With the growing complexity of analogue and mixed-signal functions, chip designers are facing increasing challenges to integrate multiple functions in a single product with embedded flash. The wireless power charger ICs, for instance, include digital logic, analogue blocks, power management functions, embedded microcontrollers, etc. In order to design and manufacture such multi-functional products, hybrid processes capable of integrating various devices have become highly desirable.
As a result the South Korean foundry has aded the 20V and 30V high-voltage options to its 130nm embedded flash (eFlash) process, which has 7 less process steps compared to the first generation process, making it more cost effective. It also provides various customized IPs up to 64Kbytes. This allows designers to select either 20V or 30V, whichever fits the product characteristics while having the option to choose IPs such as SRAM, PLL analogue IPs, high density standard cell libraries and high voltage IO libraries.
The hybrid process also provides fully isolated high-voltage capability for the output driver to handle negative voltage to give more design flexibility and minimize high-voltage area in chips through more optimized design rules and higher currents. This high-voltage capability is particularly important for products needing high-voltage output drivers and those requiring high SNR (signal to noise ratio). For instance, touch ICs in tablets and notebooks mainly use 20V and monitors use 30V.
The next version of the hybrid embedded flash process is already under development to extend the voltage capability to 40V. Another type of hybrid process, e-Flash with 40V BCD (Bipolar CMOS DMOS), has been widely accepted in the market. MagnaChip is also developing embedded flash in a 120V BCD process for applications such as wireless power chargers, USB type-C PDs, motor driver ICs and BLU driver ICs.
"The second generation 0.13 micron embedded flash with high-voltage technology is highly desirable for products requiring both memory and high-voltage, such as wireless power charger ICs, large panel touch ICs and fingerprint ICs," said YJ Kim, CEO of MagnaChip,