D-Link switch and ecc-memory.
Gerry Creager N5JXS
gerry at cs.tamu.edu
Wed Jan 17 00:09:44 PST 2001
Thomas Lovie wrote:
> Regarding spurious bit-flips in memory, Greg Lindahl writes:
> > Josip neglected to mention that he is at sea level. If you are at a higher
> > altitude, you will see more errors.
> Really, why would this be the case? Surely the boiling temperature of water
> would have nothing to do with it. Would the relative amount of atmosphere
> that high energy electro-magnetic radiation has to go through be the
> dominating effect here? Is it radiation that causes these errors anyways?
When I was working with satellite design, this was, indeed, a real
problem. Most of the satellite work I've done has been in connection
with the Amateur Radio OSCAR series, but the results are very real. For
a number of years, the best IC technology for spaceborne applications
was CMOS, because of its relative indifference to high-energy particle
bombardment. Indeed, a fairly unsophistcated CPU, the RCA 1802, was the
workhorse, not only for the OSCARs but a number of commercial internal
housekeeping unit processors on much more "sophisticated" birds. In the
last 10-15 years, Harris Semiconductors, and more recently LANL, have
done some significant work in radiation-hardening NMOS and PMOS
circuitry, thus "mainstreaming" the iAPx86 architechture for space
As die sizes, and thus, trace sized, decrease, the potential for a high
energy particle to do significant single event or even permanent damage
to CPSs and memory increases. It was once suggested that instead of
reaching a relativity limit on substrate, we'd sooner reach a point
where ionizing radiation would be able to stop general development of
ICs for computer applications... simply because we had made the ICs so
small and fast.
Texas A&M University
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