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Alpha Particle Error Correcting Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000048424D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-08
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Andick, ES: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Devices which utilize charge to store information can be strongly affected by the absorption of alpha particles in the active areas. The alpha particles arise from natural sources which may be impurities package materials or may even be constituents of the device itself. The alpha particles generate large quantities of electron-hole pairs which supply the charge that leads to errors. An alpha particle detector on the device can detect events which are indicative of errors.

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Alpha Particle Error Correcting Device

Devices which utilize charge to store information can be strongly affected by the absorption of alpha particles in the active areas. The alpha particles arise from natural sources which may be impurities package materials or may even be constituents of the device itself. The alpha particles generate large quantities of electron-hole pairs which supply the charge that leads to errors. An alpha particle detector on the device can detect events which are indicative of errors.

Most of the alpha particles originate outside of the chip and impact the chip on the active side. The alpha particle must pass through metallization, passivation and polysilicon layers on the way to the active area of the silicon. Some of their energy is lost during this passage, and the remaining energy impacts the stored information.

In some systems the charge-coupled storage device (CCD) is in communication with a backup medium, such-as a magnetic storage disk. The CCD acts as a more rapid access memory, negating the need to use the slower disk. Periodically the disk information is rewritten to the CCD to replenish the data. A means can be instituted to rewrite information from the disk to the CCD when an alpha particle strikes the critical area. It comprises an alpha particle detector on the CCD chip.

A metal layer is first placed over the top of the chip. An amorphous silicon is deposited by silane decomposition. Then metal to form a Shottky barrier d...