Rad-Hard Reconfigurable Level Shifters

Period of Performance: 04/15/2004 - 04/15/2005

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NVE Corp. (formerly Nonvolatile Electron
11409 Valley View Rd.
Eden Prairie, MN 55441
Principal Investigator

Abstract

As new technologies trend towards lower supply voltages to reduce power consumption at higher speeds their interfaces become less compatible with older legacy systems. In space electronics the challenge is greater since components and systems must also be radiation hardened. Therefore, there exists a need for unique radiation hardened interface devices that transparently convert from one type of electrical interface to another. This phase I program investigates the feasibility of developing fully integrated reconfigurable radiation-hardened level shifters. The program identifies old and new I/O standards common to the space industry and from these develops a component design specification. Radiation hard fabrication processes and techniques are investigated. Finally, feasibility is demonstrated through circuit design and analysis. A novel galvanic isolation technology employing on-chip coils and magnetoresistive sensing elements is introduced. This technology is inherently rad-hard and simplifies the level shifter design. A variety of reconfigurable I/O circuits compatible with this isolator technology is evaluated. Component designs are finalized and integrated circuit layout performed per the design rules of the selected fabrication process. Fabrication will occur as part of the Phase II follow-on effort.