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Reliable and Rad-Hard Microelectronics

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ridgetop Group, Inc.
3580 West Ina Road Tucson, AZ 85741-2276
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Reliable and Rad-Hard Microelectronics
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9453-09-M-0096
Award Amount: $99,984.00


The ability to measure and characterize critical circuit parameters is a necessary requirement to developing reliable microelectronics for military applications. An industry-first capability is provided: a set of radiation-hardened by design (RHBD) test structures to allow design engineers to measure and characterize these critical parameters both before and after irradiation. Upon completion, these RHBD structures will be added to Ridgetop Groups Design-for-Manufacturing Tools (nanoDFM). Die Level Process Monitor (DLPM) are precise in-situ integrated circuits (ICs) placed onto a die to extract information that measure and characterize key parameters that are very susceptible to manufacturing process variations. Design engineers can then correct for process variations, better center designs, or adaptively correct operation as the IC degrades or becomes irradiated. The DLPM structures are the following: (1) threshold voltage shift, (2) resistance mismatch and (3) capacitance mismatch. There are prognostic cells to detect radiation-induced voltage shifts, increased leakage current and memory cell errors. New structures provide information on Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI) and the effects of process variation and radiation on timings and operations associated gates, voltage references and flip-flop memory cells. These structures will be designed for the IBM 65-nm 10RF bulk Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process node. BENEFIT: Ridgetop Group owns patented DLPM and PDKChek technologies that have been successfully developed and used for larger feature size technologies. For the smaller and lower-power IBM 65-nm 10RF bulk CMOS process, the existing DLPM and the new structures need to be designed, fabricated, tested and documented to provide design engineers with the necessary capability for extracting information to measure and characterize critical circuit parameters, which in turn leads to more reliable microelectronics: circuit designs can be more effectively centered. Radiation-hardened circuit designers will be able to extract the same level of information from a RHBD nanoDFM suite of tools: this is an industry-first capability.

Principal Investigator:

James Hofmeister
Principal Scientist

Business Contact:

Douglas Goodman
President and CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

6595 North Oracle Road Tucson, AZ 85704

EIN/Tax ID: 860979220
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No