NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 20-1- S4.04-5367
 Extreme Environments Technology
 Radiation-Hardened Wide-Temperature Analog/Mixed-SignalLibrary in a 22nm FDSOI CMOS Process
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alphacore, Inc.
304 South Rockford Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 494-5618

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Marek Turowski
398 South Mill Avenue, Suite 304 Tempe, AZ 85281 - 2480
(480) 494-5618

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Andrew Levy
398 South Mill Avenue, Suite 304 Tempe, AZ 85281 - 2480
(503) 320-5466
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 3
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Wide temperature and radiation hardened CMOS based monolithic chips are sought by NASA for both onboard scientific instruments (such as radiometers and spectrometers) and for high performance computing (HPC). Analog blocks have long been a critical need for NASA’s missions, such as Moon missions and Europa. Alphacore, Inc. will design and characterize wide-temperature (-200 °C to +200 °C) rad-hard (TID calibrated, SEL immune, SET tolerant) CMOS analog library in the GlobalFoundries (GF) 22nm FDSOI CMOS process, which will help realize next generation extreme environment operable ASICs for future NASA’s missions. 


Alphacore’s analog library includes key analog blocks that most scientific instruments and sensors would need for all future missions. These blocks include 1) programmable resolution and sampling rate Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) 2) Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) 3) Low-Dropout (LDO) regulator and 4) Comparator.  These blocks will be designed in 22nm FDSOI process that will have TID calibration with SEL immunity and SET tolerance and suitable for applications of wide temperatures like atmospheric and surface explorations of Titan (-180° C), Europa (-220° C), Ganymede (-200°C), Mars (-120°C to +20°C), the Moon (-180°C), asteroids, comets and other small bodies.  


What Alphacore is proposing is a unique solution to critical need that has not previously been addressed. Alphacore has been closely collaborating with multiple teams that researched state-of-the-art circuits including readout systems, sensors and other mixed signal circuits for analog data capture, signal processing, command and control. Since Alphacore has been actively involved in radiometer system designing community for over three years, we have a deep understanding of the scientific payloads and rad-hard, cold temperature mixed signal circuits community’s needs and of related design challenges. 


Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Alphacore’s proposed analog library includes blocks designed in 22nm FDSOI process, suitable to function under high-radiation and wide temperatures of planets, asteroids and comets in deep space. Future NASA missions that could benefit from components designed using Alphacore’s rad-hard library include Europa Clipper, Europa Lander, and Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy (VERITAS), and the Titan Saturn System Mission, along with the Moon-to-Mars program and the Origins Space Telescope. 

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

By supporting the development of advanced radiation-hardened components for space, Alphacore’s innovation can help enhance current technological capabilities and also achieve new and innovative scientific measurements for space discoveries and exploration; scientists will be able to gain a better knowledge of the universe and physics. 


Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:02:08