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Upset due to a single particle caused propagated transient in a bulk CMOS microprocessor

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4 Author(s)
Leavy, J.F. ; Honeywell SASSO, Clearwater, FL, USA ; Hoffmann, L.F. ; Shovan, R.W. ; Johnson, M.T.

Data pattern advances observed in preset, single event upset (SEU) hardened clocked flip-flops, during static Cf-252 exposures on a bulk CMOS microprocessor, were attributable to particle caused anomalous clock signals, or propagated transients. SPICE simulations established that particle strikes in the output nodes of a clock control logic flip-flop could produce transients of sufficient amplitude and duration to be accepted as legitimate pulses by clock buffers fed by the flip-flop's output nodes. The buffers would then output false clock pulses, thereby advancing the state of the present flip-flops. Masking the clock logic on one of the test chips made the flip-flop data advance cease, confirming the clock logic as the source of the SEU. By introducing N2 gas, at reduced pressures, into the SEU test chamber to attenuate Cf-252 particle LETs, a 24-26 MeV-cm2/mg LET threshold was deduced. Subsequent cyclotron tests established an LET threshold of 30 MeV-cm2/mg (283 MeV Cu at 0°) for the generation of false clocks

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 6 )