The semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies and United Microelectronics (UMC), a leading semiconductor foundry, announced the extension of their manufacturing partnership into power semiconductors for automotive applications. Prior to this expanded partnership, the foundry had been producing Infineon’s logic chips for more than 15 years. Based on the recently signed agreement, both companies will jointly transfer Infineon’s automotive-qualified Smart Power Technology (SPT9) to UMC and extend its production to 300mm wafers. Production start of SPT9 products at UMC’s 300mm Fab in Taiwan is planned for early 2018.
SPT9 is a proprietary 130-nanometer (nm) process technology of Infineon that combines microcontroller intelligence and power technology on a single die.
“We are proud to announce this milestone in our partnership with Infineon to bring SPT9 into UMC’s technology roadmap,” said Po-Wen Yen, CEO of UMC. “Automotive applications are a key priority for our technology, capacity and customers, and we are pleased to extend our collaboration with Infineon into state-of-the-art power semiconductors for automotive applications. With our strong manufacturing excellence, UMC is capable of meeting the highest-rated Grade 0 automotive industry quality standards. We are fully committed to the stringent quality requirements of the automotive industry to meet the market requirements for automotive IC suppliers such as Infineon.”
“We trust in UMC to master the demanding automotive obligations of Infineon as an innovative and reliable source providing long-term and stable supply,”says Jochen Hanebeck, President Automotive division at Infineon Technologies AG. “We are a technology leader in automotive power applications with strong system expertise. With SPT9, Infineon enables power semiconductors of an unmatched level of integration.”
SPT9 ’ s highly-integrated system solutions approach
In order to satisfy the demands of automotive applications for more functionality and safety as well as compact and cost-optimized solutions, an increasing amount of digital logic is required in power semiconductors. In 2009, Infineon was the world’s first semiconductor manufacturer to offer an automotive-qualified embedded power technology in 130nm technology node that combines complex digital logic circuits, sensor interfaces and power electronics.
Combining building blocks that are actually manufactured in three different production process technologies enables semiconductor devices that are highly integrated and take over many tasks of other system components. Since fewer components are required in the application, the vulnerability of automotive control systems to faults is reduced. With SPT9, even semiconductors offering massive functionality are very small in size. SPT9 applications are varied, ranging from intelligent control for small electric motors in vehicles, such as used for power window lifts, wipers, sun roofs, power seats and fan/blower control, oil and water pumps, to airbags, and audio amplifiers.