NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spacecraft Technology for Micro/Nanosats
PROPOSAL TITLE:Low-Power, Rad-hard Reconfigurable, Bi-directional Flexfet? Level Shifter ReBiLS for Multiple Generation Technology Integration for Space Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
American Semiconductor, Inc.
3100 S. Vista Ave., Suite 230
Boise ,ID 83705 - 0230
(208) 336 - 2773

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kelly J DeGregorio
3100 S. Vista Ave., Suite 230
Boise, ID  83705 -0230
(208) 336 - 2773

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The many different generations of integrated circuit (IC) technologies required for new space exploration systems demand designs operate at multiple and often incompatible voltages. Extended utilization of current and development of new space exploration systems require multiple voltage levels be successfully integrated to interface technologies. NASA's micro-satellites and space exploration missions, like the Space Technology 5 (ST5) Project, are current examples of systems that employ a variety of voltage levels. Spacecraft have limited supply voltages and power at their disposal and this encourages the use of a higher percentage of low voltage microelectronics. [4] To build complete systems there continues to be a common problem of mixing old and new equipment operating at different voltages. [3] ASI's FlexfetTM CMOS rad-hard reconfigurable bi-directional level shifters (ReBiLS) will allow NASA improved capability to design, develop and implement multi-level voltage systems. The ASI ReBiLS Phase II project will generate prototypes for stand-alone and embedded bidirectional level shifters. A stand-alone ReBiLS device will allow designers to provide efficient bi-directional communication between existing or COTS components operating at different voltages. An embedded ReBiLS cell will be demonstrated in a CULPRiT ULP circuit to demonstrate the on-chip integration of low-voltage, low-power core logic with high-voltage I/O.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Rad-hard reconfigurable bi-directional level shifter (ReBiLS) development will provide needed component integration improvement. Dr. Ashok Sharma, NASA, determined there are no off-the-shelf components available to meet NASA requirements for low voltage level shifting. The current need is handled by designing new ICs specific for each application. Desirable current and next generation standard IC's employ low voltage CMOS and often require an independent Level Shifter IC be designed specific to their utilization. This Phase II contract will generate prototypes of stand-alone and embedded rad-hard ReBiLS highly versatile level shifters. These will provide NASA with space environment capable level shifters to integrate IC's from a variety of different generations employing dissimilar operating voltages. Stand-alone applications include utilization of a ReBiLS Level Shifter IC standard product to integrate current NASA and COTS IC's. Embedded applications will utilize ReBiLS as a standard core cell available to NASA and designers for integration in new advanced IC's as part of the FlexfetTM foundry CMOS fabrication service. Discussions with Ashok Sharma, Pen-Shu Yeh, and Jody Gambles determined a great opportunity for immediate implementation of a current CAMBR generated NASA design with ReBiLS in FlexfetTM CMOS as a solution for the CULPRiT Reed-Soloman Encoder. A prototype of this IC as well as the stand-alone level shifter is included in Phase II.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ReBiLS utilizing ASI FlexfetTM CMOS provides significant performance improvements and broader multifunctional use. Multiple marketing channels are open for non-NASA commercialization of this technology.
ASI is a pure-play foundry currently supporting multiple customer requirements for advanced SOI CMOS wafer fabrication. ReBiLS provides a desirable core-cell for inclusion in the FlexfetTM CMOS cell library. This cell can be marketed for foundry customer use in new designs to meet a wide variety of system on chip requirements for high-altitude, space and commercial applications.
The stand-alone ReBiLS IC components are valuable products. ASI is a foundry services company, but can commercialize this high-performance IC level shifter design by licensing the product to fabless or IDM component suppliers. Licensing to major ASI customer can integrate the product into an established supply channel for military/aerospace and commercial applications. The licensee will provide foundry loading for ASI and can utilize the standard IC for a variety of military/aerospace and commercial level shifting requirements demanding low power and high performance.
The ReBiLS core-cell is an independent design solution with IP value. Licensing IP cell designs to ASI customers independent of wafer fabrication services can provide a revenue stream in addition to ASI foundry services.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52