Semiconductors & ICs

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on semiconductors & ICs, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Low-Noise Amplifier for 100 to 180 GHz

A three-stage monolithic millimeter-wave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier designed to exhibit low noise in operation at frequencies from about 100 to somewhat above 180 GHz has been built and tested. This is a prototype of broadband amplifiers that have potential utility in diverse applications,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
T/R Multi-Chip MMIC Modules for 150 GHz

Modules containing multiple monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) chips have been built as prototypes of transmitting/receiving (T/R) modules for millimeter-wavelength radar systems, including phased-array radar systems to be used for diverse purposes that could include guidance and avoidance of...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Some Improvements in Utilization of Flash Memory Devices

Two developments improve the utilization of flash memory devices in the face of the following limitations: (1) a flash write element (page) differs in size from a flash erase element (block), (2) a block must be erased before its is rewritten, (3) lifetime of a flash memory is typically...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
GPS/MEMS IMU/Microprocessor Board for Navigation

A miniaturized instrumentation package comprising a (1) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, (2) an inertial measurement unit (IMU) consisting largely of surface-micromachined sensors of the microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) type, and (3) a microprocessor, all residing on a single...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
InP Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor Amplifiers to 255 GHz

Two single-stage InP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) amplifiers operate at 184 and 255 GHz, using Northrop Grumman Corporation’s InP HBT MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) technology. At the time of this reporting, these are reported to be the highest HBT...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Submillimeter-Wave Amplifier Module With Integrated Waveguide Transitions

To increase the usefulness of monolithic millimeter-wave integrated circuit (MMIC) components at submillimeter-wave frequencies, a chip has been designed that incorporates two integrated, radial E-plane probes with an MMIC amplifier in between, thus creating a fully...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Economical Implementation of a Filter Engine in an FPGA

A logic design has been conceived for a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) that would implement a complex system of multiple digital state-space filters. The main innovative aspect of this design lies in providing for reuse of parts of the FPGA hardware to perform different parts of the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Logic Gates Made of N-Channel JFETs and Epitaxial Resistors

Prototype logic gates made of n-channel junction field-effect transistors (JFETs) and epitaxial resistors have been demonstrated, with a view toward eventual implementation of digital logic devices and systems in silicon carbide (SiC) integrated circuits (ICs). This development is...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Vertical Isolation for Photodiodes in CMOS Imagers

In a proposed improvement in complementary metal oxide/semi con ductor (CMOS) image detectors, two additional implants in each pixel would effect vertical isolation between the metal oxide/ semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and the photodiode of the pixel. This improvement is...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Onboard Data Processor for Change-Detection Radar Imaging

A computer system denoted a change-detection onboard processor (CDOP) is being developed as a means of processing the digitized output of a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) apparatus aboard an aircraft or spacecraft to generate images showing changes that have occurred in the terrain below...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
HEMT Amplifiers and Equipment for Their On-Wafer Testing

Power amplifiers comprising InP-based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) in coplanar-waveguide (CPW) circuits designed for operation at frequencies of hundreds of gigahertz, and a test set for on-wafer measurement of their power levels have been developed. These amplifiers utilize...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
On-Wafer Measurement of a Silicon-Based CMOS VCO at 324 GHz

The world’s first silicon- based complementary metal oxide/semi- conductor (CMOS) integrated-circuit voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) operating in a frequency range around 324 GHz has been built and tested. Concomitantly, equipment for measuring the performance of this oscillator...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Lower-Dark-Current, Higher-Blue-Response CMOS Imagers

Several improved designs for complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) integrated- circuit image detectors have been developed, primarily to reduce dark currents (leakage currents) and secondarily to increase responses to blue light and increase signal- handling capacities, relative to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Low-Temperature Supercapacitors

An effort to extend the low-temperature operational limit of supercapacitors is currently underway. At present, commercially available non-aqueous supercapacitors are rated for a minimum operating temperature of –40 °C. A capability to operate at lower temperatures would be desirable for delivering power to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MEMS/ECD Method for Making Bi₂₋ₓSbₓTe₃ Thermoelectric Devices

A method of fabricating Bi2–xSbxTe3-based thermoelectric microdevices involves a combination of (1) techniques used previously in the fabrication of integrated circuits and of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and (2) a relatively...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Compact, Single-Stage MMIC InP HEMT Amplifier

