Comparison of performance degradation of commercially available DAC ICs in mixed-radiation environment
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The scientific and industrial requirements for high-load workstations and satellite communication demand for high efficiency, cost effective (weight and volume), high performance semiconductor devices. To address these needs NASA drives an incentive to incorporate reliable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components which will meet the mission lifetime. High energy radiation in space causes degradation in materials and electronics. In order to use COTS components, a cost-effective testing of multiple components for radiation tolerance is needed. An in-core mixed radiation facility developed at UT NETL TRIGA is used to test Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). The changes in performance parameters post-irradiation are studied in two DACs which are mutually replaceable circuits identical in performance but considerably different in size and weight. DACs are chosen for this study for their significance in high-speed performance with low cost in mixed signal processing applications. Their complex design and tedious performance testing procedure limits current literature on radiation effects in DACs.