ATS develops connection concept for robot vehicle computers

September 28, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ATS develops connection concept for robot vehicle computers
The automotive industry is working feverishly with its semiconductor partners on powerful computer platforms for autonomous driving. But the chips alone are not enough - such high-performance components also require a correspondingly powerful connection technology at board level. For such applications, the Austrian circuit board specialist AT&S is developing a robust and resistant connection concept. The first target application is an autonomous mining application.

In the search for the pioneers in the field of autonomous driving, one finds a solution in an industry that many would not think of first: mining. Autonomously driving monster trucks have long been used in this sector. The robot vehicles significantly increase productivity, safety and efficiency. All this happens under the most difficult environmental conditions with large temperature fluctuations, dust and humidity. The demands on all components used are correspondingly high.

Finding solutions to these challenges is the aim of the CHARM (Challenging Environments Tolerant Smart Systems for IoT and AI) research project, in which AT&S is involved. Hannes Stahr, Group Technology Manager at AT&S, explains: "Together with companies and research institutes from ten different countries, we are working on the development of powerful computer modules that could be used in fully autonomous mining vehicles in the future. AT&S's contribution is to develop a robust and resistant interconnection concept for a high-performance computer chip".

In the concept development phase a measurement chip is used to check and validate system stability and reliability. In a later phase, this chip will be replaced by a high-performance processor embedded in a substrate as a "translator" between the micro-world of the circuit board and the nanostructures of the microchip, thus enabling miniaturisation and highest data processing speeds at the same time. This interposer is necessary so that the machines used can carry out complex activities autonomously and at the same time guarantee the highest level of operational reliability due to their stable construction.

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