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Auto Chip Test Getting Harder

By Kevin Fogarty, Semiconductor Engineering

Chipmakers and test/validation companies are helping lead the effort to develop self-driving cars, but they are facing a wide range of technical and even cultural barriers.

Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) already are the most complex systems by far in modern cars, the best of which hover between Level 2 and Level 3 on the five-step autonomy ladder maintained by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) since 2016. To get to Level 3 and eventually Level 4 will require deep-learning and real-time decision-making, incorporating data from LiDAR, sonar, radar, vision systems, navigation, vehicle recognition and pedestrian recognition.


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The cost of mistakes adds up too fast to allow any semiconductor company to be successful that does not enforce high standards of design, manufacturing and process control, according to Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant at OneSpin Solutions.

The biggest challenge is to meet automotive standards like ISO 26262, whose reliability requirements are routine for chipmakers supplying the aerospace industry, defense contractors and makers of implantable medical devices. But they are relatively new to most others, said Anderson.


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