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Low-Power, Subthreshold Reference Circuits for the Space Environment: Evaluated with γ-rays, X-rays, Protons and Heavy Ions

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus
2
Radiation Physics Laboratory, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15705 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
3
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy
4
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
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Department of Physics, University of Jyvaskyla, FI-40014 Jyvaskyla, Finland
6
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
7
Department of Physics, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
8
RedCat Devices, 20142 Milan, Italy
9
R&D Department, Tower Semiconductor, Migdal Haemek 2310502, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050562
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Tolerant Electronics)
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Abstract

The radiation tolerance of subthreshold reference circuits for space microelectronics is presented. The assessment is supported by measured results of total ionization dose and single event transient radiation-induced effects under γ -rays, X-rays, protons and heavy ions (silicon, krypton and xenon). A high total irradiation dose with different radiation sources was used to evaluate the proposed topologies for a wide range of applications operating in harsh environments similar to the space environment. The proposed custom designed integrated circuits (IC) circuits utilize only CMOS transistors, operating in the subthreshold regime, and poly-silicon resistors without using any external components such as compensation capacitors. The circuits are radiation hardened by design (RHBD) and they were fabricated using TowerJazz Semiconductor’s 0.18 μm standard CMOS technology. The proposed voltage references are shown to be suitable for high-precision and low-power space applications. It is demonstrated that radiation hardened microelectronics operating in subthreshold regime are promising candidates for significantly reducing the size and cost of space missions due to reduced energy requirements. View Full-Text
Keywords: analog single-event transient (ASET); bandgap voltage reference (BGR); CMOS analog integrated circuits; gamma-rays; heavy-ions; ionization; protons; radiation hardening by design (RHBD); reference circuits; single-event effects (SEE); space electronics; total ionization dose (TID); voltage reference; X-rays analog single-event transient (ASET); bandgap voltage reference (BGR); CMOS analog integrated circuits; gamma-rays; heavy-ions; ionization; protons; radiation hardening by design (RHBD); reference circuits; single-event effects (SEE); space electronics; total ionization dose (TID); voltage reference; X-rays
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Andreou, C.M.; González-Castaño, D.M.; Gerardin, S.; Bagatin, M.; Gómez Rodriguez, F.; Paccagnella, A.; Prokofiev, A.V.; Javanainen, A.; Virtanen, A.; Liberali, V.; Calligaro, C.; Nahmad, D.; Georgiou, J. Low-Power, Subthreshold Reference Circuits for the Space Environment: Evaluated with γ-rays, X-rays, Protons and Heavy Ions. Electronics 2019, 8, 562.

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