uah p 18009

Docket: UAH-P-18009

Technology

Electronics used in today’s space missions must have a very high radiation tolerance to withstand the high radiation exposure in space. These electronics are essential to performing the mission safely. Currently there are nonvolatile memories (NVM’s) available that can withstand the radiation found in space, but they are extremely expensive and have very small storage capacities.

Researchers at UAH have developed a method to radiation harden conventional NAND flash memory. NAND flash memory is very affordable, and comes with a high storage density, making it an ideal component to use in space electronics. NAND flash memory is hardened using this technology, which consists of a controlled program-erase operation and error pattern analysis. The proposed technique does not involve any hardware modification making it very less expensive for high density data storage application in space.

Currently there are very few methods to radiation harden NAND flash memory involving software and hardware redundancy to the memory, which increase its radiation hardness, but greatly lower performance. This UAH-developed technology improves NAND flash memory radiation hardness by more than 25%. This is achieved through controlled aging of the flash memory, which causes a slight physical change in the trap states of the tunnel oxides. With no redundancies added to the system, and an actual physical change, this technology is much more robust than other technologies. It allows space-ready, radiation-hardened, NAND flash memory to become cost effective and very functional.

Applications

  • Satellites
  • Spacecraft
  • Electronics with high radiation exposure

Advantages

  • Radiation hardening
  • Cost efficient
  • Greater memory storage available
  • Robust process

Status

  • State of Development: Proof of Concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for Licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent Pending