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BPM Releases Support For Renesas Automotive Microcontroller

BPM Releases Support For Renesas Automotive Microcontroller

BPM Releases Support For Renesas Automotive Microcontroller

Renesas R7F7015433AFP-C for Automotive Electrical Body Applications

The RH850/F1K is one group of single-chip microcontrollers in the RH850/F1x series which is designed for automotive electrical body applications. While it achieves low power consumption, the internal flash memory ranges from 768KB to 2MB and the package covers a wide range from 100 to 176 pins. Also, a CAN FD interface has been added (premium products only) and the CPU operating frequency has been improved to 120MHz. See more here.

  • Renesas R7F7015433AFP-CPackages: QFP(144)
  • Category: MCUs and MPUs – RH850 Family (Automotive only) – RH850/F1K
  • Device Type: 32-bit G3M CPU core
  • Device Size: 2MBytes Code Flash + 32KBytes User Area + 64KBytes Data Flash
  • Algorithm Programming Method: 3-Wire Serial I/O Mode
  • 9th/8th Gen Socket Solution: FVE2ASM144LQFPA
  • Available on BPM’s Process software BPWin Versions released after 01/14/2021
  • Note: Replaceable burn-in test socket

Unique Support

As of publication, BPM has the only supported solution for this particular device. Renesas devices currently supported by BPM stand at 1,762.

  Supported* Socket
Elnec No  
Data I/O No  
Dediprog No  
BPM Yes FVE2ASM144LQFPA

*As of publication

9th Gen

9th Generation Site Technology delivers the fastest programming times, 2 to 9 times faster for flash devices. Vector Engine Co-processing with BitBlast offers the fastest programming speeds in the industry, vastly increasing throughput.

FVE2ASM144LQFPABPM Advantages

The socket card (FVE2ASM144LQFPA) is built with a replaceable burn-in test socket. This means when the socket wears out, simply remove it and replace it with LSOCQ144EA-2, rather than replacing the whole socket card (adapter). This socket allows for up to 2 devices to be programmed in parallel and will work with both manual and automated systems on 9th and 8th Gen systems.

BPWin Software Support

In order to fully take advantage of new device support from BPM Microsystems, you’ll need a version of BPWin after 1/14/2021. All engineering manual programmers (they start with a “1” such as the 1710) come with lifetime software support. New programmers come with one year of software support; if your software contract has lapsed, please contact Inside Sales to take advantage of daily additions and improvements in device support.

Number of Devices Supported by 9th Gen

Manual Programmers for this Device

Available for purchase in North America (US/Canada/Mexico)

2900L Manual Programmer with Actuator

$6,995.00

2900 9th Gen Manual Programmer

$5,995.00

Tape In/Tape Out Video

Tape In/Tape Out Video

Tape In/Tape Out Video

Tape-In

The X-Stream Series Tape Feeder System is the reliable, precise automated tape input peripheral for the BPM Microsystems automated programming systems. The X-Stream Series offers a broad range of carrier tape sizes, from 8 to 56mm. Tightly coupled with BPWin™ process control software, the X-Stream Series intelligently advances the feeder on command, ensuring the feeder presents the next device as needed.

The X-Stream Series provides easy setup and fast changeover. Intuitive buttons control tape advance and reverse for simple pick point adjustment and calibration. Each feeder body includes an input reel holder, accommodating reels up to 15 inches in diameter. An ergonomic handle eases operator handling and installation.

Small CSP package handling requires smooth indexing, accuracy, and repeatability. The 8mm and 12mm X-Stream Series feeders are specially engineered to include a pick window with a spring-loaded insert. This stabilizes vibration by applying downward pressure to the carrier tape, resulting in the precise presentation of small components to the APS nozzle.

Designed for high-speed pick and place machines, X-Stream Series feeders are robust with minimal service requirements. If an unexpected error does occur, the onboard diagnostics feature and electronic calibration make troubleshooting fast and easy.

