Based on the successful results of the Phase I project, Ozark IC will develop a prototype multi-chip package for high-temperature, high-density electronic systems. Ozark IC will create a 500⁰C RISC-V multi-chip system in package as a vehicle to illustrate the design procedures, the multi-chip package and the high-temperature components that go into creating a high-temperature electronic system. The integrated circuit technology that will be used to create the RISC-V microprocessor is the NASA Glenn silicon carbide (SiC) JFET-R integrated circuit process.
The general approach that will be used by Ozark IC is to first update all JFET-R device models from the most recent fabrication run at NASA Glenn. Ozark IC will then perform a complete characterization of the devices over a very wide temperature range. Ozark IC’s proprietary design tools will be updated to allow for the design of each of the components as well as the final assembly of the components into the complete 500⁰C RISC-V microprocessor inside the multi-chip package. The interactions between the components themselves and between the components and the package are considered within the proprietary design tools. As a result, this provides the ability to include many chips inside the package. This, in turn, allows for complex circuits, like the RISC-V microprocessor, to be developed for these high temperatures. The high temperature multi-chip package and Ozark IC’s design tools significantly extend the complexity of electronic systems that can function at high temperatures.
The components of the microprocessor system will be fabricated at NASA Glenn and Ozark IC will perform the functional testing of the components, the package and the complete 500⁰C RISC-V microprocessor. At which point Ozark IC will develop the multi-layer substrate system that will allow heterogeneous chip integration. The modular substrate and component packages also provide for agile repair of the packaged system, should that be required.
Complex electronic systems that can operate at high temperatures are necessary for space exploration, especially on the Venus surface (~470⁰C). A 500⁰C RISC-V microprocessor is a fundamental computing building block for almost all space exploration functions (such as actuation, environment sensing, robotic motion etc.) on the Venus surface. High temperature environments that can use this computing building block are also found in rockets.