J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2012, 2(2), 168-179; doi:10.3390/jlpea2020168
Article

Heavy Ion Characterization of a Radiation Hardened Flip-Flop Optimized for Subthreshold Operation

1 University of Texas at El Paso, Electrical and Computer Engineering, El Paso, TX 79968, USA 2 SPAWAR System Center, Navy, San Diego, CA 92152, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 March 2012; in revised form: 7 May 2012 / Accepted: 8 May 2012 / Published: 24 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from SubVt 2011 Conference)
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Abstract: A novel Single Event Upset (SEU) tolerant flip-flop design is proposed, which is well suited for very-low power electronics that operate in subthreshold ( < Vt ≈ 500 mV). The proposed flip-flop along with a traditional (unprotected) flip-flop, a Sense-Amplifier-based Rad-hard Flip-Flop (RSAFF) and a Dual Interlocked storage Cell (DICE) flip-flop were all fabricated in MIT Lincoln Lab’s XLP 0.15 μm fully-depleted SOI CMOS technology—a process optimized for subthreshold operation. At the Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University, all four cells were subjected to heavy ion characterization in which the circuits were dynamically updated with alternating data and then checked for SEUs at both subthreshold (450 mV) and superthreshold (1.5 V) levels. The proposed flip-flop never failed, while the traditional and DICE designs did demonstrate faulty behavior. Simulations were conducted with the XLP process and the proposed flip-flop provided an improved energy delay product relative to the other non-faulty rad-hard flip-flop at subthreshold voltage operation. According to the XLP models operating in subthreshold at 250 mV, performance was improved by 31% and energy consumption was reduced by 27%.
Keywords: ultra-low voltage operation; subthreshold; SEU; flip-flop; rad-hard

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chavan, A.; Palakurthi, P.; MacDonald, E.; Neff, J.; Bozeman, E. Heavy Ion Characterization of a Radiation Hardened Flip-Flop Optimized for Subthreshold Operation. J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2012, 2, 168-179.

AMA Style

Chavan A, Palakurthi P, MacDonald E, Neff J, Bozeman E. Heavy Ion Characterization of a Radiation Hardened Flip-Flop Optimized for Subthreshold Operation. Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications. 2012; 2(2):168-179.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chavan, Ameet; Palakurthi, Praveen; MacDonald, Eric; Neff, Joseph; Bozeman, Eric. 2012. "Heavy Ion Characterization of a Radiation Hardened Flip-Flop Optimized for Subthreshold Operation." J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2, no. 2: 168-179.

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