UW—Madison and Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium WEMPEC faculty have established a comprehensive curriculum in the electrical machines and power electronics field that serves students at the university, as well as engineers already established in the industry.
History[ edit ] A single event upset in the flight computers of this Airbus A during Qantas Flight 72 on 7 October is suspected to result in an aircraft upset that nearly ended in it crashing after the computers underwent several malfunctions.
Further problems were observed in space electronics during the s, although it was difficult to separate soft-failures from other forms of interference.
Ina Hughes satellite experienced an upset where the communication with the satellite was lost for 96 seconds and then recaptured.
Smith, Al Holman, and Dr.
Inthe first evidence of soft errors from alpha particles in packaging materials was described by Timothy C.
Lanford of Yalefirst described the mechanism whereby a sea level cosmic ray could cause a single event upset in electronics. Cause[ edit ] Terrestrial SEU arise due to cosmic particles colliding with atoms in the atmosphere, creating cascades or showers of neutrons and protons, which in turn may interact with electronic circuits.
At deep sub-micron geometries, this affects semiconductor devices in the atmosphere.
In space, high energy ionizing particles exist as part of the natural background, referred to as galactic cosmic rays GCR. Solar particle events and high energy protons trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere Van Allen radiation belts exacerbate this problem.
The high energies associated with the phenomenon in the space particle environment generally render increased spacecraft shielding useless in terms of eliminating SEU and catastrophic single event phenomena e.
Secondary atmospheric neutrons generated by cosmic rays can also have sufficiently high energy for producing SEUs in electronics on aircraft flights over the poles or at high altitude.
Trace amounts of radioactive elements in chip packages also lead to SEUs. Testing for SEU sensitivity[ edit ] The sensitivity of a device to SEU can be empirically estimated by placing a test device in a particle stream at a cyclotron or other particle accelerator facility.
This particular test methodology is especially useful for predicting the SER soft error rate in known space environments, but can be problematic for estimating terrestrial SER from neutrons.
In this case, a large number of parts must be evaluated, possibly at different altitudes, to find the actual rate of upset. Another way to empirically estimate SEU tolerance is to use a chamber shielded for radiation, with a known radiation source, such as Caesium When testing microprocessors for SEU, the software used to exercise the device must also be evaluated to determine which sections of the device were activated when SEUs occurred.
However, under proper circumstances of both circuit design, process design, and particle properties a " parasitic " thyristor inherent to CMOS designs can be activated, effectively causing an apparent short-circuit from power to ground.
This condition is referred to as latchupand in absence of constructional countermeasures, often destroys the device due to thermal runaway. Most manufacturers design to prevent latch-up, and test their products to ensure that latch-up does not occur from atmospheric particle strikes.
In order to prevent latch-up in space, epitaxial substrates, silicon on insulator SOI or silicon on sapphire SOS are often used to further reduce or eliminate the susceptibility. In digital and analog circuits, a single event may cause one or more voltages pulses i.
If a SET propagates through digital circuitry and results in an incorrect value being latched in a sequential logic unit, it is then considered an SEU. In space-based microprocessors, one of the most vulnerable portions is often the 1st and 2nd-level cache memories, because these must be very small and have very high-speed, which means that they do not hold much charge.
Another point of vulnerability is the state machine in the microprocessor control, because of the risk of entering "dead" states with no exitshowever, these circuits must drive the entire processor and are not as vulnerable as one might think. Another vulnerable processor component is the RAM.
To ensure resilience to SEUs, often an error correcting memory is used, together with circuitry to periodically read leading to correction or scrub if reading does not lead to correction the memory of errors, before the errors overwhelm the error-correcting circuitry.Who we are?
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