"Radiation Hardened EEPROMs for Mission Critical Applications"

Michael Fitzpatrick1, Dennis Adams1, Joseph Smith1, Stephen Wrazien1, James Murray2,  Marvin White3,  Jim Sheehy4, Jeff Dame4, and Gary Grant4

1Northrop Grumman
2Sandia National Labs
3Lehigh University


For more than fourteen years, Northrop Grummanís Advanced Materials & Semiconductor Device Technology Center (AM&SDTC) in Baltimore, MD has been delivering a family of radiation hardened EEPROM devices to mission critical applications. This family of flight proven devices has been used in over 25 successful satellite and hi-rel applications. These products have been jointly developed by Northrop Grumman, Sandia National Laboratories, ATK Mission Research and Lehigh University and include 64Kb, 256Kb, and 1Mb devices (with a 16Mb device currently under development). 

This paper will describe the basic operation of the (Silicon-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon) SONOS nonvolatile memory transistor, which is the storage element for these EEPROM devices. A basic block diagram of the SONOS EEPROM will be presented along with an overview of the electrical characteristics for this family of devices. In addition, basic radiation hardness and other environmental performance specifications will be presented along with a summary of actual flight performance in a satellite test bed. 

To conclude this paper, future directions in the development of higher density EEPROM devices (up to 128Mb) as well as embedded applications will be presented.

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