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Dynamic Biasing for Improved On-Orbit Total-Dose Lifetimes of Commercial Electronic Devices

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posted on 2021-09-27, 19:11 authored by Maximillian HollidayMaximillian Holliday, Thomas Heuser, Zachary Manchester, Debbie Senesky
The survivability of microelectronic devices in ionizing radiation environments drives spacecraft design, capability, mission scope, and cost. This work exploits the periodic nature of many space radiation environments to extend device lifetimes without additional shielding or modifications to the semiconductor architecture. We propose a technique for improving component lifetimes through reduced total-dose accumulation by modulating device bias during periods of intense irradiation. Simulation of this ``dynamic biasing" technique applied to single-transistor devices in a typical low-Earth orbit results in an increase of component life from 114 days to 477 days (318% improvement) at the expense of 5% down time (95% duty cycle). The biasing technique is also experimentally demonstrated using gamma radiation to study three commercial devices spanning a range of integrated circuit complexity in 109 rad/min and 256 rad/min dose rate conditions. The demonstrated improvements in device lifetimes using the proposed dynamic biasing technique lays a foundation for more effective use of modern microelectronics for space applications. Analogous to the role real-time temperature monitoring plays in maximizing modern processor performance, the proposed dynamic biasing technique is a means of intelligently responding to the radiation environment and capable of becoming an integral tool in optimizing component lifetimes in space.


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Stanford University

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  • United States of America

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