January 14,2016

eMemory’s NeoFuse Technology: A Major Advance in Automotive Panel Driver IC

Hsinchu, Taiwan (Jan. 14, 2016) – eMemory has announced the tape-out of NeoFuse silicon IP for automotive panel driver IC with high reliability and it is ready for mass production in an international foundry. The reliability of NeoFuse silicon IP can meet the criteria of AEC-Q100 Grade 1 and the design of NeoFuse silicon IP completely changes the traditional dual-voltage operation by using core device only to access data under single low-voltage.

With the soaring demand of automotive ICs from the advent of smart cars and internet of vehicles, the IC suppliers in the increasingly crowded automotive IC marketplace pay attention to not only rigorous reliability requirements but also manufacturing cost. The process for source driver IC in automotive display panels has gradually migrated from a triple-device process (e.g. 1.8V/3.3V/13.5V) to a dual-device one (e.g. 1.8V/13.5V) to reduce wafer manufacturing cost by simplifying the process steps. However, the removal of medium voltage device frequently used in silicon IP design leads to the problems of significantly increasing the IP area and the read operation not fulfilling the product requirements.

eMemory’s NeoFuse silicon IP can be implemented by using only core device to perform memory and peripheral circuit design. Its unique circuit design prevents high-voltage damage to the core device during data programming, and only single low-voltage is required to access data in read operation. Take the NeoFuse Silicon IP in 0.18um 1.8V/13.5V for source driver IC as an example, the core device can sustain 9V high-voltage stress during programming, while a 1.0V low-voltage is needed for read operation. This innovation completely changed the traditional dual-voltage operating and has been highly valued and adopted by automotive panel driver IC customers.


Background Information
1. Embedded nonvolatile memory (eNVM) silicon IP design usually requires two devices: a core device and an I/O device. Most silicon IP modules require the construction of a core device that includes logic control units, reading units, signal interface transmission units, etc. The use of a core device enables high-speed operations at lower operating voltages, thus reducing power consumption. But for the memory to write to the module, an I/O device is required, and since writing operations require higher voltage, the I/O device must be able to withstand higher writing voltages to prevent damage. 

2. The source driver IC in an LCD monitor determines video quality and power consumption. Since a monitor requires several source driver ICs, lowering their cost has always been an important issue for manufacturers. Driver ICs in LCD monitors usually use special high-voltage processes: the traditional process includes a core device (usually 1.8V), an I/O device (usually 3.3V or 5V), and a high-voltage device (usually 13.5V to 18V). I/O device has been removed in new generation process, and only core and high-voltage device remained.