Why Do Embedded and Automotive Applications Need Long-Life Memory Support?

By Barbara Kolbl - 2019-02-22

With semiconductors transitioning to newer technologies as quickly as they can, this can leave applications with longer lifecycles, such as automotive and industrial, going into production with a product that is approaching the end of its lifecycle.

"…if you can get your product from concept to market in the fastest way possible, it will take about one year. That time frame applies to the ideal situation, …two years is more realistic." (

In August, Micron announced the expansion of their Manassas, Virginia wafer fab facility with a $3B investment by 2030. The expanded facility will be manufacturing 20nm/1xnm DRAM and 3D NAND for next-generation automotive infotainment and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), as well as industrial automation and surveillance applications. A Center of Excellence with laboratory, test equipment and staff of 100 engineers is also being established to provide dedicated customer support.

"Micron's Manassas site manufactures our long-lifecycle products that are built using our mature process technologies, and primarily sold into the automotive, networking and industrial markets," said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "…We are excited to increase our commitment to the community through the creation of new highly skilled jobs, expanded facilities and education initiatives."

The initial clean room expansion is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019, with production ramp in the first half of 2020. This expansion will add to Micron's global clean room space footprint and will primarily support enablement of DRAM and NAND technology transitions, as well as modest capacity increase at the site, in-line with growing customer demand for Micron's long-lifecycle products.

In addition to legacy low power DRAM and standard DRAM already being manufactured at this site, Micron is using this expansion investment to provide stability to the LP3/4, DDR3/4 automotive and embedded roadmaps. For example, Micron’s 8Gb LPDDR3 is being moved to the Manassas fab. Longevity is now a possibility for industrial application support requiring LPDDR3, as exhibited on Micron’s latest five-year LPDDR3 roadmaps.

Micron is constantly striving toward bringing memory support stability into alignment with the lifecycle of your design. By moving an extensive portfolio of memory technology products—rigorously tested to ensure consistent performance for automotive, industrial, and commercial-grade categories—to our Manassas fab, customers will be able to leverage on Micron to maintain quality and reliability by using form-, fit-, and function-compatible devices for their long-life applications.

Bruce Franklin

Barbara Kolbl

Barbara Kolbl, senior product line operations manager, is fascinated with the changes memory is driving in the automotive industry. Her previous role in marketing communication for the automotive market segment along with her current role in LPDRAM operations allows her a front row seat to the changes happening in this dynamic market.