Low-Power Memory Qualified For Automotive Safety Applications

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Solution enhances smart, data-rich driver assistance, automatic braking and driver warning systems, meeting stringent automotive safety level

Micron Technology has begun sampling an automotive low-power DDR5 DRAM (LPDDR5) memory that is hardware-evaluated to meet the most stringent Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), ASIL D. The solution is part of Micron’s new portfolio of memory and storage products targeted for automotive functional safety based on the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 26262 standard. 

Micron’s functional safety-evaluated DRAM is compatible with advanced-driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning and blind-spot detection systems. Micron’s LPDDR5’s high performance, superior power efficiency and low latency provide the requisite performance and headroom to keep pace with the increasing bandwidth requirements of next-generation automotive systems.

“Autonomous vehicles promise to make our roads safer, but they need powerful, trusted memory that can enable real-time decision-making in extreme environments,” said Kris Baxter, corporate vice president and general manager of Micron’s Embedded Business Unit. “To fulfil this growing market need, we’ve optimised our automotive LPDDR5 to deliver the utmost performance, quality and reliability for the smart, safe cars of tomorrow.”

As electronic components in cars become integral for safety, automakers must meet strict functional safety standards that require mechanisms to mitigate risk in the event of malfunctions. Recognising the growing importance of functional safety, Micron has established an office dedicated to collaborating with customers on the memory requirements of designing safe automotive systems. To help customers navigate complex compliance obligations, this office has spearheaded the launch of LPDDR5 with a safety application note and the industry’s first supplier-provided hardware evaluation report of DRAM. Micron’s hardware evaluation has also been independently assessed and verified by exida, a renowned expert in automotive safety. By taking on this demanding evaluation in-house, Micron simplifies system design and speeds time to market for automotive customers.

“Functional safety is essential to the development of advanced automotive systems, but to date, memory has had a somewhat neglected commercial off-the-shelf existence,” said Alexander Griessing, chief operating officer and principal safety expert at exida. “Micron has launched its industry-leading automotive LPDDR5 with a laser focus on ISO 26262, setting a new standard for the rest of the memory industry. This increased attention to functional safety will benefit all, from automakers to consumers who need advanced, safe vehicles.” 

Low-Power Memory Drives Automotive Innovation

As the adoption of ADAS and autonomous technologies rapidly increases, data capture and efficient processing are becoming key to automotive innovation. Gartner projects the automotive memory market will grow to US$ 6.3 billion in 2024, more than doubling from US$ 2.4 billion in 2020. With data-intensive automotive technologies on the rise, ADAS-enabled vehicles now run over 100 million lines of code and require hundreds of tera operations per second, rivalling data centre compute. LPDDR5 addresses these requirements with a 50% increase in data access speeds and more than 20% improvement in power efficiency. These capabilities equip intelligent vehicles with near-instantaneous decision-making from the fusion of multiple sensors and inputs, such as radar, lidar, hi-resolution imaging, 5G networking and optical image recognition.

LPDDR5’s energy efficiency enables high-performance compute for cars while minimising power consumption for both electric and conventional vehicles, resulting in greener transportation with lower emissions. Micron’s automotive LPDDR5 is also ruggedised to support extreme temperature ranges and qualified for automotive reliability standards such as Automotive Electronics Council-Q100 and International Automotive Task Force 16949.

Functional Safety-Evaluated DRAM

Accompanied by extensive functional safety collateral, Micron’s LPDDR5 supports customers in conducting comprehensive safety analysis during system configuration. The Micron-provided hardware evaluation report verifies extensive functional safety analysis in strictest compliance with ISO 26262. To meet top-level safety requirements, LPDDR5 incorporates safety mechanisms to detect and control memory errors during operation, as well as mechanisms that can be implemented by system integrators to further reduce risk. 

Used by leading automakers, Micron’s high-quality memory and storage solutions have accumulated trillions of miles on the road over the company’s 30 years in the automotive market. Micron’s deep expertise stems from tight collaboration with automotive customers on designing memory into the system architecture that underpins ADAS, in-vehicle infotainment, digital cockpits and machine learning. As the market share leader, Micron is uniquely positioned as the top memory supplier to the automotive market. 


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