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Terrestrial cosmic rays and soft errors

Vol. 40, No. 1, 1996

Order No. G322-0201
Modern electronic circuits are highly complex systems and, as such, are susceptible to occasional errors or failures. In addition to permanent hardware failures, electronic components are subject to random transient errors which originate from various electronic noise sources. In digital electronics, errors which are not caused by permanent damage to the circuits are referred to as soft errors, soft fails, or single-event upsets. This issue of the IBM Journal of Research and Development focuses on studies of soft errors in computer chips caused by cosmic rays at terrestrial altitudes. Soft errors caused by radioactive contaminants are also considered, but emphasis is placed on the experimental, theoretical, and modeling aspects of cosmic-ray-induced soft errors in computer chips.
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Please note: All papers are available in PDF format. A feature paper and abstracts are available in HTML.
Table of contents
Papers may be viewed by clicking on the title of interest
Preface J. F. Ziegler and G. R. Srinivasan p. 2
Feature IBM experiments in soft fails in computer electronics (1978-1994) J. F. Ziegler, H. W. Curtis, F. P. Muhlfeld, C. J. Montrose, B. Chin, M. Nicewicz, C. A. Russell, W. Y. Wang, L. B. Freeman, P. Hosier, L. E. LaFave, J. L. Walsh, J. M. Orro, G. J. Unger, J. M. Ross, T. J. O'Gorman, B. Messina, T. D. Sullivan, A. J. Sykes, H. Yourke, T. A. Enger, V. Tolat, T. S. Scott, A. H. Taber, R. J. Sussman, W. A. Klein, and C. W. Wahaus p. 3
Terrestrial cosmic rays J. F. Ziegler p. 19
Field testing for cosmic ray soft errors in semiconductor memories T. J. O'Gorman, J. M. Ross, A. H. Taber, J. F. Ziegler, H. P. Muhlfeld, C. J. Montrose, H. W. Curtis, and J. L. Walsh p. 41
Accelerated testing for cosmic soft-error rate J. F. Ziegler, H. P. Muhlfeld, C. J. Montrose, H. W. Curtis, T. J. O'Gorman, and J. M. Ross p. 51
Portable Faraday cup for nonvacuum proton beams J. F. Ziegler, P. A. Saunders, and T. H. Zabel p. 73
Modeling the cosmic-ray-induced soft-error rate in integrated circuits: An overview G. R. Srinivasan p. 77
Nuclear physics of cosmic ray interaction with semiconductor materials: Particle-induced soft errors from a physicist's perspective H. H. K. Tang p. 91
Soft-error Monte Carlo modeling program, SEMM P. C. Murley and G. R. Srinivasan p. 109
Critical charge calculations for a bipolar SRAM array L. B. Freeman p. 119
Recent publications by IBM authors p. 131
Recent IBM patents p. 133