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STMicroelectronics : STMicroelectronics Introduces Next-Generation Technology for Smaller, Smarter Automotive Electronics



STMicroelectronics : STMicroelectronics Introduces Next-Generation Technology
                 for Smaller, Smarter Automotive Electronics

Latest intelligent high-side switches set new standards in miniaturization and
  precision, leveraging package commonality for flexibility and scalability

Geneva, January 15, 2013 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global
semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics
applications and a top supplier of automotive semiconductors, has revealed the
latest generation of its pace-setting switch ICs for vehicle electronics such
as lights and body modules. The new devices provide enhanced intelligent
features, improve protection and reliability, and are up to 40% smaller than
competing alternatives.

Pioneered by ST, intelligent high-side switches provide a more reliable and
efficient replacement for conventional relays. For several generations, ST's
VIPower family has offered advantages such as a common package style for many
devices in the range. This allows tier-one suppliers to build several module
variants using the same basic hardware and software so car makers can address
differing requirements in international markets and offer various model
specifications and options cost-effectively. The common-package approach has
become widely adopted among high-side switch vendors.

In the seventh generation of ST's VIPower family, the M0-7 series announced
today, 75% of family members are available in a 5 x 4mm package, which is 40%
smaller than the smallest competing devices. This allows car electronics
designers to save pc-board space and aim for smaller module sizes. Moreover,
various internal design changes increase precision, enhance diagnostic
feedback, and improve reliability. Specifically, performance improvements
include greater protection against short circuits, more accurate voltage and
temperature feedback, increased current-sense precision, and best-in-class
electromagnetic emission (EMI) performance.

Samples of all family members are available now. The first device to enter
production will be the dual-channel VND7020AJ-E, in Q2 2013, priced from $1.10
for orders over 1,000 pieces. The full range of package types available across
the new family will include PowerSSO-16, PowerSSO-36, Octapak, and SO-8.

Major features of M0-7 series:

  o Precise load-current, voltage and temperature-monitor feedback
  o Integrated sense multiplexer
  o Power-limitation and over-temperature latch-off
  o Bulb / LED mode (quad channel)
  o Flexible fault-reset management
  o Reverse-polarity protection
  o Full on- and off-state diagnostics capability
  o Ultra-low quiescent current

Background to Automotive High-Side Switches

The intelligent high-side switch has an important role in the development of
advanced automotive electronics. It combines a power MOSFET as the main
electronically controlled switch, with logic, control and sensing circuitry in
a single package. It is connected between a microprocessor and loads such as
lights, motors, heaters or valves, allowing the microprocessor to control the
loads in response to inputs such as dashboard switches or sensors, as well as
information from the intelligent circuitry in the high-side switch.  The
sensors may be ambient-light sensors, rain sensors, cabin-temperature sensors,
wheel-speed sensors or others depending on the type of subsystem.

By integrating sensing, control and logic circuitry, the intelligent high-side
switch is able to operate reliably with different types of loads, such as
highly inductive loads like motors, or resistive loads like heaters. Moreover,
these intelligent features allow the switch to perform many functions without
intervention from the microprocessor, which helps engineers simplify software
and utilize processor resources efficiently. Built-in protection against
conditions such as over-voltage, over-temperature and open or short circuits
helps prevent damage to subsystems, modules or wiring, and allows the switch
to restart when safe.

Since it is specially designed to operate on the high side of the load,
connected directly to the battery voltage, the high-side switch allows the
negative terminal of the load to be connected directly to the vehicle chassis.
This cuts significant cost and weight from the vehicle by reducing wiring and
connectors.

About STMicroelectronics
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the
spectrum of sense and power and automotive products and embedded processing
solutions. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from
healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and
office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a
positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from
technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2011, the Company's net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on
ST can be found at www.st.com.

For Press Information Contact:

STMicroelectronics
Michael Markowitz
Director Technical Media Relations
+1 781 591 0354
michael.markowitz@st.com
ST Automotive Switches_IMAGE
ST Automotive Switches

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Source: STMicroelectronics via Thomson Reuters ONE
HUG#1670492
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