Computing System Resistant to High Levels of Total Ionizing Dose implemented in Deep-Submicron CMOS Technology

Published : 24 April 2017

Commercial electronic devices will generally survive very short time when subjected to ionizing radiation. This is why we use “hardened” electronic systems, i.e. systems designed to withstand this kind of environment. A range of hardened components qualified for the space industry, which includes microprocessors or FPGAs, is currently available. Although interesting, these components are not adapted to the constraints of civilian nuclear environments. Indeed, they are designed to withstand a cumulative dose of 300 krad, which is far too low compared to levels that can reach 10 to 100 Mrad.

The goal of this thesis is to study and develop effective methods for improving the resistance to total dose of microcontrollers or FPGA circuits built with advanced CMOS technologies. The study will focus on commercial components and also on specifically designed circuits. Preferred strategies are based on a combination of degradation monitoring and regeneration schemes. Various regeneration principles will be investigated with the considered components. The objective is to obtain a self-annealing computing system with a high resistance to ionizing dose.

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