Gamma total ionizing dose impact on the control performance of integrated point-of-load converters
Voytek, Patrick Clay
The growing demand for commercial off the shelf (COTS) electronic components in radiation environments has driven the need for researching the total ionizing dose (TID) degradation of these components. Most relevant systems require regulated DC voltages, often supplied by DC/DC switching converters. As technology scales, desired converters are increasingly integrated onto a single die. As the power regulation circuitry of these switching converters has become more compact, the ability to perform measurements on them has become more difficult. Additionally, although the TID response of small-signal parameters for linear regulators – another type of DC/DC converter – has been examined, previous work on the response of switching converters has focused only on large-signal parametric shifts of converters built from discrete components. Small-signal parameters, such as the loop gain, provide valuable information about the stability and disturbance response of a feedback circuit, such as a DC/DC converter. This work examines the effects of TID on both large- and small-signal parameters of an integrated, COTS, buck converter, a common type of switching converter, and it addresses the challenges of performing loop gain measurements on an integrated chip. It is shown that the tested converter is surprisingly radiation tolerant to moderate dose, experiencing only minor shifts in the loop gain which correspond to minor shifts in the output voltage; however, it is prone to complete failure at a dose of tens of krads (Si). It is also shown that variations in the turn-on voltage do not follow a clear trend.
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