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Single Event Transient Response of SiGe Voltage References and Its Impact on the Performance of Analog and Mixed-Signal Circuits

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11 Author(s)
Laleh Najafizadeh ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Stanley D. Phillips ; Kurt A. Moen ; Ryan M. Diestelhorst
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We investigate the single-event transient (SET) response of bandgap voltage references (BGRs) implemented in SiGe BiCMOS technology through heavy ion microbeam experiments. The SiGe BGR circuit is used to provide the input reference voltage to a voltage regulator. SiGe HBTs in the BGR circuit are struck with 36-MeV oxygen ions, and the subsequent transient responses are captured at the output of the regulator. Sensitive devices responsible for generating transients with large peak magnitudes (more than 5% of the dc output voltage) are identified. To determine the effectiveness of a transistor-layout-based radiation hardened by design (RHBD) technique with respect to immunity to SETs at the circuit level, the BGR circuit implemented with HBTs surrounded by an alternate reverse-biased pn junction (n-ring RHBD) is also bombarded with oxygen ions, and subsequent SETs are captured. Experimental results indicate that the number of events causing transients with peak magnitude more than 5% above the dc level have been reduced in the RHBD version; however, with the inclusion of the n-ring RHBD, new locations for the occurrence of transients (albeit with smaller peak magnitude) are created. Transients at the transistor-level are also independently captured and are presented. It is demonstrated that while the transients are short at the transistor level (ns duration), relatively long transients are obtained at the circuit level (hundreds of nanoseconds). In addition, the impact of the SET response of the BGR on the performance of an ultra-high-speed 3-bit SiGe analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is investigated through simulation. It is shown that ion-induced transients in the reference voltage could eventually lead to data corruption at the output of the ADC.

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IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 6 )