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The susceptibility of modern integrated-circuit devices to single-event upsets (SEUs) depends on both the alpha-particle emission rate and the energy of the alpha-particles emitted. In addition, the terrestrial neutron energy and flux, which produce secondary charged fragments in the device and circuit at the location of operation, contribute to the SEU rate. In this paper, we discuss methods that are used to measure alpha-particle emissivity from semiconductor and packaging materials, as well as methods that we used and our results for life testing and accelerated SEU testing of modern devices.
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Date of Publication: May 2008