style=”text-align: justify;”> On May 18, 2021, IEEE awarded the IEEE Milestone to STMicroelectronics (STM), the pioneer of the BCD process, in recognition of ST’s efforts in super-integrated silicon gate Groundbreaking research results in semiconductor process technology.
The plaque will be placed at the gate of STMicroelectronics’ Castelletto factory in Agrate, which used to undertake BCD development work on the outskirts of Milan, Italy. The plaque reads:
Multiple Silicon Technologies on a Chip, 1985
SGS (now STMicroelectronics) pioneered a super-integrated silicon gate process with monolithically integrated Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS devices (BCDs) to solve complex, high-power application design challenges. The first BCD super integrated circuit L6202 can control power up to 60V/5A, with a switching frequency of 300kHz. Subsequent automotive, computer, and industrial automation widely adopted the process technology, allowing chip designers the flexibility and reliability to monolithically integrate power, analog, and digital signal processing circuits.
SGS (now STMicroelectronics) pioneered the super-integrated silicon-gate process combining Bipolar, CMOS, and DMOS (BCD) transistors in single chips for complex, power-demanding applications. The first BCD super-integrated circuit, named L6202, was capable of controlling up to 60V-5A at 300 kHz. Subsequent automotive, computer, and industrial applications extensively adopted this process technology, which enabled chip designers flexibly and reliably to combine power, analog, and digital signal processing.
The IEEE Milestone Award fully affirms the historical contribution of BCD technology, and highly recognizes the pioneering research achievements of monolithic integrated high-power devices, precise analog functions and complex digital logic control (IEEE Milestone plaques recognizes the pioneering work that enabled engineers to combine high -power components, precise analog functions, and the complex digital logic to control them onto a single piece of silicon, a capability that has now been sold in 40 billion chips).
What is BCD?
BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) technology is a monolithic integrated process technology that can produce Bipolar, CMOS and DMOS devices on the same chip. It was first developed by STMicroelectronics in 1985. With the further development of integrated circuit technology, BCD technology has become the mainstream manufacturing technology of PIC.
From ST official website
In the 1950s, a bipolar process suitable for the production of analog functional devices appeared. Bipolar devices are generally used in circuits with slightly higher power and have the advantages of high cut-off frequency, large driving ability, fast speed, and low noise. Low intensity, large size and high power consumption. In the 1960s, a CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) process suitable for the production of digital functional circuits appeared. CMOS devices have the advantages of high integration, low power consumption, and high input impedance. The ability to drive logic gates is much stronger than other devices, which also makes up for Disadvantages of bipolar devices. In the 1970s, the DMOS (Double Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor) process suitable for the production of power devices appeared. DMOS power devices have the characteristics of high voltage and high current.
The BCD process simultaneously manufactures Bipolar devices, CMOS devices, and DMOS power devices on the same chip. It combines the advantages of bipolar devices with high transconductance, strong load driving capability, and CMOS high integration and low power consumption. Their respective advantages; at the same time, DMOS can work in switch mode with extremely low power consumption. High power can be delivered to the load without requiring expensive packaging and cooling systems. Low power consumption is one of the main advantages of the BCD process. The BCD process can greatly reduce power consumption, improve system performance, save circuit packaging costs, and have better reliability.
After 35 years of development, the BCD process has developed from 4 microns in the first generation to 0.11 microns in the ninth generation. While the line width has been continuously reduced, a more advanced multi-layer metal wiring system has also been adopted, making the BCD process and the The development gap of pure CMOS process has narrowed, and the CMOS in the current BCD process is fully compatible with pure CMOS. On the other hand, the BCD process is developing towards standardization and modularization. Its basic processes are standardized, and the mixing process is composed of these basic processes. Designers can increase or decrease the corresponding process steps according to their own needs.
BCD pioneer – STMicroelectronics
In June 1987, the Italian SGS Microelectronics (SGS Microelettronica, started in 1957) and the French Thomson Semiconductors (Thomson Semiconducteurs, started in 1962) merged to form STMicroelectronics (SGS-Thomson Microelectronics), May 1998 English The name was changed to STMicroelectronics.
In the early 1980s, engineers at the then SGS Microelettronica came up with a revolutionary idea in order to solve various Electronic application problems:
1) Create a technology that integrates transistors and diodes on a single chip and is capable of delivering hundreds of watts of power;
2) Use logic to control power, and the implementation method needs to follow Moore’s Law;
3) Minimize power consumption, thereby eliminating heat sinks;
4) Support accurate simulation function;
5) Satisfy a wide range of application requirements with a reliable implementation.
