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Adapting an embedded FPGA for Aerospace Applications


Jan. 30, 2018, Jan. 30, 2018 – The IC industry is commonly divided into different market segments – consumer, mobile, industrial, commercial, medical, automotive, and aerospace. A key differentiation among these segments is the characterization and reliability qualification strategy for the fabrication process and design circuitry. For each segment, specific voltage and temperature environment ranges are input to electrical characterization and analysis flows to confirm functional operation. Reliability analysis expands upon these circuit characterization parameters to evaluate various failure mechanisms, which can lead to either "hard error" lifetime fails or "soft error" transient fails. The primary lifetime failure mechanisms are related to device and interconnect parameter drift due to "aging", associated with: the number of power-on hours; the on/off (thermal) cycles; interconnect current density; and, circuit switching activity. The primary source of soft errors is due to exposure to external radiation.

I was curious to learn more about the aerospace segment – but first, I needed to study up on radiation-hardened ("rad hard") soft error concerns and circuit design.

Rad Hard Design

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