Reliable One-pass Success Microelectronics

M. Sika and G. M. Lucas
Lucid Circuit, Inc., California, United States

Keywords: cosmic rays, hardened adaptable electronics, efficient microelectronics, rapid development, risk reduction

Our society's demand for higher performance and lower power electronics is pushing the development of new generations of smaller and more efficient semiconductor technologies. In addition to rising development and fabrication costs, these new semiconductors are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of cosmic rays emanating from the sun. These cosmic rays deposit pockets of energy in electronics, this in turn causes errors and failures in critical computing systems, such as those used in satellites, aeronautic, communication, navigation, cloud computing and banking systems. Lucid Circuit is developing the AstrumTM line of radiation-tolerant and energy-efficient runtime-adaptable processors for reliable high-performance computing and low-power applications. By leveraging patent-pending low-overhead radiation mitigation and a configurable compute fabric, the AstrumTM processors deliver the low-power performance of a custom ASIC with the flexibility of an FPGA and programming ease of a regular CPU. Developing a resilient custom ASIC chip without compromising the benefits of new semiconductor technologies is a highly specialized endeavor that presents design, costs, schedule and efficiency risks. Lucid Circuit is developing RSAP: Radiation Susceptibility Analysis & Prediction platform (patent pending) as a solution. RSAP predicts failure rates and identifies areas of an ASIC that are vulnerable to cosmic rays prior to chip fabrication.