2017.B.4.3. Radiation Hardened ARM Cortex-M0 Microcontroller for CubeSats / SmallSats


Ross Bannatyne (1)

  1. VORAGO Technologies, United States of America




mcu, microcontroller, rad-hard, radiation hardened, hardsil


VORAGO Technologies has developed HARDSIL® technology that hardens standard CMOS devices against latch-up and enables a high level of Total Ionizing Dose (TID) tolerance. This technology has been proven across several CMOS devices from different fabs and technology nodes.

This paper will discuss how HARDSIL® immunizes against latch-up and will detail the additional complimentary radiation mitigating features of the VA10820 microcontroller.

Because CMOS technology is used, it is possible to implement a fully radiation hardened solution at a cost level that is competitive with up-screening COTS devices. This is an important consideration for CubeSat / SmallSat programs that usually have an extremely challenging development budget.

By including a rad-hard processor as the OBC or as a watchdog / safety monitor for the rest of the system (that may include many non rad-hard devices), it is possible to reduce the risk of the electronic systems succumbing to radiation effects during a mission. This is becoming more important as CubeSats are expected to be functional for longer, operate in more challenging conditions and be equipped to be properly decommissioned.


  • Download slides in PDF format here (1MB)



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