IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits

Cosmic ray soft error rates of 16-Mb DRAM memory chips

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Manufactured 16-Mb DRAM memory chips use three different cell technologies for bit storage: stacked capacitors, trenches with internal charge, and trenches with external charge. We have measured the soft fail probability of 26 different 16-Mb chips produced by nine vendors to evaluate whether the different cell technologies have an impact on the chip soft error rate. This testing involved irradiation with neutrons, protons, and pions, the principle hadrons of terrestrial cosmic rays. The results show clear differences in soft-fail sensitivity, which appears to be related to the cell structure.