In 1984, engineers at SGS successfully integrated Bipolar/CMOS/DMOS/Diodes through silicon gate. BCD’s first device is the L6202 motor full-bridge driver, which uses 4-micron technology, 12-layer photomask, operating voltage of 60V, current of 1.5A, and switching frequency of 300kHz, meeting all design goals. This new reliable process technology gives chip designers the flexibility to integrate power, analog and digital signal processing circuits on a single chip.
The picture comes from ST official website
After 35 years of development, STMicroelectronics has developed a series of BCD processes that have a profound impact on global power ICs, such as BCD3 (1.2 microns), BCD4 (0.8 microns), and BCD5 (0.6 microns).
STMicroelectronics currently offers three main BCD technologies, including BCD6 (0.35 micron)/BCD6s (0.32 micron), BCD8 (0.18 micron)/BCD8s (0.16 micron and BCD9 (0.13 micron)/BCD9s (0.11 micron), its third The tenth generation BCD process will use 90nm.
SOI process options are also available for BCD6 and BCD8.
It is reported that STMicroelectronics launched the process from BCD in 1985. It has been 35 years and has undergone nine technical iterations. It has produced 5 million wafers, sold 40 billion chips, and sold nearly 3 billion in 2020 alone. Chip, the tenth generation BCD technology is about to start production.
BCD process situation of domestic wafer manufacturing companies
Hua Hong Semiconductor
Hua Hong Semiconductor is based on a mature CMOS process platform. Currently, the voltage of the BCD process platform provided by Hua Hong Semiconductor ranges from 1.8V to 700V, and the process nodes cover 90nm/0.13micron/0.18micron/0.35micron/0.5micron/0.8micron/1.0micron. , 0.35 micron, 0.18 micron nodes have accumulated rich experience in mass production. In the future, Hua Hong Semiconductor will continue to give full play to its technical advantages in BCD and eNVM characteristic processes, provide integrated solutions of the two, and create high-end power management system-on-chip (SoC) for intelligent power products.
Hua Hong Semiconductor launched the BCD350 process platform (0.35 micron) in 2007; the non-epitaxial PMU350 process platform was launched in 2009; the BCD180 process platform (0.18 micron) was launched in 2010; the 700V BCD process platform was launched in 2013; the second-generation BCD180 process platform was launched in 2018; In May 2020, the 90-nanometer BCD process platform successfully achieved product casting in Hua Hong Wuxi’s 12-inch production line. Its LDMOS covers the voltage range from 5V to 24V, which also opens up the development and market expansion of the 65/55nm 12-inch process technology in the future. space.
Hua Hong Semiconductor will also continue the R&D and innovation of the 8-inch production line, and optimize and upgrade the existing 180-nanometer BCD technology that meets the requirements of vehicle regulations. Under the same breakdown voltage, the on-resistance is reduced by about 25% on average, and the technical performance is significantly improved. The industry’s advanced level, the highest voltage of LDMOS in the future 180nm BCD technology will be extended from 40V to 100V.
China Resources Micro
Based on its own mainstream process platform, CR Micro has launched BCD process solutions in power analog process technology, which are widely used in various emerging markets, including power management, LED drivers, automotive electronics and audio circuits.
CR Micro’s BCD process platform began with the 700V CDMOS process launched in 2007, the 700V HV BCD process was launched in 2011, and the 600V HVIC process platform research and development was completed in 2013. By 2020, a total of five generations of silicon-based 700V HV BCD process research and development and production volume were completed. Produce. CR Micro’s BCD process platform voltage covers 5V to 700V, and process nodes cover 0.18μm/0.25μm/0.8μm/1.0μm, which can meet the all-round needs of different applications of high voltage, high precision and high density, and simultaneously provide 200-600V SOI base BCD process option.
In terms of BCD process technology platform research and development, Silan has established new product and new process technology research and development teams based on 5/6-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch wafer production lines.
The development of 0.8-micron and 0.6-micron BCD circuit process platforms based on Silan’s 5/6-inch production line has been running stably for 15 years. In January 2007, Silan Micro released the first high-efficiency power LED driver manufactured by Silan’s integrated BCD process. circuit.
Based on Silan Jixin’s 8-inch production line, the 0.25-micron BCD circuit process platform and the 0.18-micron BCD circuit process platform have been built one after another, and mass production has begun.
The BCD circuit process platform based on Silan Jike’s 12-inch production line is also under development.
SMIC has more than 10 years of experience in mass production of analog chips/power management chips, with technologies ranging from 0.35 micron to 0.15 micron. In addition to maintaining the continuous upgrade of low-voltage BCD process platforms for mobile phones and consumer electronics, medium and high-voltage BCD platforms and vehicle-mounted BCD platforms for industrial and automotive applications are also under development. and low on-resistance power management chips to provide solutions.