Misconceptions about space-grade integrated circuits #Space #Electronics @habr_eng

An electronics engineer working in the aerospace industry sees that space-grade chip techniques aren’t common knowledge, and people often have significantly skewed ideas about the reasons behind some devices and decisions. A recent article speaks about some misconceptions related to radiation hardened integrated circuits and the means of their protection against radiation-induced damage.

The most popular theses about radiation hardness of ICs are the following:

  1. Radiation hardened chips are not needed at all. CubeSats are just fine with chips from the nearest store, very ordinary Lenovo laptops work on the ISS without any problems, and even NASA-commissioned Orion onboard computer is based on a commercial microprocessor!
  2. Satellites don’t need computational power, but they need these magical radiation hardened chips, so most of them use very old but extremely robust designs from the eighties, like TTL quad NAND gates.
  3. A thesis that complements the previous one: it is impossible to achieve radiation hardness on modern process nodes. Ionizing particles just tear small transistors apart. So, the use of these TTL NAND gates is not just justified, it’s the only way to go.
  4. It’s necessary and sufficient to use silicon on insulator (SOI) or silicon on sapphire (SOS) technology to achieve radiation hardness.
  5. All military-grade chips are radiation hardened and all radiation hardened chips are military-grade. If you have a military-grade IC, you can safely launch it into outer space.

As one can see, these theses directly contradict each other — which makes arguing on the internet even funnier, especially taking into account that not a single one of them is true.

The article goes in-depth on the subject – you can read it here.


Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 26,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — Be outdoor ready

Electronics — When do I use X10?

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython 6.1.0.RC0, Blinka Explained, and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Our Favorite IoT Projects from 2020

Microsoft MakeCode — Space Jam, The MakeCode Show & More!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — NEW PRODUCT – Plant Care Kit for micro:bit or CLUE

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.