Hardness assurance for proton direct ionization-induced SEEs using a high-energy proton beam

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The low-energy proton energy spectra of all shielded space environments have the same shape. This shape is easily reproduced in the laboratory by degrading a high-energy proton beam, producing a high-fidelity test environment. We use this test environment to dramatically simplify rate prediction for proton direct ionization effects, allowing the work to be done at high-energy proton facilities, on encapsulated parts, without knowledge of the IC design, and with little or no computer simulations required. Proton direct ionization (PDI) is predicted to significantly contribute to the total error rate under the conditions investigated. Scaling effects are discussed using data from 65-nm, 45-nm, and 32-nm SOI SRAMs. These data also show that grazing-angle protons will dominate the PDI-induced error rate due to their higher effective LET, so PDI hardness assurance methods must account for angular effects to be conservative. We show that this angular dependence can be exploited to quickly assess whether an IC is susceptible to PDI.