V-TEK TM-50 MK2 Tape Output Machine

Large, small, or difficult-to-place parts are easy to tape with V-TEK’s TM-50. The microprocessor-controlled sealer and stepper motor drive assure precise handling of all taping parameters. Several advance speeds are selectable to accommodate problem parts and to minimize jumping. The innovative set up and change-over design allow an operator to change over carrier and cover tapes in minutes. BPM’s TM-50 MK2 has more sensors than other APS suppliers for maximum throughput and minimum errors.

Flexible, easy-to-use, menu-driven software and advanced electronic characteristics make the TM-50 a perfect choice for your taping needs.

Now available with a side-mount option for the V-TEK TM50. This configuration offers additional flexibility by allowing the machine to utilize options for tape, tray, tube, and marking simultaneously. The V-Tek TM-50 is compatible with both 3000 and 4000 series APS.

BPM Revenue and Profitability Increase in 2020, Positions for Continued Growth

BPM Revenue and Profitability Increase in 2020, Positions for Continued Growth

In the year that will be forever remembered for a global pandemic and world-wide business shut-downs, BPM enjoyed a 300% year-over-year installation growth for automated programming systems.  “2020 was an exceptional year in many respects”, says William White, Founder, and CEO at BPM Microsystems. “I am really proud of the way our team delivers the solutions our customers need while operating under the constraints of the pandemic. Uncertainty in the first half of the year was followed by strength from multiple sectors. Ending the year with increasing revenue and profitability is a testament to the resilience of our customers and our team. Business cycles come and go, but we remain positive about the future, and are positioned to have a strong 2021.” BPM ended 2020 with an overall sales growth of 23% compared to 2019.

Automated Programmers Driving Installation Growth

BPM attributes much of the growth to two major product launches in late 2019. The 3901 Automated Programmer is touted as a low-cost, full-featured small footprint APS; it comes standard with 2-sites/8 sockets for under $90K in most markets. The 3928 Automated Programming System is rated at 1,432 Devices per hour with up to 28 sockets– 75% more capacity than the 3901. It is the only mid-sized automated programmer in the world that is fully-configurable with all peripherals, including automotive-level 3D Inspection

WhisperTeach™

Both the 3901 and 3928 feature WhisperTeach, the patented, award-winning automated Z-Teach process that delivers faster set-ups, better accuracy, and repeatable high-quality programming, critical for modern devices. BPM’s nearest competitor does not offer auto Z-Teach in their comparable platform.

Manual Programmer Revenue Growth

BPM also experienced 269% year-over-year sales growth in Manual Programmer revenue. Penny Santhanam, Director of Customer Care, says, “It’s exciting to see the growth in our Manual Programmers. Our team built great relationships with several Defense suppliers and OEMs and won a majority of deals we quoted.” A major contributor to almost tripling manual programmer sales was the launch of the Silicon Sculptor 4, sold exclusively by Microsemi. The SS4 is based on BPM’s 9th Gen site technology, providing a boost in programming speeds while maintaining the critical quality of some of the world’s most valuable (and challenging) mission-critical programmable devices. BPM is Microsemi’s exclusive designer and manufacturer for the Silicon Sculptor series and has been for more than 20 years.

BPM’s proven 9th Generation Programming Technology delivers the fastest and most universal programming solution on the market. BPM’s global service and support network serve the demanding requirements of mission-critical installations across six continents.

The Software and Device Support teams are growing to meet increasing demands, with the Device Support team doubling in size from this time last year. Jon Bondurant, Chief Operations Officer, says, “We were cautiously optimistic in early 2020, but things really picked up when COVID-related projects started coming in– digital thermometers and other medical devices. By year-end, pent-up global demand is keeping us pretty busy.”

Read US Tech Article

BPM Microsystems started in 1985 out of a dorm room at Rice University. 36 years later, they have installed more fine-pitch programmers than all other companies worldwide combined. They design and manufacture all of their products in their ISO 9001 manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. To find out how bringing device programming in-house improves quality, reduces time to market, and cuts cost, call +1 713.263.3776 or Toll-Free in the US or Canada at (855) SELL BPM.

