CIS applications chasing the ever-shifting resolution boundary need to achieve pixel scaling by continuously moving to more advanced process geometries. Cameras used in smartphones, automotive, and high-resolution imaging in space and medical applications can’t compromise on reliability and security. Finally, cameras used in price-sensitive end-applications like smartphones are PPA conscious.
Antifuse OTP NVM, which went into widespread commercial production about 10 years ago, are fundamentally reliable and secure. No special masks or process steps are required to manufacture the NVM device. In a standard CMOS process, the antifuse OTP NVM uses the same rules as logic devices for electrical and layout design, providing scalability at the most advanced nodes, down to 5-nm and beyond.
The underlying technology for antifuse OTP NVM is programming by oxide breakdown, which is achieved by applying a high voltage. Absence of the high voltage on the gate leaves the device unprogrammed. Since no changes to the manufacturing process are required, the antifuse OTP NVM reaps the benefit of the same yield and reliability as a standard CMOS process.
In harsh environments for automotive and industrial applications, reliability is another key requirement. When properly qualified at high operating temperatures of up to 150°C and even 175°C, and tested for early life failure rates, antifuse OTP NVM is the best choice for reliable operation for the life of the product.
Antifuse OTP NVM is not easily susceptible to any passive or invasive security attacks attempted by altering the voltage or temperature. The oxide breakdown is also not visible with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and it is impossible to tell the difference visually between a programmed and an unprogrammed cell within an antifuse OTP NVM.
Antifuse OTP NVM that is specially designed for CIS applications delivers on all fronts: it follows the layout and design rules specific for CIS manufacturing, is cost-effective, consumes minimal power, and provides fast read times at system boot.