STMicroelectronics’ BCD Technology Receives IEEE Milestone Award


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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an international association of technical professionals aiming to advance technology for the benefit of mankind, has awarded the “IEEE Milestone for Multiple Silicon Technologies on a Chip” award to STMicroelectronics. ST, the first company in Italy and the second in Europe to receive this award, was honored for the bipolar – CMOS – DMOS (BCD) processing technology invented and developed by the semiconductor group in the 1980s, an important milestone in the history of human technological progress. Previous winners of this award, established in 1983, include Alessandro Volta, an outstanding pioneer in electrical science and technology; Guglielmo Marconi, for his early experiments with wireless telegraphy; and Enrico Fermi for his statistical studies applied to semiconductors. Opened by Susan K. Land, IEEE 2021 President, presentation ceremony by explaining how the IEEE vision is essential to the global tech community and technical professionals everywhere and to be recognized globally for the contributions of technology and technical professionals to improving the world. Circumstances. Maria Cristina Mesa, Minister of Italian University and Research, congratulated the entire ST team on their achievements and noted that ST is a strong industry group investing in research and development. BCD is a major technology for power circuit ICs. BCD technology The ultra-precision silicon gate semiconductor processing technology combines high-precision analog transistors for bipolar process, high-performance digital switching transistors for CMOS process, and high-power DMOS transistors on a single chip for complex applications with high power requirements. BCD technology was developed for the integrated management of electrical power, analog signals, and digital processing and has enabled key applications such as printers and hard disk drives, as well as a full range of automotive applications. This achievement recognizes the invention of a new integrated approach to the multi-power silicon gate that allowed a single chip to integrate different technologies with complex interconnections, said Sergio Rabuano, Head of IEEE Italy. ST President and CEO Jean-Marc Cherry highlighted the role of employees and the entire team that advance electronics every day. “We feel honored to receive this award and to include our invention among the ranks of other prestigious winners such as Xiaomi, Marconi, Maxwell, and Volta, along with inventions such as wireless communication, the personal computer, the Internet, and even the semiconductor itself,” he said. “Our investment in energy technologies such as BCD and silicon carbide are examples of areas where we have helped many industries develop more energy efficient solutions,” he added. “Recently, there is a proliferation of applications that help in the fight against climate change, such as electric cars and renewable energy sources… and you will hear from people committed to ensuring that BCD and smart energy technologies continue to deliver benefits to our customers and the world in general for the coming decades. We will. That is through continuous investments in developing smart energy technology to meet the evolving needs of applications in all industries, as well as investments in modern production facilities that can manufacture these products in a sustainable way.The new 300mm plant we are building here at Agrate [Italy] Analog products and power are a case in point.” Bruno Morari, Scientific Advisor at ST, led the team behind the birth of BCD technology as Director of Research and Development under the direction of Aldo Romano, who for decades led the linear bipolar product line. Bipolar amplifiers, but we realized that our technology couldn’t be enough to address some of our customers’ challenges in the near future… The idea of ​​combining bipolar technology with CMOS and with DMOS came from those considerations, Murari said. Morari noted that the main people behind the development of BCD technology are Paola Galbiati, Claudio Contiero, Antonio Andreini, Claudio Diazy, Domenico Rossi and Giulio Riccuti. “The technical challenge we faced was to integrate different primary devices on a single chip without compromising performance, and there was very little information at the time,” Galbiati said. In the early 1980s, ST designers began searching for a solution that could reliably handle a wide variety of electronic applications by experimenting with integrating heterogeneous transistors, diodes, and passive components on a single chip. Thinking about the needs of customers in different market segments, the designers’ goal was to provide electrical power in the range of hundreds of watts under the control of digital logic that could expand according to Moore’s Law. In addition, the resulting devices supported micro-analog functionality while reducing power consumption to reduce the need for heat sinks. “The outside world is analog, so whatever we get from the outside world needs analog circuits — all sensors,” said Harald Krueger, Head of Systems Integration and Board Member at Robert Bosch GmbH. “That’s the first part, of course, but you need good logic, the digital part, and if you’re driving anything, you need the power stage. That’s the combination. That’s the BCD.” BCD technology has made it possible to combine diodes, linear bipolar devices, complex CMOS logic, and multiple DMOS power functions with complex interconnections on a single chip. The first chip, the L6202 bridge motor, was able to meet all of its design goals by operating at 60 volts and delivering 1.5 amps with switching power at 300 kHz. This new and reliable processing technology has allowed designers to combine digital and analog signal processing and power on a single device. The IEEE Milestone board was unveiled by Giambattista Gruosso, IEEE Italy Division Humanitarian Committee Coordinator, former Secretary, and Sherry of ST. The panel will be installed at the main entrances to two ST sites in the Milan region where BCD technology has been developed: Agrate (in Agrate Brianza, MB) and Castelletto (Cornaredo, near Milan). Panels bear the engraving: IEEE MilestoneMultiple Silicon Technologies on a Chip, 1985 SGS (now STMicroelectronics) pioneered a super-integrated silicon gate process that combined bipolar, CMOS, and DMOS transistors (BCD) into single chips for complex, power-demanding applications. The first super integrated BCD circuit, called the L6202, could control up to 60V-5A at 300 kHz. Automotive, computer, and later industrial applications have widely adopted this practical technology, which has enabled chip designers to flexibly and reliably combine digital and analog signal processing and power. Please visit EE Times Europe for the full article.


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