Programmable Device Shortage Update

Programmable Device Shortage Update

In an article published in Forbes on February 25, President Joe Biden signed “Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains” to address the global semiconductor chip shortage. Designed as a 100-day review of supply chain effectiveness, and citing that the United States accounts for 12.5% of semiconductor manufacturing, this Executive Order is a part of a continuous stream of policy assuming that “made in America” is good for America.

According to a new Reuters article, here are some updates on the on-going global chip shortage.

General Motors

GM has extended production cuts at four of their North American plants due to chip shortage. It’s being reported that the shortage could cut up to $2 Billion from their 2021 forecast.

Ford

The shortage is hitting production of the most popular truck in the world:  F-150 pickup trucks. Ford could lose 10% to 20% of planned first-quarter vehicle production.

Volkswagen AG

The chip shortage will impact production at Wolfsburg and Kassel plants. VW was the first major automaker to announce that chip shortages were affecting production. Volkswagen is the world’s second-largest car company (behind Toyota).

Groupe Renault

The chip shortage could reduce Renault production by about 100,000 vehicles this year. Renault is a French automaker.

Honda

Honda has announced a cut in its 2021 sales target by 100,000 vehicles due to the chip shortage. Honda is fifth in sales worldwide.

Nissan

Nissan, Japan’s third-largest automaker and #10 in the world have lowered its target by 150,000 vehicles due to the chip shortage.

Tesla Inc

Elon Musk said Tesla’s plant in Fremont, California shut down for two days in February due to “parts shortages”.

Automotive Suppliers

Visteon

Visteon, a major automotive component supplier, has said uncertainty around the semiconductor shortages will lead to some plant closures in the first half of 2021 before things stabilize in the third and fourth quarters.

Stellantis NV

Stellantis‘ factories in Germany and Spain were impacted due to the programmable device shortage. Union sources told Reuters in February that Stellantis planned to slow production at its plant in Italy, and furlough 7,000 workers. Stellantis’ supported brands include Alfa Romero, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, and Opel.

Other Industries

Sony

Sony’s Chief Finacial Officer Hiroki Totoki said it is difficult for the company to increase the production of the popular gaming system, the PS5, amid the shortage of semiconductors. The PS5 launched in November of 2020, and is one of the most popular systems in the world.

Why There is a Global Programmable Device Shortage

Why There is a Global Programmable Device Shortage

Part III

Why There is a Global Programmable Device Shortage

Top Reasons for Global Chip Shortages– Whose Fault is it Really?

l

Overview

Causes for the Programmable Device Shortage

  • There’s never been a greater disruption for Automotive Manufacturers, except for the two World Wars
  • Covid-19 restrictions are the major cause of global supply chain shortages, especially for programmable chips
  • Other factors include:

• Just in time inventory management
• Redundancy gap for critical parts
• Increased demand from consumer electronics verticles, such as laptops and gaming systems
• Because programmable devices require value-added services, which include programming, it can take longer for finished components

There’s never been anything close to the disruption to the Automotive industry (World Wars excluded), but there have been regional shortages in the recent past. A tsunami off the coast of Japan flooded Renesas Electronics in March of 2011– the same tsunami that caused the nuclear power plant in Fukushima to fail. While the world was focused on Fukushima, the auto industry in Japan was focused on Renesas, a major programmable device supplier of everything from transmissions to touchscreen information systems. The big three Japanese automakers, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, were forced to slow or stop output for several weeks.

Fast forward to March of 2020– just nine years later, the entire planet was shutting down over the coronavirus pandemic (see article) which disrupted the delicate global supply chain, causing a programmable device shortage. Semiconductor manufacturers were caught in the crosshairs of canceled orders and business restrictions. Automakers closed factories as demand plummeted. Consumers were on lock-down for weeks, and in some cases, months.

By late summer, demand for trucks and SUVs surged, in large part due to pent-up demand, but also as people shifted away from mass transit for health reasons. However, demand was even higher for laptops and advanced gaming systems for the newly work-from-home employees and others cooped up looking for something fun (and safe) to do.

