Radiation-hardened plastic portfolio for satellites in medium and geosynchronous orbits

19 July 2021

Renesas Electronics Corporation has launched a new line of plastic-packaged radiation-hardened (rad-hard) devices for satellite power management systems.

The four new devices include the ISL71001SLHM/SEHM point of load (POL) buck regulator, ISL71610SLHM and ISL71710SLHM digital isolators, and the ISL73033SLHM 100 V gallium nitride field-effect transistor and integrated low-side driver. Combining rad-hard assurance levels with the board area savings and cost Source: Renesas Electronics CorporationSource: Renesas Electronics Corporationadvantages of plastic packaging, the new portfolio brings space-grade solutions to missions in medium/geosynchronous Earth orbit (MEO/GEO) with longer lifetime requirements, as well as small satellites (smallsats) and higher density electronics, while reducing size, weight and power (SWaP) costs.

The new ICs also complement the radiation-tolerant plastic-package ICs Renesas introduced in 2017 for smallsats in low Earth orbit. Together, Renesas’ plastic IC lineup supports multiple orbit ranges, providing the radiation performance and optimal cost balance required for a variety of satellite subsystems and payloads.

Traditionally, radiation-hardened ICs were almost exclusively produced using hermetically sealed ceramic packages, which achieved the required reliability but had significant tradeoffs in terms of size and weight. The new Renesas rad-hard plastic ICs help customers reduce their electronics footprint and cost without compromising performance.

To ensure the plastic ICs adhere to the highest quality for operation in harsh space environments, the new devices feature Qualified Manufacturers List V-like production level testing, and all devices will undergo Radiation Lot Acceptance Testing.

The production test flow includes 100% scanning acoustic microscopy, X-ray, temperature cycling, static and dynamic burn in, and visual inspection, and aligns with the SAE AS6294/1 standard for plastic encapsulated microelectronics in space. Additional screening includes lot assurance testing per assembly and wafer lot product for highly accelerated stress testing, life testing and moisture sensitivity.

The rad-hard ICs are characterization tested at a total ionizing dose (TID) of up to 75 krad(Si) for low dose rate and at a linear energy transfer (LET) of 60 MeV•cm2/mg or LET 86 MeV•cm2/mg for single event effects. The ISL71001SEHM is rated at TID up to 100 krad(Si) for high dose rate.

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