Building automotive memory from the ground up

Barbara Kolbl | May 2023

A = Automotive mindset

Micron’s mindset encompasses the whole product journey — from design, manufacturing and testing to customer support.

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, “Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation.”

If you look at Micron’s automotive business, you can see the automotive mindset we started over 31 years ago. In that time, we’ve gone from tens of kilobytes of data hardware per vehicle to terabytes! That means our obsessive quality mindset is more important than ever for engineering the rugged memory and storage devices that our customers rely on.

Our processes are built on this philosophy, resulting in a zero-defect aspirational mindset and quality-management systems that support automotive memory and storage requirements. The recent announcement of Micron’s certified ASIL D-compliant LPDDR5 is another example of our automotive mindset, illustrating the company’s recognition of essential trends and requirements in the auto market and making essential investments to support new safety requirements.


Memory design begins with a comprehensive suite of specifications that have been established through close collaboration with our automotive customers and partners. These specifications serve as the foundation for both memory and storage capabilities and performance. Specifications include attributes such as thermal profile, cross-temperature operation, workload, retention and endurance. The specifications are established not only to support the general auto environment, but also to address very specific application areas within the vehicle. In the case of supporting functional safety, Micron architects worked closely with the safety offices of many of the industry-leading OEMs, tier one suppliers, and chip set vendors to understand the overall system needs for both advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and in-vehicle entertainment (IVE) applications as they pertained to safety at the system level.


In the manufacturing phase, Micron has made extensive investments to ensure that the company develops and delivers products that are based on leading-edge processes. Through these investments, Micron has proven to be first to 1α (1- alpha) and now 1β (1-beta) for DRAM and 176-layer and now 232-layer NAND for storage. These investments are essential in delivering the industry’s best-in-class power and performance. Additionally, Micron has invested in a dedicated fab to ensure that we can provide the product longevity required by the automotive market. Definition, development and manufacturing processes have been tuned to align with the ISO 26262 standard for ASIL D that Micron has adopted and supports.


Micron has industry-leading quality due to our best-in-class testing methodologies. Micron has been able to increase both yield and quality by analyzing a billion control points collected from half a million sensors and millions of images in real time across our front-end and assembly/test operations. Through the extensive use of artificial intelligence (AI), Micron can quickly spot trends and take action, leading to much greater yield and achieving that yield faster than in the past. As part of the test strategy and methodology, processes identified by the ISO 26262 specification have been incorporated into the test flow, ensuring alignment to automotive standards, specifically for functional safety.

Customer support

Micron has 13 dedicated automotive labs connected around the globe, with a consistent testing footprint allowing for near 24/7 support to help bring a product to market. These labs seek to collaborate during the design phase to ensure the fastest time to market with the lowest risk. Customer support extends beyond lab support alone: Our dedicated safety office, system architects and field application engineers are also committed to working closely with customers to help architect their system to best realize functional safety ASIL targets at the system level.

As Carol Dweck defined “mindset,” we can see that Micron’s automotive mindset has shaped how we design, manufacture, test and support automotive memory. It has enabled Micron’s leadership and will continue to drive our next generation of automotive memory and storage solutions.

The Micron SAFER automotive memory blog series

This series provides insight and guidance when considering breakthrough automotive memory solutions and support. SAFER incorporates five key concepts: (S) Safest solution currently available in the industry, (A) Automotive mindset, (F) Fault coverage, (E) Engineering leadership and (R) Risk management. Each letter associated with the acronym SAFER has a corresponding blog with associated content.

Check Micron’s functional safety page for info on additional blogs: Functional Safety for Automotive | Micron Technology, Inc.

Sr. DRAM Product Line Operations Manager

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.