AI Online

Ai INNOVATION, SINCE 1895

Automotive Industries exclusive interview with Mike Basca, vice president of embedded products and systems at Micron – How Micron’s 4150AT SSD revolutionizes Centralized Automotive Architectures

As vehicles evolve from traditional domain distributed architectures to zonal architectures with centralized decision-making, the demand for advanced automotive storage solutions has grown significantly. Micron’s latest innovation in this field, the 4150AT SSD, stands at the forefront of this transformation. In an exclusive interview with Mike Basca, Vice President of Embedded Products and Systems at Micron, we delve into how this new storage solution is poised to revolutionize the automotive industry by supporting a high number of systems-on-chips (SoCs) and enabling more efficient centralized architectures.

Mike Basca explains that the shift towards centralized architectures in vehicles requires storage solutions that can seamlessly interface with multiple SoCs. Micron’s 4150AT SSD, with its unique quad-port capability and Single Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV) technology, is designed to meet this need. Basca emphasizes that the automotive industry can draw inspiration from the data center segment, where centralization has already proven beneficial. The 4150AT’s quad-port SSD not only meets the endurance and stringent ASIL-B safety requirements but also allows vehicles to interface with up to four SoCs simultaneously on a single device. This capability centralizes storage into one pool, eliminating the need for multiple storage devices or complex PCIe switch setups.

One of the standout features of the 4150AT is its SR-IOV capability, which supports up to 64 virtual machines (VMs). As SoCs increasingly adopt virtualization to multitask across various functions, this capability becomes crucial. SR-IOV enhances performance and data privacy by directing input/outputs (I/Os) from the VMs directly to the SSD hardware, bypassing the software hypervisor and thus reducing latency. Basca highlights that this direct I/O routing improves random read performance by up to three times compared to drives without SR-IOV. Additionally, combining private namespaces with SR-IOV ensures data privacy and security by restricting data access to the relevant virtual machine or host.

These advanced features provide the flexibility and scalability required to manage the growing complexity of automotive data workloads. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance, the 4150AT SSD empowers the automotive ecosystem to future-proof vehicles by supporting centralized architectures and offering a scalable solution that meets the rising storage demands of in-vehicle experiences, AI, and autonomous driving.

In discussing Micron’s industry partnerships, Basca sheds light on the recent collaboration with Qualcomm to qualify automotive-grade solutions for the Snapdragon Digital Chassis platforms. This collaboration leverages the long-standing relationship between Micron and Qualcomm, which spans multiple generations of platforms aimed at enhancing in-vehicle experiences. The recent qualification of Micron’s automotive-grade solutions, including LPDDR5X, UFS 3.1, Xccela™ flash memory, and SPI-NOR flash, for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit, Ride, and Ride Flex SoC platforms underscores Micron’s commitment to enabling AI-driven features such as ADAS, digital cockpit, and central compute. These collaborations are instrumental in driving the adoption of high-performance technologies in the automotive industry.

Basca also touches on Micron’s Industrial Quotient (IQ) partner program, which aligns with the industrial / embedded industry’s need for high-quality memory and storage solutions that can withstand extreme conditions. Launched in 2020, the IQ Partner program addresses the demands for robust, long-lasting memory and storage solutions in mission-critical business applications. Although primarily targeted at the industrial market, the program’s principles of reliability, quality, longevity, and ruggedization are highly relevant to the automotive sector.

Micron’s commitment to the automotive industry is further evidenced by their nearly 35 years of experience and the development of memory solutions that have accumulated trillions of miles on the road. Basca emphasizes that Micron’s expertise, derived from close collaboration with automotive customers and leveraging innovations from other markets like data centers, positions the company to push the automotive industry forward as cars adopt increasingly data-intensive technologies like AI.

Looking ahead, Basca identifies key automotive megatrends—autonomy, electrification, enriched cabins, connectivity, and software-defined vehicles—that are transforming the industry. To support these trends, Micron focuses on developing memory and storage solutions with higher capacity, bandwidth, functional safety, and enhanced features. Achieving ISO 26262 ASIL-D certification for their memory and storage products demonstrates Micron’s dedication to meeting stringent functional safety requirements, which is crucial for accelerating the adoption of advanced memory technologies in automotive applications.

Automotive Industries interview with Mike Basca, vice president of embedded products and systems at Micron

Automotive Industries: Hi Mike, how does Micron’s new automotive storage solution, with its capability of interfacing with up to four SoCs simultaneously, contribute to the paradigm shift towards centralized architecture in vehicles?

Basca: As vehicles migrate from the traditional domain distributed architectures to zonal architectures with centralized decision-making, cars will need automotive storage solutions capable of supporting a high number of systems-on-chips (SoCs) to deliver optimal system efficiencies. The 4150AT’s unique quad port capability and single-root input/output virtualization (SR-IOV) technology enable the shift to centralization.

Looking to the data center segment for inspiration on how to enable centralization, we tailored a quad-port SSD that meets the endurance and rigorous ASIL-B safety requirements while allowing vehicles to interface with up to 4 SoCs at once, all on a single device. While other alternatives would require one storage device for each SoC or a PCIe switch to connect multiple SoCs to the storage device, having multiple systems share data and capacity centralizes storage to one pool.

Furthermore, the SR-IOV capability enables the 4150AT to support up to 64 virtual machines (VMs), which are critical as SoCs increasingly use virtualization to multitask across different functions. SR-IOV also offers benefits in terms of performance and data privacy. The SR-IOV capability offers an advantage by directing input/outputs (I/Os) from the VMs directly to the SSD hardware, contrasting with the typical paravirtualization in which I/Os are routed through a software hypervisor to the SSD, creating latency. By bypassing the software layer, the drive improves random read performance up to three times, as compared to a drive without SR-IOV supporting up to two VMs.

