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System level latchup mitigation for single event and transient radiation effects on electronics

United States Patent

5,672,918
September 30, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A "blink" technique, analogous to a person blinking at a flash of bright light, is provided for mitigating the effects of single event current latchup and prompt pulse destructive radiation on a micro-electronic circuit. The system includes event detection circuitry, power dump logic circuitry, and energy limiting measures with autonomous recovery. The event detection circuitry includes ionizing radiation pulse detection means for detecting a pulse of ionizing radiation and for providing at an output terminal thereof a detection signal indicative of the detection of a pulse of ionizing radiation. The current sensing circuitry is coupled to the power bus for determining an occurrence of excess current through the power bus caused by ionizing radiation or by ion-induced destructive latchup of a semiconductor device. The power dump circuitry includes power dump logic circuitry having a first input terminal connected to the output terminal of the ionizing radiation pulse detection circuitry and having a second input terminal connected to the output terminal of the current sensing circuitry. The power dump logic circuitry provides an output signal to the input terminal of the circuitry for opening the power bus and the circuitry for shorting the power bus to a ground potential to remove power from the power bus. The energy limiting circuitry with autonomous recovery includes circuitry for opening the power bus and circuitry for shorting the power bus to a ground potential. The circuitry for opening the power bus and circuitry for shorting the power bus to a ground potential includes a series FET and a shunt FET. The invention provides for self-contained sensing for latchup, first removal of power to protect latched components, and autonomous recovery to enable transparent operation of other system elements.
Kimbrough; Joseph Robert (Pleasanton, CA), Colella; Nicholas John (Livermore, CA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 291,086
August 18, 1994
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.