LONDON – A radiation hardened 512-kbit SRAM designed by fabless chip startup RedCat Devices srl (Milan, Italy) withstands a 15-Mrad total ionization dose. The chip was manufactured for RedCat by Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) in its 180-nm CMOS manufacturing process.
Applications for the component include communications and navigation systems and sterilized medical devices with high doses of gamma radiation, RedCat said.
The 512 kbit SRAM – part number RC7C512RHH – is organized as 64-k x 8 and has been designed by RedCat using its rad-hard standard cell library and IPs with the support of Tower's design center in Netanya, Israel, and fabricated in Tower's Fab 2 in Migdal Haemek, Israel.
Radiation proofing techniques were employed from the architectural level down including the use of "edge-less" transistors to avoid the damaging effects of total ionization dose. Transient propagation and functional interrupts as well as single-event latch-ups were mitigated by patented design solutions. SRAM was supplied with rad-hard pad ring.
Testing was performed at an x-ray facility in Legnaro, Italy and no errors were observed for absorbed doses of greater than 15-Mrad (Si). Such levels of immunity have only been reached using dedicated manufacturing processes, RedCat said.
"By making rad-hard technology available in TowerJazz's commercial foundry, it allows us to not only target the traditional aerospace applications, but also the growing multi-billion dollar markets of food processing, medical device sterilization, and environmental cleanup technologies," said Avi Strum, general manager of the specialty business unit at Tower, in a statement.
"We plan to expand and diversify our rad-hard product portfolio to include non-volatile memories and CMOS image sensors, and we are pleased that TowerJazz offers these specialty process technologies as well. Some of the products are already in the final stages of development," said Cristiano Calligaro, CEO of RedCat Devices, in the same statement.
RedCat was founded in 2006 and has participated in a number of collaborative R&D projects to develop memories for space applications.
In spite of the current thinking, rad-hard memories are not only for military devices or space application. Military field is not our purpose. As usually happens, space research opens the basis to new applications in terrestrial field (just think to photovoltaic!). Rad-hard technology is fundamental in medical field as diagnostic by imaging, interventional radiology, radiation therapy and most important implantable medical devices. Moreover other important fields are nuclear field and high energy physic experiments.
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