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Today, demand for a better in-vehicle experience is high, both for the driver and for passengers. Car manufacturers are rearchitecting the in-vehicle experience to accommodate the trend toward ACES (autonomy, connectivity, electrification and shared service) and its future requirements.
The most recent example would undoubtedly be the new L9, a full-size family SUV launched by Li Auto in late June 2022 in Beijing, China. The L9 features triple 15.7-inch OLED displays with 3K resolution, voice and gesture commands throughout the cabin, large-size high-definition HUD (heads-up display) and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). For a feature-packed car like this, it’s interesting to explore the technology underpinning these systems to make them all function.
Micron automotive-grade LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1 enable ADAS features
As today’s cars become increasingly more complex and feature-rich, the need to collect, store, analyze and execute on driving-related data has never been more critical. As the No. 1 supplier of automotive memory and storage for more than 30 years, Micron has led the way, helping the industry accelerate the overall transformation of the automobile and improve in-vehicle experiences. Micron was the first supplier in the industry to ship both automotive-grade low-power double data rate 5 (LPDDR5) DRAM memory and Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1 storage in volume.
Micron LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1, in conjunction with the IPU04 intelligent driving domain controller designed by Tier 1 partner, Desay SV, provide the foundation for Li Auto’s L9 intelligent driving system, the Li Auto AD Max, which can support up to Level 4 autonomous driving.
Most drivers and passengers are familiar with Level 1 (automatic cruise control) and Level 2 (lane departure warning, automatic braking) driver-assistance technologies. Level 4 is a leap forward. High-driving automation is defined as the car operating fully in self-driving mode, potentially in a limited geographic area. The driver can still intervene, if needed.
Micron’s products are defined and designed to support these ADAS and autonomous applications, and we have a portfolio that meets the rigorous requirements of the automotive industry and includes the industry’s only Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) D-certified memory product as of today, Micron LPDDR5.
This Level 4 autonomous driving achievement could not be realized without the close collaboration between Desay SV, Li Auto and Micron — all tremendous innovators within the automotive ecosystem.
“At Desay, innovation is in our DNA. Our collaboration with Micron has resulted in industry-leading ADAS technology that allows for a safer, more comfortable experience, while also being fuel efficient and more sustainable,” said Lele Li, vice president Intelligent Driving Assistance Business Unit, Desay SV. “Micron’s automotive-qualified LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage technologies are a perfect match for our latest generation of ADAS domain controllers to fully unleash the incredible compute power and pave the way for safe Level 4 autonomous driving.”
Li Auto focuses on premium in-vehicle experiences
In addition to LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1, the L9 features a wide range of Micron’s automotive-qualified memory and storage devices, including DRAM (LPDDR4 and LPDDR5), NAND (eMMC and UFS) and NOR flash — a “one-stop shop” for automotive memory and storage solutions indeed. The L9 is equipped with a pioneering five-screen plus three-dimensional interactive intelligent cockpit that delivers an immersive driving and entertainment experience. With three 15.7-inch 3K resolution OLED displays that allow passengers to watch their favorite TV shows on a road trip, the L9’s smart cabin system uses Micron LPDDR4 memory and a high-performance UFS 2.1 storage device. These devices provide powerful performance that delivers a more feature-rich in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) experience for both driver and passengers.
In addition to ADAS and IVI applications, Micron NOR flash is employed in the L9’s cross-domain control unit (XCU), boosting system responsiveness and minimizing the SUV’s system startup times. Micron offers advanced 45-nm NOR flash portfolio of solutions. It is a purpose-built nonvolatile storage device for automotive applications with enhanced data integrity and reliability.
Today’s enriched cabins and highly automated vehicles all require highly reliable, ultralow-latency memory and storage to process massive amounts of data at its origin and enable near-instantaneous decision-making. Micron’s broad portfolio of auto-qualified memory and storage solutions — including DRAM, LPDDR, NAND flash, NOR flash, SSDs and MCPs — is an ideal fit for these compute-intensive, data-driven applications. Micron’s volatile and nonvolatile automotive-grade memory products are rigorously designed, tested and optimized for automotive applications so they can reliably function in extreme environments. They offer increased reliability, fast boot times, high bandwidth, low power and a small footprint at the highest levels of automotive quality, and they meet the Automotive Electronics Council qualification standard (AEC-Q100).
Collaboration ensures quality and accelerates time to market
The automotive ecosystem is experiencing a fundamental shift driven by the ACES transformation. This shift requires partners from all parts of the value chain to collaborate more closely than ever before, delivering on increasingly complex and capable vehicle systems.
Micron is grateful to be working closely with automotive innovators such as Desay SV and Li Auto. They are at the forefront of automotive transformation and chose Micron because of our leading solutions portfolio for memory and storage, customer labs around the world and unmatched ecosystem partnerships. More importantly, Micron has built an automotive mindset within our company that offers not just the right products but also the stability, quality, thermal compliance, reliability and longevity that the automotive market requires.
Micron as the market leading memory supplier1 is committed to supporting our automotive OEM, Tier 1 and ecosystem partners in China and worldwide. Micron’s local IATF16949-certified customer labs strive to benefit customers with in-depth product design support and to save valuable time in product development and go-to-market planning.
As memory and storage play an increasingly important role in modern automotive systems that require high processing power and efficiency, Micron will continue to drive innovation in automotive applications and be a trusted advisor to its customers. It is always exciting to see the launch and delivery of these amazing products that transform automotive user experience and redefine mobility for consumers in China and around the world.
1. Gartner Research Report: Market Share: Semiconductors by End Market, Worldwide, 2021