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Petersen has introduced a one parameter characterization of a device by the Figure Of Merit (FOM). It was claimed that this parameter was sufficient to estimate the SEU rate in almost all orbits. The present paper presents an analytic study of the FOM concept and compares the FOM model with other empirical models. It is found that indeed the FOM parameter gives, in most cases, a good agreement with the rates found using the full SEU cross section plots of the devices. The agreement is poorer in cases where a high portion of the proton flux comes from low energy protons and for very SEU-hard devices. This is demonstrated for certain devices (FPGAs) where the FOM predicted by proton may be smaller by an order of magnitude than the FOM from heavy ions.