Terrestrial Radiation Induced Soft Errors in Integrated Circuits Abstract

The impact of background radiation on microelectronics is generally unappreciated. Soft errors, or single event upsets, are random, transient, recoverable failures unrelated to any defects or device shifts. There are three main terrestrial sources of radiation that cause soft errors in integrated circuits.  The discoveries of these various mechanisms are discussed from a historical perspective, and the current physical understanding of each is presented. Next, methods used to test and model the soft error rate of circuits are explained. Finally, process, technology, and circuit mitigation techniques, and the effects of scaling, are covered.