Method for Improving the Radiation Tolerance of Floating Gate Memories

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The U.S. Navy seeks a partner for licensing and collaboration on a method of improving radiation tolerance of floating gate memories.

Many semiconductor electronic components are susceptible to radiation damage. Researchers have used radiation hardening to resist damage and malfunctions due to ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation can be encountered, for example, in outer space, during high-altitude flight, around nuclear reactors, around particle accelerators, during nuclear accidents, and during nuclear warfare. Radiation-hardened components are designed and manufactured to reduce the susceptibility to radiation damage. Due to the extensive development and testing required to produce a radiation-tolerant design of a semiconductor electronic component, radiation-hardened components tend to lag behind the most recent developments.
The radiation sensitivity of floating gate memory technologies is of great interest due to an ever growing need for memory storage. Similar to other electronic components, floating gate devices are affected by exposure to radiation and are susceptible to errors. When floating gate devices are exposed to radiation, a number of errors can occur. Errors, for example, can be when a floating gate device should be read as in a "0" state, but is read as in a "1" state. Other errors can occur, such as non-functioning of a transistor, errors with data communication from one component to another, etc. These errors are sometimes referred to as data corruption. Data corruption within floating gate devices affects their usefulness and severely affects whether floating gate devices can be used in certain environments. The level of radiation a floating gate devices encounters can be measured as a total ionizing dose (TID).

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) has developed and patented an improvement to radiation tolerance of solid state data systems, including floating gate devices. The patented technology includes a variety of methods of operation or uses that include floating gate systems or structures as well as communication systems or processing systems.
Utility Patent
United States
Mar 21, 2017

Utility Patent
United States
Jan 3, 2017
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