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SRAM based re-programmable FPGA for space applications

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7 Author(s)
J. J. Wang ; Actel Corp., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; R. B. Katz ; J. S. Sun ; B. E. Cronquist
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An SRAM (static random access memory)-based reprogrammable FPGA (field programmable gate array) is investigated for space applications. A new commercial prototype, named the RS family, was used as an example for the investigation. The device is fabricated in a 0.25 /spl mu/m CMOS technology. Its architecture is reviewed to provide a better understanding of the impact of single event upset (SEU) on the device during operation. The SEU effect of different memories available on the device is evaluated. Heavy ion test data and SPICE simulations are used integrally to extract the threshold LET (linear energy transfer). Together with the saturation cross-section measurement from the layout, a rate prediction is done on each memory type. The SEU in the configuration SRAM is identified as the dominant failure mode and is discussed in detail. The single event transient error in combinational logic is also investigated and simulated by SPICE. SEU mitigation by hardening the memories and employing EDAC (error detection and correction) at the device level are presented. For the configuration SRAM (CSRAM) cell, the trade-off between resistor dc-coupling and redundancy hardening techniques are investigated with interesting results. Preliminary heavy ion test data show no sign of SEL (single event latch-up). With regard to ionizing radiation effects, the increase in static leakage current (static I/sub CC/) measured indicates a device tolerance of approximately 50 krad(Si).

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 6 )