30 Jan '17, 6pm

Self-Healing Transistors for Chip-Scale Starships

Photo: Yang-Kyu Choi Cosmic-Ray-Proof: A test chip includes DRAM and logic circuits made from self-healing gate-all-around transistors. Working with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), NASA is pioneering the development of tiny spacecraft, each made from a single silicon chip, that could slash interstellar exploration times. Speaking at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting i n San Francisco last December, NASA’s Dong-Il Moon detailed this new technology, which is aimed at ensuring such spacecraft survive the potentially powerful radiation they’ll encounter on their journey. Calculations suggest that if silicon chips were used to form the heart of a spacecraft powered by a tiny, featherweight solar sail and accelerated by a gigawatt-scale laser system, the craft could accelerate to one-fifth the speed of light. At such high speeds, it ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/selfheali...

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