Additionally, combining private namespaces with SR-IOV ensures that data can only be accessed by the relevant virtual machine or host, maintaining data privacy and security.

These features deliver flexibility and scalability that can match the growing complexity of automotive data workloads. As AI gets more sophisticated, the 4150AT SSD empowers the automotive ecosystem to future-proof vehicles by enabling centralized architectures and providing a scalable solution that can match the rising storage requirements of rich in-vehicle experiences, AI and autonomous driving.

Automotive Industries: Can you elaborate on Micron’s partners in the automotive industry and specifically the recent collaboration to qualify automotive-grade solutions for the Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis platforms?

Basca: Micron and Qualcomm have a long-standing working relationship that spans multiple generations of platforms of bringing immersive in-vehicle experiences to cars. Building on that partnership through our most recent collaboration, we have now qualified our full suite of automotive-grade solutions including LPDDR5X, UFS 3.1, Xccela™ flash memory and SPI-NOR flash for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis solutions.

By qualifying our uniquely optimized automotive-grade solutions for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit, Snapdragon Ride and Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC platforms that enable AI-driven features such as ADAS, digital cockpit and central compute, respectively, we are enabling Qualcomm’s automotive customers and the broader ecosystem to reap powerful benefits in the development of next-generation intelligent vehicles.

We also partner with many across the automotive industry and partnerships with major players such as Qualcomm that share our vision of intelligent, software-driven vehicles are critical to accelerating adoption of high-performance technologies in the automotive ecosystem.

Automotive Industries: How does Micron’s Industrial Quotient (IQ) partner program align with the needs of the automotive industry, particularly in terms of memory and storage solutions?

Basca: In general, the automotive industry and industrial market share similar requirements for high-quality memory and storage solutions that can withstand conditions such as extreme temperatures and shock vibration.

We launched the IQ Partner program in 2020 after hearing from our industrial customers about the financial and brand damage, safety risks and loss of credibility they risk with consumer-grade solutions that don’t meet the stringent industrial requirements. The program promotes the value of high-quality, robust and long-lasting memory and storage solutions that are designed specifically with mission-critical business applications in mind.

Partners in the IQ program meet strict criteria for application-specific tuning, reliability, quality, longevity, and ruggedization. Our goal with the program is to increase longevity and reliability, giving customers assurance that memory and storage products under the IQ partner umbrella deliver both the speed and resiliency that meet the demands of industrial applications. Although the industrial and automotive markets similarly have demanding requirements for memory and storage, only our industrial partners are part of the IQ program.

Automotive Industries: Could you provide insights into Micron’s commitment to addressing the evolving needs of automotive memory and storage?

Basca: We have been in the automotive market for nearly 35 years and during that time, our solutions have accumulated trillions of miles on the road and been used by leading automakers. Our deep expertise stems from tight collaboration with automotive customers on designing memory into evolving architectures underpinning cutting-edge automotive technologies. We also leverage our expertise in other end markets, such as data center, to help inspire what kinds of new technologies and architectures can be applied to push the automotive market forward especially as cars adopt increasingly data-intensive technologies like AI.

Automotive Industries: What trends are you seeing in the automotive industry and how do they impact memory and storage requirements?

Basca: The automotive industry is one of the fastest growing segments and we anticipate DRAM and NAND in cars to dramatically increase over the next few years. Micron has identified five automotive megatrends – autonomy, electrification, enriched cabins, connectivity and software-defined vehicles (SDV), and zonal architecture – that are transforming the automotive industry. To support these megatrends, not only will we need memory and storage with significantly higher capacity and bandwidth, but also solutions that feature functional safety, SR-IOV and enhanced features. This is why Micron is collaborating with ecosystem partners to innovate on solutions that enable these trends.

Automotive Industries: What is the significance of ISO 26262 ASIL-D certification for Micron’s automotive memory and data storage products?

Basca: We were the first in the industry to certify LPDDR5 for ISO 26262 and ASIL-D requirements as a result of our team recognizing essential trends and requirements for safety in the automotive. Since then we’ve also developed our LPDDR4 in full compliance with ASIL D and ISO26262. Having these certifications demonstrates our dedication to meeting the most stringent functional safety requirements and accelerates the adoption of the latest memory technology.

The certification helps us assure automakers that our memory and storage can be trusted. ISO 26262 ASIL-certified memory devices greatly simplify the process for system makers to achieve their system level ISO 26262 certification goals and decrease time to market.

Automotive Industries: How do Micron’s products pave the way for advanced automotive applications and capabilities that require high memory and storage performance?

Basca: Micron has always been an innovator in automotive. Our automotive mindset in terms of leading innovation, quality and portfolio breadth permeates throughout the organization. From attaining the ISO 26262 safety certification for our LPDDR5 to leveraging our industry-leading process nodes, we are focused on delivering quality and performance that our automotive customers can rely on.

To help lead this work, we also have a functional safety office founded a few years ago which is dedicated to collaborating with customers on the memory requirements of designing sophisticated automotive systems. We also have customer labs located in Munich, Detroit, Shanghai, Tokyo and beyond focused on working closely with our automotive customers to understand their memory and storage needs and to help them innovate solutions.

We leverage innovations from other areas of the company such as our 1-beta DRAM and 232-layer NAND to deliver best-in-class power and performance. The recent launch of our quad port 4150AT SSD for automotive is another great example of how we develop innovative features for automotive system design.

Previous posts

Next posts

Tue. July 16th, 2024

Share this post