PhD Thesis

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« Failure modes induced by natural radiation environment on DRAM memories: study, test methodology and mitigation technique ».

Author: A. Bougerol
Advisor: R. Leveugle
President of jury: P. Fouillat
thesis reviewer(s): P. Girard , J.-M. Portal,
These de Doctorat Université de Grenoble
Speciality: Electronique, électrotechnique, automatique
Defense: May 16 2011
ISBN: 978-2-84813-167-2


The increasing performances required for aircraft and space systems involve the use of recent complex devices, for which reliability, including cosmic radiation sensitivities, must be evaluated. DRAM memories are widely used, but their variety of failure modes increase, so traditional accelerator tests are not anymore sufficient to characterize them completely. Pulsed laser beams can trigger the same kind of radiation effects, so this tool we used in complement of particle accelerators to study both SEUs (Single Event Upset) in memory blocks and SEFIs (Single Event Functional Interrupt) in peripheral logic. Those studies allowed to explain the influence of test patterns on measured sensitivities, to discover the origin of the most important SEFIs as well as to validate techniques to quantify their sensitive surfaces. A test methodology intended for an industrial use was established, based on pulsed laser beam in complement of particle accelerators in order to optimize test costs and efficiency. Moreover, a new fault tolerant technique is proposed, which use the DRAM cell property to be immune against radiations for one of their charge state.

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