Orientation of Planar Circuits to Minimize Cosmic Ray Soft-Fails
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
When radiation, such as alpha particles, interacts with semiconductors they can produce anomalous bursts of charge. These electron-hole pairs may then migrate to circuit components where they can neutralize stored charge or be mistaken for a logic signal. This process is called a "Soft-Fail" because the process is analogous to a Hard-Fail which is a military term for the destruction of electronic devices by intense radiation (such as from a nuclear weapon). In the case of a soft fail, no damage is done to the circuit by information or logic is changed. While the overwhelming majority of incident particles at sea level are isotropic in direction, at energies of 1-20 MeV, there is a distinct anisotropy in the direction of cosmic ray particles above 20 MeV.