Who’s to Blame

If you want to pick the number one cause, COVID-19 wins in a landslide. When the new coronavirus started to spread, there was no way to know how bad it was going to be, so governments and businesses took a very conservative approach; many areas experimented with lockdowns and social distancing in an attempt to stop the spread. As scientists and doctors began to understand the disease better, we began to develop ways to deal with this “new reality.” But the disruption was devastating in every way imaginable: many people lost their jobs, many businesses closed, and those that didn’t have to figure out how to keep going under serious constraints.

COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, and ”D” for disease. (from CDC.gov)

When everything “closed” in March/April 2020, many automakers canceled orders for parts and components that automotive OEMs provide; this caused a cascade of cancellations that eventually made it back to the semiconductor manufacturers. While orders for automotive chips were cool, the demand for laptops, game consoles, and other consumer electronics became white-hot. Semiconductor manufacturers shifted production to high-demand inventory, and in many cases were at capacity.

Just-in-Time

Just-in-time inventory management is also a major cause of the worldwide dilemma. Automobiles are a low-margin business, so shaving costs with lean manufacturing makes sense. However, when demand rebounded and inventory of programmed devices fell behind, they were quick to point fingers at their vendors who supply finished components for their lines. The chipmakers and vendors blame the automotive industry for canceling orders, keeping their inventory low, and not preparing in advance for when things rebound, contributing to the programmable chip shortage.

Redundancy Gap

Lack of redundancy is another culprit. For instance, 56% of global chip manufacturing revenue originate from one company: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). TSMC supplies the suppliers. Similarly, new and intricate microcontrollers often have their own issues– complex chip designs are often from a sole source, and it takes years to qualify a second supplier. (Source: Bloomberg)

Squeaky Wheel

As large as the global automotive industry is, they are relatively small in comparison to consumer electronics megacorporations, such as Apple, Sony, and Samsung. Consumer electronics typically are a higher margin than automotive devices, and the electronics giants are willing to pay a little more to ensure on-time delivery.

Cost of Capacity

Semiconductor manufacturers are running at capacity to try to meet demand. Similarly, many have plans to expand fabrication capacity in 2021, but won’t impact supply for years, at a cost of billions. (See Semiconductor Factory list)

Value-add Adds Time

Finished components, such as transmissions, engines, entertainment systems, etc. are usually built by contract manufacturers, such as Continental and Bosch. A shortage of chips causes a cascade of issues. Unlike a simple transistor, before many microprocessors can be soldered to the board, they go through programming and testing. Depending on the complexity of the data and/or the volume, programming times can be quite long.

Automated programming systems use advanced robotics to pick, place, program, test, and finally load to trays or tape. If additional processes are needed, such as laser marking for lot and piece numbers, or 3D inspection for bent pins, this can add to the time required. Once programming is completed, the chip can be soldered to the board (which usually will undergo further testing). In conclusion, finished boards can be added to the final assembly, tested, packaged, and shipped to the end-customer. (Read more on offline in-house programming)

Who’s to blame?

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. Hopefully, lessons can be learned, and adjustments can be made. Eventually, automakers may be faced with the dilemma of whether to continue playing “chicken” with vendors as their finished product inventories dwindle. One thing for sure: the complexity and reliance on programmed devices will only keep growing, especially as Electric Vehicles (EV) and Autonomous Driving Systems become more prevalent.

Intrigued?

Learn more about BPM Microsystem’s Automated Programming Systems Deliver ROI

s

Business Insider

The global chip shortage is hurting businesses and could be a national security issue

The semiconductor industry is facing serious supply issues as global demand spikes. The modern world relies on semiconductors for everything from working at home to military applicationsSee More

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Bloomberg

Carmakers Face $61 Billion Sales Hit From Pandemic Chip Shortage

When buyers came back, the auto industry didn’t have enough semiconductors. Chip foundries were busy supplying gadget makers… See More

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Motortrend

Ford Cuts F-150 Production Due to Semiconductor Chip Shortage

Ford is not alone in suffering from a chip shortage that is crippling the auto industry… See More

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Bloomberg

Chip Shortages Force More Cuts at North American Auto Plants

Companies eliminate shifts, temporarily close factories; Semiconductor shortage shows no sign of slowing down in 2021See More

