To solve chip shortages, IISc researchers have developed a resilient high-voltage automotive technology platform.

Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been working with a semiconductor foundry under the Government of Indias IMPRINT initiative. It may have created an indigenous technology platform to produce automotive (analog) chips suitable for commercial and strategic applications.

The rising demand for automobile and consumer goods whose main components are based on electronics is one of the major factors that has caused the chips shortage since early 2021.However, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have been working with a semiconductor foundry under the Government of India's IMPRINT initiative, which may have created an indigenous technology platform to produce automotive (analog) chips suitable for commercial and strategic applications.IMPRINT is the first-of-its-kind Pan-IIT+IISc collaboration led by the Ministry of Education and is designed to address the key science and engineering challenges facing India and advocate for inclusive growth, empowerment, and empowerment, according to an IISc statement.An automotive chip (also called a power ASIC) can be programmed to perform various tasks at once, such as monitoring, sensing, and control of various electro-mechanical components.

The challenge of building a technology platform that can support the wide range of capabilities required by automotive chips has always been a challenge, and it takes 5-6 years, unlike the processor technology platform, which takes about 1.5-2 years.However, this extra money can pay dividends in terms of a much lower failure rate, since such chip technologies can last for 15-20 years without having to be replaced.These transistors are referred to as Laterally Diffused metal oxide semiconductors (LDMOS).Silicon LDMOS devices are a class of field-effect transistors that can operate at much higher voltages than regular transistors.They can also be integrated with billions of other transistors inside a chip.

The team's effort has resulted in the development of a robust high voltage automotive technology platform.Numerous industry technology platforms have enabled the production of circuits that can handle voltages ranging from 7V to 80V, significantly raising the domestic partners' capabilities of 3.3V.Tens of millions of dollars would have been required to import technology.This joint effort has increased the baseline procedure and enabled the production of devices that can run at 80V at a cost of less than $0.5 million, according to Prof. Mayank Shrivastava of the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, who led the initiative.

We could look deeper into some of the fundamental questions relating to these devices, such as the Quasi-Saturation process, which hasn't been tackled for more than 40 years.The IMPRINT initiative has enabled such a breakthrough, which IISc and its foundry partner are seeing it as a win-win for them.Shrivastava said that the devices developed have been rigorously tested and proven to be robust.These LDMOS devices are now standard products (among any other industry), enabling our foundry partner to develop a variety of VLSI products in-house.Aside from that, the knowledge or skills can be transferred to other semiconductor foundries that wish to scale up their process from a simple CMOS to an automotive method, according to him.