Oct 16

Rad Hard Revisited

Back in March, I described the work of an Argentinean group pursuing ReRAM technology for Rad Hard applications. While the premise seemed reasonable, I was a somewhat unconvinced due to the lack of any data. Today, that has changed as Adesto Technologies have announced Rad Hard measurements performed in collaboration with Nordion’s Gamma Centre of Excellence . ‘The results demonstrated CBRAM’s tolerance for gamma testing with device function and data storage surviving gamma radiation exposure. The testing … exposed standard packaged CBRAM memory to doses up to 50kGy..’ Gamma rays are high energy (>100keV) photons and a Gy (Gray), which has units of (J/kg), is the amount of radiation required to deposit 1 joule of energy in 1 kilogram of any kind of matter. 5kGy is far, far more than a human can withstand as, according to Wikipedia, a dose higher than 5Gy brings an increasing chance of death above 50%! Fortunately the earth’s atmosphere absorbs most gamma rays, and the average annual exposure in the US is <5mGy.

According to Ishai Naveh, Vice President of Marketing at Adesto, “The unique mechanism of data storage employed in CBRAM technology protects the data from the effects experienced by traditional non-volatile memories when exposed to irradiation…. Medical applications and other uses that require sterile memory components and ultra-low power operation are natural matches for CBRAM technology.” Resistance to gamma rays is vital for space based applications but also, said Emily Craven, Manager of Sterilization Science at Nordion, “Gamma irradiation is a proven technique for the sterilization of single use medical devices and other consumer products that require strict microbial decontamination”

Christie Marrian, Moderator ReRAM-Forum.com

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