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Technology Scaling and Soft Error Reliability – IRPS 2012 Invited Talk by Dr. Lloyd Massengill

Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2012 in News.

Dr.  Lloyd Massengill, Director of Engineering at the
Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE), will be giving an invited talk on Technology Scaling and Soft Error Reliability at the 2012 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium.  The paper discusses several attributes of integrated circuit scaling in relation to radiation soft error failure modes and vulnerability.

The influence of ionizing radiation on the proper operation of integrated electronics is often considered a phenomenon of concern primarily for the military and aerospace communities, where energetic particles in orbital and flight-altitude environments wreaked havoc with sensitive integrated electronics.  However, the issue of extrinsic ionizing radiation in today’s terrestrial electronics is an increasingly important issue.  ‘Soft errors’ due to ionizing radiation ‘single-events’ and the ‘soft error rate’ (SER) of microelectronics circuits has moved into the mainstream conversation.

But why has the radiation issue moved from the mil-aero niche market into the mainstream?  Simply, “Moore’s law scaling” of integrated circuits has methodically reduced device feature size, capacitance, stored charge, and noise margins; while extrinsic ionizing radiation continues an ageless assault of energy deposition in all matter – leading to a collision of competing influence.  However, the issue is more subtle than simple feature size scaling.  Dr. Massengill will discuss the specific attributes of Moore’s law scaling that directly impact soft errors and integrated circuit radiation reliability.

The Institute for Space and Defense Electronics is on the leading edge of characterizing and understanding the effects of ionizing radiation in advanced integrated circuit technologies.  Research efforts at ISDE have led to the discovery of new single-event related mechanisms and radiation hardened by design methods for mitigating the effects of soft errors in analog and digital integrated circuits.  The mission of the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics is to contribute to the design and analysis of radiation-hardened electronics, the development of test methods and plans for assuring radiation hardness, and the development of solutions to system-specific problems related to radiation effects.

Dr. Massengill’s presentation at IRPS will take place on Wednesday April 18, 2012 at 8:35AM (Paper 3C.1)


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