The 0.18 µm BCD8 process (compared with 0.35 µm for the earlier BCD6) is the most recent implementation of ST’s proprietary smart-power technology, which allows analog, digital and power circuits to be integrated on a single chip. The technology provides the possibility of producing a complete system – including the MCU – on a single piece of silicon for the first time.
ST said gate density in the logic portions of a BCD8-manufactured chip shows a four times improvement over the previous (BCD6) technology. The power capability remains the same as in BCD6 despite the smaller lithography.
Benefits of the BCD8 technology are said to include an excellent high-voltage capability, protection against hostile environmental events, a wide temperature range, and automotive-grade reliability. The benefits to Bosch, according to ST, include lower costs, better reliability and more compact packaging. Bosch will also license ST’s BCD8 design rules to enable Bosch’s in-house design teams to create products autonomously for production in Bosch’s wafer fab.
Bosch is expected to use BCD8 technology in engine management, transmission control, occupant protection, chassis system and other applications. The HVCMOS8 high-voltage CMOS technology that ST is also licensing to Bosch, is typically used in applications such as sensor interfaces and analog processing.