Research Activity: Novel Design and Simulation Approaches to Mitigate the Radiation-Induced Effects on Integrated Circuits

Radiation-induced effects originating from the impact of highly-energetic particles (e.g., gamma rays) on integrated circuits cause performance degradations in electronic systems. These effects can manifest themselves as an accumulating oxide trap concentration or instantaneous charge buildup, with the former being called the total ionizing dose (TID) degradation and the latter labeled as the single-event upset (SEU) or single-event transient (SET). Transistor leakage currents grow in TID degradation, resulting in larger standby power consumption. Moreover, device threshold voltages typically decrease as TID degradation becomes extensive. On the contrary, in SEU and SET, bit flips could be observed in digital circuits that could propagate across a path of logic gates. Conversely, these effects can lead to abrupt voltage changes in analog circuits, thereby generating errors. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Berke Yelten from Istanbul Technical University Electronics and Communications Engineering and his research team are working on characterizing the radiation-induced problems of integrated circuits. In a recently published work, they showed that basic amplifiers could be designed to benefit from TID degradation in such a way that the circuit response can be modified based on the received TID amount with which its extent could be monitored. Moreover, as a result of collaborative work with researchers from Boğaziçi University and Gebze Technical University, they came up with a simulator for SEE and SET effects that can reveal which nodes in a given circuit are more sensitive and potentially impactful on the block-level performance. These initial outcomes are expected to culminate in a new research project considering the near future. 

S. İlik and M. B. Yelten, "Total Ionizing Dose (TID) Impact on Basic Amplifier Stages," in IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability, DOI: 10.1109/TDMR.2022.3227766.

Ö. Y. Muhikanci, K. Ozanoglu, E. Afacan, M. B. Yelten, and G. Dündar, "A Simulation Tool for Space Applications: RadiSPICE," 2022 18th International Conference on Synthesis, Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Methods and Applications to Circuit Design (SMACD), Villasimius, Italy, 2022, pp. 1-4, DOI: 10.1109/SMACD55068.2022.9816181.