Figure 1 depicts a monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) single-stage amplifier containing an InP-based high- electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) plus coplanar-waveguide (CPW) transmission lines for impedance matching and input and output coupling, all in a highly miniaturized layout as...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Radiation-Insensitive Inverse Majority Gates

To help satisfy a need for high-density logic circuits insensitive to radiation, it has been proposed to realize inverse majority gates as microscopic vacuum electronic devices. In comparison with solid-state electronic devices ordinarily used in logic circuits, vacuum electronic devices are...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Dual-Input AND Gate From Single-Channel Thin-Film FET

A regio-regular poly (3-hexylthiophene) (RRP3HT) thin-film transistor having a split-gate architecture has been fabricated on a doped silicon/silicon nitride substrate and characterized. RRP3HT is a semiconducting polymer that has a carrier mobility and on/off ratio when used in a field...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Split-Block Waveguide Polarization Twist for 220 to 325 GHz

Figure 1. A Channel Having Asymmetric Steps is cut into the lower block.An identical channel is cut into the upper block. Then with the help ofalignment pins, the blocks are assembled so that the two channels mergeinto one channel that makes a transition between two orthogonal...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Error-Detecting Counters for FPGA and ASIC State Machines

Error-detecting counters have been proposed as parts of fault-tolerant finite state machines that could be implemented in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits that perform sequential logic functions. The use of error-detecting counters would...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Efficient G⁴FET-Based Logic Circuits

A total of 81 optimal logic circuits based on four-gate field-effect transistors (G4FETs) have been designed to implement all Boolean functions of up to three variables. The purpose of this development was to lend credence to the expectation that logic circuits based on G4FETs could be...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Circuit and Method for Communication Over DC Power Line

A circuit and method for transmitting and receiving on-off-keyed (OOK) signals with fractional signal-to-noise ratios uses available high-temperature silicon-on-insulator (SOI) components to move computational, sensing, and actuation abilities closer to high- temperature or high- ionizing...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Advanced Ultra-Thin Integrated Electronics on Membranes

A method of fabricating flexible assemblies comprising flexible integrated circuits bonded onto or into flexible membranes has been developed. The method provides for bonding of thinned (more specifically, thin enough to be flexible) integrated-circuit chips to the membranes and for...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MMIC Amplifiers for 90 to 130 GHz

The figure shows two monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier chips optimized to function in the frequency range of 90 to 130 GHz, covering nearly all of F-band (90 – 140 GHz). These amplifiers were designed specifically for local-oscillator units in astronomical radio telescopes such as the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Microrectenna: A Terahertz Antenna and Rectifier on a Chip

A microrectenna that would operate at a frequency of 2.5 THz has been designed and partially fabricated. The circuit is intended to be a prototype of an extremely compact device that could be used to convert radio-beamed power to DC to drive microdevices (see Figure 1).

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Cumulative Timers for Microprocessors

It has been proposed to equip future microprocessors with electronic cumulative timers, for essentially the same reasons for which land vehicles are equipped with odometers (total-distance-traveled meters) and aircraft are equipped with Hobbs meters (total-engine-operating time meters). Heretofore, there has...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
G⁴-FETs as Universal and Programmable Logic Gates

An analysis of a patented generic silicon-on-insulator (SOI) electronic device called a G4-FET has revealed that the device could be designed to function as a universal and programmable logic gate. The universality and programmability could be exploited to design logic circuits...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Improved On-Chip Measurement of Delay in an FPGA or ASIC

An improved design has been devised for on-chip-circuitry for measuring the delay through a chain of combinational logic elements in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). Heretofore, it has been the usual practice to use either of two...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Integrated Radial Probe Transition From MMIC to Waveguide

A radial probe transition between a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) and a waveguide has been designed for operation at frequency of 340 GHz and to be fabricated as part of a monolithic unit that includes the MMIC. Integrated radial probe transitions like this one are...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MMIC Amplifier Produces Gain of 10 dB at 235 GHz

The first solid-state amplifier capable of producing gain at a frequency >215 GHz has been demonstrated. This amplifier is an intermediate product of a continuing effort to develop amplifiers having the frequency and gain characteristics needed for a forthcoming generation of remote-sensing...

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