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Low Cost Methodology to Radiation Hardening of Legacy Integrated Circuits

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0316
Agency Tracking Number: 192829
Amount: $124,986.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
4775 Centennial Boulevard, Suite 130
Colorado Springs, CO 80919-3332
United States
DUNS: 619085371
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Paul Eaton
 (505) 507-1390
Business Contact
 Karen Van Cura
Phone: (719) 531-0805
Research Institution

Microelectronics Research Development Corporation (Micro-RDC) proposes to develop a low cost radiation hardened integrated circuit (IC) technology that creates new solid-state circuits at reasonable cost. The project will enable delivery of electronics that can operate in space for a prolonged time and without errors.nbsp;The enhanced technology should encourage many firms to participate in recently announced lunar payload projects and for the Moon to Mars campaign. Almost any application that NASA desires to address, such as thermal management, energy storage, rad hard-high performance computing, cryogenic fluid management, various lunar sensors, solar arrays, and coordination of space vehicle swarms requires rad hard electronics able to withstand ionizing space radiation for a prolonged time.nbsp;The premise behind this novel approach is to leverage in-house Micro-RDC expertise in radiation hardening to device design. Micro-RDC will develop and then lay out a set of test structures that will be tested for the total ionizing dose (TID) and single event upset (SEU) effects. Layout modification will be completed on elements prone to degradation transistors on already existing, commercially available processes (e.g. bulk 0.13um from Jazz) without any changes to the process itself.nbsp;Once fabricated, test bars will be properly characterized under ionizing source and cryogenic temperatures, replicating circuits operating in space.nbsp;Upon completion, Micro -RDC will deliver a set of rad-hard pcells with the same current-voltage (I-V) and other electrical characteristics found in standard cells, but with much higher resistance to adverse TID and SEU effects. Devices will be properly characterized and modeled, ready for low cost use in redesigns and new designs by end users and system integrators.nbsp;To demonstrate the viability of the approach, Micro-RDC will redesign a test vehicle (micro-controller 8051 in Phase II) that will be re-tested for radiation hardness and robustness.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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