR or NAND), typically used to attain higher densities, it has expanded to include packages that combine different technologies (like NOR + LPDRAM or NAND + LPDRAM) into a single package. MCPs stack nonvolatile memory (NVM, which delivers boot-up/application, operating system, and other critical code/data execution) and volatile memory (RAM, which serves as high-speed temporary memory) together in one package, reducing area footprint.

Automotive OEMs not only need memory configurations with the right mix of density, power, performance, temperature, reliability and cost, but they also require solutions in a very small footprint. MCPs are optimal solutions for V2X communications; in fact, they are already being used in active safety systems where reduced footprint over discrete memory and storage devices is essential. In addition to reducing footprint, MCPs also have a lower ball count than equivalent discrete devices, leading to simpler printed circuit board layout and lower cost. MCPs ease design considerations by offloading the embedded memory of a microcontroller unit (MCU), using industry standard JEDEC interfaces and memory types.

Micron’s MCP memory and storage solutions support the memory requirements associated with real-time V2I communication to enhance the operational safety of vehicles. Micron’s MCP solutions are available in several NAND+LPDDR densities, delivering the right combination of performance, size, longevity, endurance and extended temperature ranges required for automotive applications.

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