NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X6.02-9627
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Radiation Hardened/Tolerant and Low Temperature Electronics and Processors
PROPOSAL TITLE: CMOS Compatible SOI MESFETs for Radiation Hardened DC-to-DC Converters

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SJT Micropower
16411 N. Skyridge Lane
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 - 1515
(480) 816-8077

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Lepkowski
16411 N. Skyridge Lane
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 - 1515
(480) 816-8077

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We have developed a novel metal-semiconductor field-effect-transistor (MESFET) technology suitable for extreme environment electronics. The MESFET technology is fully CMOS-compatible and can be integrated alongside conventional MOSFETs with no changes to the process flow. Unlike the MOSFETs however, the MESFETs do not require a fragile metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) interface and are extremely robust. With breakdown voltages in the range 10-50V the MESFET operating voltage greatly exceeds that of the accompanying CMOS. The combination of CMOS compatibility with high breakdown voltage allows for integrated DC-to-DC power conversion solutions that would otherwise require discrete components based on laterally diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor (LDMOS) devices. The MESFETs are intrinsically radiation tolerant up to 1 Mrad(Si) and have been demonstrated to work over the temperature range -196C to +150C. The Phase 1 R&D we are proposing will characterize the large signal switching performance of the SOI MESFETs for buck converter applications in extreme environments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Wide temperature range, radiation hard DC-to-DC buck converters that are compatible with advanced CMOS technologies will be widely applicable to NASA science and exploration missions scheduled for the next decade and beyond. The high radiation tolerance we have demonstrated is attractive for orbital earth science studies as well as lunar and interplanetary missions. Our technology may even be suitable for spacecraft that are exposed to high space radiation environments such as the Europa Jupiter System Mission that might accumulate a TID of 1-3 Mrad over a 10 year mission lifetime. Missions to the outer reaches of the solar system often make use of a radiothermal generator (RTG). The power management components of these systems are therefore exposed to on-board radiation from the RTG and require the high level of radiation tolerance we expect from the MESFET technology. The wide temperature operating range will be useful for robotic systems on the Moon or Mars. The current Martian rovers use a thermally controlled warm-electronics-box (WEB) to ensure critical electronic components are not exposed to the full thermal variation of the external environment. Our wide temperature range MESFET technology will allow more circuits to be placed outside the WEB, enabling missions to hostile and extreme environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With expected annual worldwide sales of $6.6B in 2010, switching converters represent 26% of the global semiconductor market for power conditioning analog components. Switching regulators are also one of the fastest growing segments in the power conditioning IC market with compounded annual growth rates of 17% projected for the period 2007-2012. The growth in linear regulator sales is driven largely by portable consumer electronics including cell phones, PDAs, laptop and tablet computers, and a variety of other portable devices that require high performance power management. As the supply voltage of microprocessors continues to decrease to 1.5V and below the need for low voltage DC-to-DC converters increases. Especially important are high efficiency, low voltage devices proposed here to maintain battery lifetime. SJT Micropower is partnering with Honeywell and working closely with On Semiconductor and others to develop Non-NASA revenue streams.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12