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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Wide-Temperature Radiation-Hardened Interface Chipsets Utilizing Delay-Insensitive Asynchronous Logic, Phase I

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Wide-Temperature Radiation-Hardened Interface Chipsets Utilizing Delay-Insensitive Asynchronous Logic, Phase I
There is a continual drive to move electronics out of the "warm box" to their point of use on space platforms. This requires electronics that can operate reliably over a wide range of temperatures and in the presence of radiation. The range of functions needed at various points across a given platform require use of digital, analog and high-voltage circuits, partitioned either independently or in combinations on the same chips. Currently, there is no "common denominator" integrated circuit process that can effectively support all applications; extreme-environment systems must include the best-in-class technologies. Circuit design techniques which can produce hardened circuits across a number of technology nodes are essential to producing IP that can be ported and applied to the best technology for the task at hand. Delay-insensitive (DI) asynchronous digital logic, such as NULL Convention Logic (NCL) is one such technique that can be applied to produce radiation-hardened wide-temperature electronics across many process nodes. DI logic can produce circuits with wide-temperature, threshold-independent operation and has shown tremendous potential for radiation-hardness through use of its dual-rail encoding scheme. DI logic has been successfully demonstrated in digital and mixed-signal applications down to 130nm in bulk silicon and SiGe processes over a wide range of temperature. An opportunity thus exists to apply the asynchronous DI approach to other space-applicable technologies where reliable digital processing needed, including SOI for high-voltage processes for power processing and conditioning. Proposed is the design of a wide-temperature wide-voltage range RS-485 interface suitable for power and actuator control applications built using DI-NCL gates and wide-temperature design techniques in a high-power radiation-hard process. More »

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