STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, hosted its ST ADG Virtual Media Event on 24th November 2022. ST is strongly committed to the Automotive market which will be one of the main drivers of ST’s growth in the coming years and leads in e-Mobility with a strong technology and product offering. Tanya Tyagi, ELE Times had a virtual media interaction with the presenters-
LUCA SARICA, Head of Strategic Business Development, ADG
Davide SANTO, Automotive MCU BU Senior Director, Division Strategic Office Member, ADG
MH TEY, Head of Asia Pacific Marketing & Applications, Automotive Products,
who discussed about the company’s various product offerings, technological advancements, expansion plans, and investments, etc. Here are some excerpts from that interaction:
ELE Times: What significant Automotive related technological advancements have been happening in your company?
Luca Sarica: ST is a company strongly committed to innovation. We invested a lot in the past years in the domain of e-Mobility, with new technologies and solutions in wideband gap, like the silicon carbide, and more recently the gallium nitride. Today, especially in silicon carbide, we are the first player in automotive industry with the best-in-class solutions that definitely support our customers in developing super-efficient electric vehicles. ST is offering a large offer of silicon carbide power modules and IGBTs that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emission of every vehicle, securing best-in-class performance for the electric traction, and for every stage of the power conversion that is needed in an electric vehicle. The same attitude of innovation and investment on new technologies has been supported by ST in digitalization domain, supporting the transition to software-defined vehicles. we invested in a digital technology called FD-SOI, with embedded non-volatile memory, PCM (Phase-Change Memory). Today it is the major enabler of ST’s Stellar, a unified digital platform addressing the needs of a modern vehicles that is connected to the cloud, and that is the foundation of a software defined car, requiring ten times more computational power than a traditional vehicle.
ELE Times: What is ST’s viewpoint on car electrification and its strategy for the same? What new factors has ST adopted for enabling e-Mobility acceleration in the industry and esp. for Asia?
Luca Sarica: Let’s start from the Asia perspective. It is clear that, if we look at today the Asian automotive market compared to the European one, for instance, there is not a very strong legacy related to internal combustion engine system. And on top of that, another very remarkable point is that in Asia, there is a very strong knowledge around the power conversion systems. Those two factors are making the Asian automotive market the one that is leading the transition to the electrification and have a great opportunity to develop a new platform that is natively electrified.
What about ST? ST is leveraging our strong presence in Asia and our long-standing relation with the key Chinese players. ST is partnering with multiple Tier 1 suppliers, especially OEMs to help them in addressing the transition to e-mobility. And one key pillar of this activity is, of course, the NEV Competence Center, MH Tey is the head of this competence center, that is supporting our customers in this transition, and in the development of new platforms tailored to their needs.
On top of the strong relationship, we have with our customers and OEMs, the other differentiating factor of ST in the way ST helps OEMs in technology transition. It is because of the foundation of ST strategy, which we can summarize into three main pillars: The first pillar is the wide range of ST’s innovative solutions designed for automotive applications, which are able to address all the building blocks in every application adopted in a vehicle. The second pillar of our strategy is our attitude of innovation. The silicon carbide, the new unified ST Stellar digital platform are the key ingredients of our ability to introduce innovative future-proof solutions that support OEM in this transition. And the third pillar of our strategy is our engagement in installing and extending our capacity for managing the change of scale in the dimension of silicon and silicon carbide demand, required by the automotive market.
ELE Times: What are the various salient features of ST Stellar MCU?
Davide Santo: Software-defined vehicles are not a new concept, but they are definitely changing and transforming the industry. The fundamentals of software-defined vehicles are the possibility to have real-time data and power distribution managed in zone areas such that the idea of having the possibility to reconfigure with software the way a vehicle works and behaves is achievable.
How does this work with our own platform? We created a platform called Stellar, which has some characteristics. First of all, it comprises MCUs for real-time objects and MPUs capable of application level. The MCU part has some features, which are unique. First, we deliver best-in-class real-time performance at the lowest power. In the end, a vehicle lives in the real world and needs to break, steer, and accelerate in real-time. Second, it allows the integration of different hardware and different software inside the same MCU. That means within the same MCU, we can have software applications that once were separated, including breaking software, steering software, and the body software, to live together on the same MCU.
Third, we have an adapted and advanced security and safety approach. We can choose how many safety features are needed. We can choose which way and algorithms we will do with security. Dynamically, you can change this in time during the lifetime of the vehicle. Fourth, we have high-speed connectivity and routing capabilities. The data is the essence of soft defined vehicle. We need to store, manage, and route data quickly and efficiently. Last but not least, we have what we believe is the most innovative and game-changing over-the-air update technology in the field.
ELE Times: Kindly throw some light on the NEV Competence Center
MH TEY: ST has strong and broad product portfolios. To enhance our local commitments, as shared during our last media event back in March of 2020, we have established the NEV Competence Center in 2019 to strengthen our local technical coverage, customer support, and services with the main mission in mind of working with and supporting our strategic customers in improving the overall development cycle time for system application
The NEV Competence Center is located in Shanghai and as of today, we have about 50 technical resources. Through NEV Competence Centre, we are offering our strategic customers, a one-stop system reference application solution and we can also support our customers tailoring to their requirements using our customized solutions. Together with our partners, we can provide our customers with a full ecosystem covering system design kit, hardware design, software, GUI development, system function safety, bench, and validation test report, as well as all the relevant documentations.
Over the last three years, the NEV Competence Center has been successfully developing more than 20 application solutions and rolling them out in the market to support our customers. Among them, seven application solutions are focusing on electrification, five on digitalization or connectivity, and eight are for supporting Forever-Green application.