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Foundry Files

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and the Automotive Sector

  • By: Communications
  • May 26, 2015
  • Category: Markets

Looking at several tradeshows over the past few months, it is clear that the automotive industry is moving closer to meeting consumer demand for the ultimate intelligent car. Technologies such as in-vehicle information, in-car hotspots and wireless communication are available now and self-driving cars are on the horizon. With all the additional capabilities and regulations that car manufacturers must take into account, the electronics content of the car is expected to reach 35% of the car’s value. These additional features can only be realized with more advanced semiconductor technologies.


Traditionally, integrated device manufacturers have built their own devices on mature technology nodes for the automotive sector. However, with increased regulations on energy efficiency and vehicle safety, along with more demand for driver information and occupant entertainment, automotive IDMs increasingly rely on foundries to create these products. Indeed, the automotive semiconductor market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 7% from 2014 to 2019, while foundries’ share of that market will grow 14% annually during the same period.

According to KC Ang, Senior VP and GM for GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Singapore site, “GF is a proven partner in the automotive semiconductor supply chain with over 10 years of history supplying products to the automotive market. With the industry shift to use even more from foundries, GF expects to double our market share in the automotive semiconductor market by 2020.”

Vehicle Safety

Much of the automotive semiconductor demand growth will come from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features like radar, lidar, image recognition and car-to-car Wi-Fi. E.U. and U.S. regulators are also requiring redundancy in these safety critical systems, which will double the core processing power and nearly double the embedded non-volatile memory requirements in the next five years.

As vehicle safety applications grow, semiconductor component quality and reliability are more critical than ever. GF Singapore strives to achieve the highest quality and reliability with a “Zero Excursion, Zero Defect” (ZEZD) mindset. GF’s ZEZD mindset drives a culture of continuous improvement to increase initial product quality and quickly identify and eliminate any failures after wafer delivery.

Our commitment to semiconductor quality and reliability is attested to with the range of industry certifications and audits GF completes every year. All of the company’s Singapore fabs are certified to meet or exceed ISO-TS 16949, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. In addition, the site has successfully met customer-led VDA6.3 audits which even exceed the TS16949 standard. GF is also a member of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) which sets global industry standards for automotive semiconductor quality. GF Singapore will further leverage the experience and know-how in semiconductor quality and reliability to help GF’s Fab 1 develop process technologies for complimentary automotive products.

Market Applications

GF is currently working with customers that include Renesas, Freescale, NXP, STM, Microchip, Analog Devices and others to deliver advanced semiconductor technologies to the automotive industry. GF automotive business is based on complete platforms that include logic, RF, Flash NVM and high voltage devices. Our extensive expertise in Flash NVM technology has led to industry leading solutions at 130nm BCD, 55nm LPX and 40nm LP. Our automotive platform technologies also provide a wide range of silicon-verified, complex IP for standard cell logic devices, SRAM memory and general purpose I/O that is designed to meet the specific needs of automotive customers.

Increased fuel efficiency standards are also driving the industry to implement new semiconductor technologies. Though most governments have already mandated higher fuel efficiency standards in new vehicles, the U.S.—which has the most vehicles per capita—is still catching up. However, by 2016, all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. will require an average of 35 miles per gallon. By 2025, the US will be similar to the rest of the world in requiring a fleet average of 52 miles per gallon. GF is committed to providing the technology needed to bring the automotive industry into the age of environmental stewardship.

Looking Forward

As we continue to make progress on more fuel efficient and autonomous cars, the importance of automotive semiconductor quality becomes clear. With our ZEZD approach, GF produces top quality wafers and plans on becoming a leading foundry in the automotive market. GF Singapore’s automotive focused technology platforms will play a vital role in delivering the safest and most fuel efficient vehicles the world has ever seen.

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