1063-7397/04/3302- © 2004 MAIK “Nauka /Interperiodica”
Russian Microelectronics, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2004, p. 63. Translated from Mikroelektronika, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2004, pp. 83–84.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by the Editorial Board.
Radiation-hardened microelectronics has experi-
enced a dramatic growth in the amount of radiation test-
ing required. This stems from the need for the hardness
assurance of all designs, the diversity of operating con-
ditions to be covered by tests, the need for evaluating
radiation tolerance during manufacture, and heavy
demands placed on the reliability of test results.
A traditional approach to the hardness-assurance
testing of integrated circuits (ICs) relies on particle
accelerators and nuclear reactors. Its main disadvan-
tages are the complexity, high cost, and low perfor-
mance of test facilities. Moreover, such tests do not
allow one to predict radiation response in certain radia-
tion environments and modes of operation unless spe-
cial assumptions are made.
The above problems have stimulated the develop-
ment of physical and numerical simulation in which the
radiation of interest is replaced with another one that is
equivalent in terms of major effects on the IC. The new
approach depends on the understanding of the physics
that governs the radiation response.
Novel radiation simulators use efﬁcient and inex-
pensive tools such as x-ray, laser, ﬁssion, etc., sources.
They are readily integrated with process and checkout
equipment and are fully compatible with computer-
controlled instrumentation of any complexity. The
wealth of information thus gained makes predictions
far more reliable.
At the same time, consideration should be given to
the special features of the IC under test and to its pur-
pose. The tendency toward new designs and applica-
tions necessitates an increasingly deep understanding
of radiation-induced processes in ICs.
This special issue addresses the modeling and simu-
lation of ionizing radiation effects in ICs and their ele-
ments. Emphasis is placed on radiation-response mech-
anisms, the equivalence of models to actual radiations,
and practical approaches to hardening. The papers pre-
sented reﬂect current trends in the ﬁeld.
Professor Tatevos Mamikonovich Agakhanyan, a
long-time editor of
, was the moving
spirit behind this publication. It might be seen as a tes-
timony to his accomplishments in radiation-hardened
electronics since the mid-1970s, when he started a spe-
cial research group at the Moscow Institute of Engi-
neering Physics (Technical University). This activity
continues to yield important results and to inﬂuence
related work at other institutions.
Special Issue on Radiation Hardness Assurance