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Auto Evolution

Carmakers Hit Hard by Chip Shortage And Suspending Production Is the Only Option

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Programmable Device Shortage Spreads to Consumer Electronics

Programmable Device Shortage Spreads to Consumer Electronics

Part II

Programmable Device Shortage Spreads to Consumer Electronics

No shutdowns reported in consumer electronics plants; Chip Shortage Demand driving up prices and lead-times

l

Overview

  • Shortages are causing ripple effects in other electronics products, such as NextGen Gaming Systems, Laptop Computers, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence systems, and Smart Phones.
  • There have been no reports of plants or lines shutting down because of the chip shortage.
  • Many Semi houses are investing in capital equipment in an attempt to meet the demand
  • Complicating the supply chain issue, programmable devices can’t be used without value-added services: programming, inspection, soldering, and test
  • In a break from “just-in-time” inventory, executives are contemplating higher-than-normal stock, as chips don’t take up much space compared to other components
  • Chinese New Year celebrations could cause some short-term logistical headaches starting this week

Programmable device shortages are causing many automakers to reduce forecasts, or in some cases, to close plants. For instance, shortages are causing ripple effects in other electronics industries, such as NextGen Gaming Systems, Laptop Computers, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence systems, and Smart Phones. The good news is that, as of now, there have been no reports of plants or lines shutting down because of the chip shortage.

Circuit boards traveling down the SMT line at BPM Microsystems manufacturing facility in Houston Texas.

Semiconductor shortages are expected to last for the foreseeable future; many Semi houses are investing in capital equipment in an attempt to meet the demand. TSMC in Taiwan plans to increase CapX by 54% in 2021, with additional plans for new factories in the US (source). 

Supply Chain Issues

Rising demand is causing price pressure on raw materials used in semiconductor manufacturing. In addition, there are only a handful of advanced foundries capable of producing advanced chips required for video processing, advanced gaming systems, computing, and 5G phones.

For instance, programmable devices can’t be used without value-added services: programming, inspection, soldering, and test. Therefore, without uploading the code to the device for a specific application, a chip is just a small, fairly expensive, and not very useful paperweight.

See “Six Ways to Program Devices” article here 

Auto Production Update

Automotive and industrial equipment manufacturers will continue to experience programmable device shortages at least through mid-2021. Microchip, NXP Semiconductors, and Silicon Labs are among suppliers that have raised prices, in addition to warning of shortages throughout this year.

As of the first week in February, General Motors is the latest automaker to report they’re “trimming output” in four factories (source). Thus far, Volkswagen has been among the hardest hit; VW is considering purchasing critical chips directly from manufacturers for the first time (source). In a break from “just-in-time” inventory, executives are contemplating higher-than-normal stock, as chips don’t take up much space compared to other components.

See article “Programmable Device Shortage causes Auto Makers to Cut Output, Idle Plants”

Other Headaches

Chinese New Year celebrations could cause some short-term logistical headaches starting this week. All offices and factories close for about 3 weeks, allowing workers time to travel home and back. Therefore, if you were counting on ordering/receiving inventory from warehouses in China next week, you’ll have to wait.

For more information on Chinese New Year and some tips on planning ahead, please visit https://www.ewmfg.com/chinese-new-year/

Jon Bondurant is the Chief Operating Officer of BPM Microsystems. He says, “We keep a minimum of six months inventory of critical  electronic components of our programmers and accessories.” In addition, when quantities fall below thresholds, they show up on weekly reports. In conclusion, this helps to ensure that BPM won’t get caught up in supply chain issues, or has some time to find an alternative source.

Intrigued?

Learn more about BPM Microsystem’s Automated Programming Systems Deliver ROI

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Wall Street Journal

Chip Shortage Hits General Motors, Leads to Production Cuts

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VW looks at direct buying to secure scarce chips, report says

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Chip Shortages Hinder Automobile, PC, Consumer Electronics Production

Semiconductor shortages are hindering the production of everything from personal computers and consumer electronics to automobiles. And some shortages are likely to linger throughout 2021, which is mixed news for semiconductor stocks. See More

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