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Advanced Solutions for Radiation Susceptibility Analysis & Prediction



TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Materials/Processes, Nuclear Technology, Space Platforms, Weapons

OBJECTIVE: Support the development of radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction capabilities in defense systems to reduce the design risks, schedules and overhead while resulting in significant savings in costs and high reliability radiation tolerant microelectronics for DoD missions.

DESCRIPTION: Reliable radiation tolerant microelectronics in modern technology nodes is critical to DoD missions. Development, however, is challenging, costly and requires long design cycles. The effectiveness of the radiation mitigation capabilities is only assessed after a device is manufactured adding significant risk to system development. As the vulnerability of microelectronics to radiation effects increases with modern technology, so does the challenge of implementing radiation tolerance in a strategic manner. Significant feature overhead in both the microelectronic device and supporting system is often necessary; furthermore, there is a limiting effect on the potential performance of a device relative to the capabilities of the technology used for implementation. There is a critical need for efficient approaches/capabilities for radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction that would enable developers to apply the appropriate amount of radiation mitigation to a design and, more importantly, help predict the resiliency of hardened microelectronics prior to device manufacturing.

Assessing radiation effects in microelectronics prior to fabrication currently broadly falls in to two approaches: physics based modeling simulations and fault injection simulations. Neither approach is suitable for assessing or predicting radiation effects on the scale of an entire microelectronics chip design. With both approaches, it is necessary to fabricate and test a design in a radiation environment to assess the performance of any implemented mitigation strategies. Furthermore, these approaches lack a direct means for reliable, direct correlation of the resiliency performance for a fabricated design to the effectiveness and contribution of specific mitigation implementations applied to specific regions of said design.


Of particular interest to this solicitation are new and efficient approaches capable of providing radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction for an entire microelectronic chip while using reasonable computing resources and within acceptable processing delays.

PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of elements for a radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction capability through the development of a very basic radiation susceptibility and prediction compute platform. The outcome of the Phase I would include 1) Development of a basic analytical assessment classifier, 2) Design of a basic strike model library, 3) Development of a basic susceptibility classifier and 4) Integration of a basic radiation susceptibility and prediction accelerator.

PHASE II: Demonstrate a prototype level of a radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction compute platform capable of processing a full chip design. The outcome of Phase would include 1) Optimization of the analytical assessment classifier built in Phase I to increase and optimize processing throughput, 2) Development of abstraction modeling coupons to provide the necessary parameterization, 3) Development of the technology abstraction library and strike model library, 4) Optimization of the strike model library developed in Phase I by leveraging the feedback data provided with testing the abstraction modeling coupons and 5) Development of a susceptibility classifier and integration of a radiation susceptibility analysis and predictor accelerator into a prototype level and fully integrated. The Radiation susceptibility results of a full chip design will be compared to the results obtained by the radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction platform.


Industry and government partners for Phase III must be identified along with demonstration of their support. A roadmap that takes the program through Phase III must be part of the final delivery for Phase II.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Development and optimization of the radiation susceptibility analysis and prediction platform capability to commercial tool/services available and to DoD USERS.


  • R. Baumann, “Radiation-induced soft errors in advanced semiconductor technologies,” Device and Materials Reliability, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 305–316, 2005
  • Dodd, P.E. and L.W. Massengill, "Basic Mechanisms and Modeling of Single-Event Upset in Digital Microelectronics," IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., vol. 50, no. 3, pp.583-602, June 2003
  • C. López-Ongil, M. García-Valderas, M. Portela-García and L. Entrena, “Autonomous Fault Emulation: A New FPGA-Based Acceleration System for Hardness Evaluation” IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, Vol. 54, No. 1, Februrary 2007, pp 252 – 261.

KEYWORDS: Nano-technology, Nuclear Technologies, Single-Event Effect, Total Ionization Dose, Radiation Hardened Microelectronics


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