Advanced Flash memory for the future of the car: Page 2 of 6

December 19, 2019 //By Author: Yasuhiko Taito, Renesas
Advanced Flash memory for the future of the car
The new 28-nm Flash memory technology achieves larger capacities, faster read operation, and high-level OTA support in automotive microcontrollers

At the same time, the introduction of over-the-air (OTA) software updates is proceeding alongside advances in connected car technology. This is creating strong demand for flash memory systems that can provide low-noise flash programming control to enable stable programming during software updates even while driving, a reduction in downtime when switching from the running software to a new version, and a robustness that is sufficient to prevent malfunctions even when an unexpected interruption occurs during updates or while switching software. To make OTA updates more convenient and easier to use, it is necessary to provide separate storage areas for program updates and currently running programs, which is driving further demand for larger flash memory capacities.

Figure 1  Trend Toward Higher Capacity and Faster Embedded Flash Memory in Automotive MCUs (Source: Renesas Electronics Corp.)

In response to the above requirements, Renesas Electronics Corporation (Renesas) has developed a new 28nm MCU embedded flash memory technology with the following features:

  1. 24 MB embedded flash memory – the industry’s largest in an MCU, combined with high-performance high-k metal gate (HKMG) CMOS logic circuits
  2. 240 MHz random access read speed – the industry’s fastest for embedded flash memory
  3. Support for low-noise programming during OTA updates
  4. Robust and high-speed software switching following OTA updates

Each of these items is described in detail below.

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