NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H6.02-9737
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Radiation Hardened/Tolerant and Low Temperature Electronics and Processors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Radiation-Hardened Memristor-based Memory for Extreme Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1926
(256) 726-4800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ashok Raman
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1926
(256) 726-4800

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Silvia Harvey
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1926
(256) 726-4858

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Radiation Hardened/Tolerant and Low Temperature Electronics and Processors is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA space exploration missions require radiation-hardened memory technologies that can survive and operate over a wide temperature range. Memristors (memory-resistors) are a promising technology for the next generation of non-volatile memory (NVM) applications and offer a highly-desirable combination of density, access speed, and power. Early investigations have also shown that memristors have high radiation hardness. In this SBIR, CFDRC and Arizona State University propose to develop, characterize, and demonstrate novel, memristor-based, radiation-hardened NVM for NASA space applications. In Phase I we will: 1) Fabricate state-of-the-art Chalcogenide Glass (ChG) memristors based on the CBRAM technology; 2) Examine their wide temperature performance (-230 to +130 deg.C) via thermal experiments; and 3) Add new models to CFDRC's NanoTCAD Mixed-Mode simulator for accurate physics-based simulation of memristors. The Phase I effort will evaluate suitability of ChG memristors for extreme temperature applications. In Phase II, we will extend our scope to include wide-temperature investigation of the competing transition-metal-oxide (TMO, e.g., TiO2) memristor technology. For both ChG and TMO, we will then perform irradiation testing and down-select the technology with the best extreme environment (radiation + temperature) performance. Subsequently, we will generate wide-temperature, radiation-enabled, device physics and compact models for the memristors, develop designs for memristor-based NVM, and perform mixed-mode simulations to determine their radiation and thermal response. These results, and physics-based understanding of device response, will be used to develop an NVM prototype that will be tested and demonstrated for NASA space applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Exploration flight projects, robotic precursors, and technology demonstrators that are designed to operate beyond low-earth orbit (LEO) require avionic systems, components, and controllers that are capable of enduring the extreme temperature and radiation environments of deep space, the lunar surface, and the Martian surface. This SBIR effort will provide a low-cost, radiation-hardened, non-volatile memory technology tolerant to extreme temperature ranges for all NASA space missions that require storage and processing of large amounts of data. The proposed innovation addresses the NASA technology needs outlined in OCT Technology Area TA11: Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology and Processing Roadmap, in particular, for Computing (Flight Computing, high performance space-based computing), which requires ultra-reliable, radiation-hardened platforms which have been costly and limited in performance. Other important products of immediate impact to NASA include: Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools for predicting the electrical performance of low-temperature and wide-temperature electronic components and systems; and physics-based device models valid at temperatures ranging from -230 deg C to +130 deg C to enable design and verification of robust radiation-hardened memory circuits.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This project will enable significant progress towards the use of memristor-based systems in a wide range of non-NASA aerospace and defense applications that require storage and processing of large amounts of data. The critical question about the combined radiation and temperature tolerance of different memristor technologies will be answered, paving the way for the development of memristor-based non-volatile memory, threshold logic, and reconfigurable architectures (FPGAs) for space applications, such as broadband communication, surveillance, image processing, etc. The improved, physics-based modeling and simulation tools, applicable to both chalcogenide-based and transition-metal-oxide based memristor technologies, will allow designers to perform fast, reliable, and more accurate characterization of memristor-based circuits as a function of various stress conditions (i.e., bias, thermal, and radiation). The generated compact models will also be a significant aid for circuit design/analysis. The simulation and design tools will benefit manufacturers of commercial satellite electronics and avionics, where the memristor is a strong candidate for static RAM, as it combines the advantages of the hard disk (density), RAM (access speed), and flash-based memories (low power, non-volatile).

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Data Input/Output Devices (Displays, Storage)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21