Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yong C. Kim, PhD


The high cost of failure for microelectronic devices operating in the space environment has led to a need for an accurate characterization of a device's reliability prior to being deployed. In addition, significant cost savings can be achieved by determining this reliability prior to fabrication. With the increased performance needs required for many missions, designers are seeking to utilize devices that have smaller and smaller feature sizes. Specifically, feature sizes as small as 130, 90, and 65 nm. A characterization of the space environment is constructed specifically to address the extreme conditions that can affect the performance and functionality of small feature-sized microelectronic devices. The characterization is centered on temperature, non-ideal supply voltage, and radiation effects. A simulation technique is developed to determine the reliability of a microelectronic device prior to fabrication and deployment into the space environment. The technique is based on identifying the key elements of a circuit, simulating these key elements under each characterized condition individually, and then a comprehensive simulation of the elements under all combinations of the characterized conditions in each significant element operating state. Reliability calculations are performed based on simulation results and identified critical performance criteria. A demonstration of the technique is accomplished showing the poor reliability of non-radiation hardened small feature-sized commercial-off-the-shelf FPGAs in four common orbits. The results are then compared to an established, radiation hardened FPGA.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number