Low Power Nonvolatile Memory for Extreme Environments

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

1250 Capital of Texas Highway South Building 3, Suite 40
Austin, TX 78746
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Integrated circuits in NASA spacecraft and Robotic Exploration Technologies that enable exploration of the solar system planets, moons and small bodies must operate over large temperature extremes and mitigate radiation effects that can result in upset or destruction of devices. Development of a reliable, high-performance nonvolatile memory (NVM) is critical to successful NASA explorations and development of robotic exploration technologies designed to operate in the extreme temperature, pressure and radiation environments of planetary and lunar surfaces. PrivaTran has previously demonstrated an electronically-programmable resistor as a NVM element. Initial static data retention testing has shown tolerance to several radiation types and high thermal stress, thereby demonstrating the potential for use in radiation-hardened circuits for extreme environments. Device materials and fabrication processes are compatible with high-temperature semiconductor manufacturing platforms utilizing wide-bandgap semiconductor materials. The PrivaTran NVM device uses standard materials as the active switching medium and device electrodes can be formed either in the substrate material or within the interconnect layers of the integrated circuit (IC). As a result, NVM arrays can be integrated with wide-band-gap semiconductor materials in a three-dimensional (3D) architecture, resulting in a high-density memory with superior NVM performance and significant savings in size, weight, power and cost.