Automotive Electronics:A walk on the Ridge between Innovation and Quality

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Claus Schmidt, Senior Vice President Engineering Semiconductors and IC


Automobile technologies have made major progress during the past decades with respect to emission, fuel consumption and reduction of mortalities. The innovations in automotive electronics and its expected future extensions based on semiconductor products for automotive requirements. Future demands on cost will drive further innovations in automotive semiconductor technologies. Architectural concepts of automotive electronics will influence the architecture of semiconductors more and more due to the increasing integration capability of semiconductor technology.

In many publications the quality of automotive electronics was described to limit the reliability of cars and an increasing number of recalls is due to electronics. Although in reality still mechanical defects are dominating the reliability of cars, the automotive industry has to improve electronics reliability dramatically in order to allow a further increase of functionality. In parallel automotive electronics need 0-defect programs are necessary to avoid major cost and mortal accidents. This needs a strong focus on the improvement of quality concepts concerning development processes, test and screening, release procedures and failure analysis.

Apart from these well known areas of quality it is the responsibility of the management to improve management processes and total quality concepts as well. In this context cultural aspects of management are becoming more and more important. Management is the key driver of these changes enforcing these processes.

Claus Schmidt