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More Sigmas In Auto Chips

Ann Steffora-Mutschler, Semiconductor Engineering

The journey to autonomous cars is forcing fundamental changes in the way chips are designed, tested and tracked, from the overall system functionality to the IP that goes into those systems.

This includes everything from new requirements for automotive-grade chips to longer mean time between failures. But it also makes it far more challenging, time-consuming and complicated to create these devices, because they have to be designed in the context of other systems. Some of those systems are still deep in the development phase.

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“The initial focus was on manufacturing and the elimination of defects,” said Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant at OneSpin Solutions. More recently, six sigma disciplined, data-driven principles have been applied to improve many types of processes, including design, product development, and even services. As such, it is an entirely appropriate approach to improve the verification of complex chips. Many safety-critical applications adopted six sigma in their verification processes, notably automotive electronics striving to meet the ISO 26262 standard.”

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