Soft errors

iRoC Technologies has launched SERTEST Shuttle, a turnkey test for soft errors in memory and logic ICs that measures the effects of alpha particles, thermal neutrons and atmospheric neutrons.

iRoC Technologies has launched SERTEST Shuttle, a turnkey test for soft errors in memory and logic ICs that measures the effects of alpha particles, thermal neutrons and atmospheric neutrons, replicated by a high-energy neutron beam.

The result is a Soft Error Rate (SER) qualification for ICs to assure their highest reliability, availability and security in electronic systems.

As more designs use 0.13um and 0.09 um processes, soft errors must be accounted for because they will occur randomly and are difficult to track, not easy to reproduce and almost impossible to model. Testing for both alpha particles and radiation induced neutrons enables designers to understand how soft errors affect their circuits and then incorporate a solution before the product is released for manufacturing.

Semiconductor manufacturers, system houses, fabless companies and IP providers are able to qualify their products with respect to an acceptable SER.

iRoC’s new SERTEST Shuttle price starts at $40,000 and depends on a few variables such as the chip to be tested, number of runs to perform, parameters to be tested, and the location of the test.

iRoC assumes total responsibility for the preparation and actual test, a process that currently may take as long as 12 weeks. In the coming months the process may be reduced to 6 to 8 weeks.

The next tests to be conducted for new Shuttle customers will be in late December 2002, at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) in New Mexico. The test follows the only existing JEDEC standard, which describes the necessary steps for a fully representative test sequence using alpha and neutron sources.

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