We are excited to share that NXP has entered into an agreement with TSMC to adopt its 5-nanometer (5nm) technology for our next generation, high-performance automotive platform. We are the first TSMC customer to bring automotive into the 5nm space. Such leadership moves have made us the #1 automotive processor supplier whose name is synonymous with quality, functional safety and automotive innovation. Yet there is more beneath the surface of this story than merely going to 5nm, the real story is that we are making a decisive investment to cement our leadership position in automotive processing. We understand that getting to 5nm alone isn’t enough to win. What we bring to the table beyond 5nm is the real story. First, let’s explore the top line of the news.
To address the car’s highly connected, increasingly electrified and all-encompassing electronic transformation, carmakers are seeking processors that are faster, more powerful and more efficient while advancing critical automotive safety and quality. These qualities allow them to do more with greater flexibility in design, while saving precious power within the vehicle network. TSMC’s 5nm process offers 20% faster processing speed or about 40% less power than its preceding 7nm technology. The move to 5nm will help carmakers bring differentiation to their vehicles through enhanced features, simplify some of the car’s increasingly complex architectural challenges and make bringing powerful computing systems to the road easier.
This move to 5nm will help carmakers in applications such as connected cockpits, high-performance domain controllers, autonomous driving, advanced networking, hybrid propulsion control and integrated chassis management to name a few.
But as I mentioned before, this is only part of the story. The real thing to note is that carmakers still face a complex mix of applications and disparate software approaches that present significant integration challenges. Reducing software complexity, addressing problems of scalability and bringing products safely to launch are difficult problems that can’t be solved with brute force. Our history in the automotive space and our leadership across a vehicle’s various domains means we’re better positioned than most to understand that these issues require an architectural and system level approach. In fact, we proved as much by developing a dedicated architecture in response to these challenges.
NXP’s S32 platform addresses these challenges by offering a domain-based approach with an identical software development environment across vehicle applications. The software development environment allows developers to reuse costly research and development work and therefore respond quicker to changing vehicle architectures and intense time-to-market demands. The scalable platform is developed to deliver automotive quality and industry leading safety and security across multiple application spaces. This all translates to bringing vehicles to market faster, which while always important for carmakers is increasingly vital today.
In addition to the great things happening from a technology perspective, the move to 5nm is also opening doors of opportunity. NXP is now hiring additional talent to help on this new endeavor—more than 100 new engineers. If you are an engineer that wants to take a leading role in shaping an entire industry, if you want to create smart solutions instead of applying brute-force and if you want to push the accepted boundaries of technology and work with the best innovators in the world, apply to NXP.