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Very Low Cost Custom Radiation Hard CMOS Integrated Circuit Manufacturing…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1997 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Tanner Research Inc.
825 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016-3424
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1997
Title: Very Low Cost Custom Radiation Hard CMOS Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Process
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $59,996.00


We propose to develop a method to manufacture high-performance, low-cost, radiation hard digital integrated circuits (IC) on-demand in small and medium volumes. Our manufacturing approach integrates a unique micromachining etch process with the best cost, performance, and rapid-reaction features of modern gate array and shared mask fabrication technologies. In addition, the power dissipated by ICs fabricated with our method should be significantly less than comparable commercial or other rad-hard ICs. Typical commercial digital IC manufacturing does not produce the rad-hard ICs that space systems often requires high cost microlithography masks dedicated to each design. For typical small DoD volumes, the uncommon materials, processing, mask, and other tooling costs make the unit cost of DoD ICs 10 to 100 times that of high-volume commercial parts. Our simplified micromachined shared mask manufacturing method eliminates the need for unique material and processing and amortizes the mask and fab costs over a group of different designs, thus dramatically reducing rad-hard IC costs. We have separately fabricated and tested all of the basic technologies for this manufacturing method. Our proposed Phase I effort will determine the feasibility of combining the technologies with the design, fab, and test of an initial assortment of rad-hard test structures and circuits. The Phase II effort will refine and establish process control over the key micromachining etc. These new inexpensive micromachined radiation hard integrated circuits will be highly useful in a wide variety of space based systems. We intend to actively commercialize this technology, most likely as a Tanner Research spin-off.

Principal Investigator:

Doug Kerns, Ph.d.

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Tanner Research, Inc.
180 North Vinedo Ave. Pasadena, CA 91107

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No