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Automated Analog Electronics Design Tools for Obsolete Parts


OBJECTIVE: Develop design tools to facilitate fabrication of obsolete, radiation-hardened, precision analog components. Design tools must address the development methodology with Electronic Design Automation data and industry standards. DESCRIPTION: Current systems require routine maintenance of the electronics components. Due to the long lifetime of these systems many of the components for these systems will likely become obsolete. The community has addressed many of the digital component issues but there is a need to address the analog portion of the system components. The advances in the commercial electronics industry present challenges to the acquisition of replacement, radiation-hardened, precision analog electronics. The expense of manufacturing microelectronics components at today"s technology nodes makes it infeasible for industry to produce components for the limited strategic weapons market. A particular concern is that changes to the fab process during the life of an originally rad-hard component may reduce the hardness below acceptable levels. To take advantage of the current defense microelectronics manufacturing capability, a solution is sought to develop design tools to facilitate the re-design of legacy precision analog microelectronics components that are hardened against ionizing radiation with emphasis on dose rate and neutron fluence protection. These tools would be used to translate the component specifications into a manufactured or fabricated design using one or more fabrication facilities. The EDA tool should provide Graphical, table and/or listing feedback to the user indicating design specification achievement and/or comparison. Development activities shall include a study of current design tools, industry standard formats, tool features, Graphical User Interfaces, market adoption, platforms hosted, product support, data interfaces etc. Tool features such as graphic drawing, parameter/cell search utilities library viewer, command/log file and GDSII viewer available with user friendliness considered. PHASE I: Develop solution and methodology, to enable precision analog components from one fabrication process to be re-defined for fabrication on target process given a functional description of the original component and specification of the radiation environment. Coordinate with target manufacturer ensuring proper application of design rule checks, proper formats for passing design files, etc. PHASE II: Implement the design solution and fabricate an analog system using the design tool(s) developed in Phase I. The tool(s) will provide an operational demonstration in accordance with Air Force/contractor agreed specifications. The system will consist of functional, radiation-hardened test structures at a minimum with the goal of achieving a fully functional, radiation-hardened, analog component. The product transition strategy will be identified. IC industry data standards can be utilized. PHASE III: Design tools for analog components for electronics systems are of interest to strategic and non-defense government and commercial space sector. Design tools can also be used to design and re-design commercial analog components for a wide range of industry electronics applications and transition. REFERENCES: 1. Alexander, David R. et al. Design Issues for Radiation Tolerant Microcircuits in Space, NSREC Short Course, 1996. 2. Antao, B. A. et al. Computer-Aided Design of Analog Integrated Circuits and Systems, John Wiley & Sons New York NY 2002. 3. Lewyn, L.L., et al."Analog Circuit Design in Nanoscale CMOS Technologies", Proceedings of the IEEE, 97(10), 1687-1714, 2009. 4. Williams, Jim (ed.) Analog Circuit Design, Butterworth-Heinemann Boston MA 1991.
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