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IWRMN-EDHE 2017 Invited Talk: From Impact to Upset

Physical Modeling of Irradiation Effects in nano-scaled CMOS Logic and Memory Devices

As an invited speaker at the 2017 International Workshop on Reliability of Micro- and Nano-Electronic Devices in Harsh Environment (IWRMN-EDHE 2017), GTS researcher Hui-Wen Cheng / Karner is presenting a novel approach to irradiation effects using physical modeling:

Radiation Effects Becoming Critical for Reliability

Modern electronic systems can be disrupted or damaged by high energy particles. Radiation effects have become a critical reliability issue in nanometer-scaled logic and memory devices, particularly for aviation applications or space environments, and now increasingly for safety critical ground-level applications such as transportation and medicine.

Saving Time and Costs through Simulation

In order to ensure safety and reliability of electronic systems, radiation-tolerant or even radiation-hardened devices need to be adopted, depending upon the environment and criticality of the application. In the industrial development process of such devices the radiation tolerance is studied at particle accelerator facilities or gamma-ray sources. However, this method is time consuming and very expensive, and the availability of such facilities is limited. If the degradation of device performance due to irradiation can be simulated by software, the test time and cost of investment for device development will be greatly reduced.

Highly Critical at the Nanometer Scale

Furthermore, with the advancement of semiconductor technology, the characteristic dimension of devices such as modern flash memory cells, SRAMs and logic cells have already reached the nanometer-scale. The potential radiation effects and tolerances are inherently different for devices at the nanometer-scale and devices at the micrometer-scale.

Consistent TCAD Toolchain for Irradiation Effects in SRAM and Logic Cells

We present a consistent TCAD modeling toolchain for nano-scaled semiconductor devices that incorporates the high-energy particle simulator Geant4 and a sophisticated device and mixed-mode circuit simulator. Our toolchain enables the calculation of radiation effects on SRAM and logic cells containing state-of-the-art FinFET transistors. We will further investigate degradation of nano-scaled flash memory cells.


The International Workshop on Reliability of Micro- and Nano-Electronic Devices in Harsh Environment, formerly known as "International Workshop on Reliability and Radiation Effects of Micro- and Nano-Electronic Devices (IWRRE-MNED)" takes place in Chengdu, China, at May 22–24, 2017.

For more information, please refer to the short abstract in the list of invited speakers at the IWRMN-EDHE website.