QRT Inc. and the PIF & NIF team at TRIUMF are taking new steps to further strengthen a collaborative program of research and development at the laboratory’s neutron irradiation facilities (NIF), bolstering an existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) and bringing online new analysis technologies to improve test accuracy and efficiency.
Following the completion of QRT’s first electronic test campaign with TRIUMF’s neutron beams in 2021, QRT Inc. and TRIUMF entered into an MOU for technology development for the characterization of accelerated neutron test beams. The initial collaboration focused on the development of a single-event-effect radiation test and analysis system and its commissioning under real test beam conditions.
Figure 1: Members of the TRIUMF PIF & NIF team and the visiting QRT test team pose for a photo after the successful completion of the first joint test campaign in 2021.
Now, as part of the updated MOU, the finalized test and analysis system will be loaned to TRIUMF and deployed within NIF to help improve the test accuracy and efficiency for electronic components tested under neutron radiation. Such tests are necessary to ensure that electronic components operate reliably throughout their lifetime when deployed within naturally-occurring neutron radiation backgrounds on Earth, and in the upper atmosphere. This particularly critical for high-safety-standard operations such as automotive and airplane systems.
“One of the key factors that helped establish TRIUMF as a leading proton and neutron test facility is how well-characterized our beams are, and how we have continually improved our tools and techniques to maintain high standards of dosimetry.” says Dr. Camille Bélanger-Champagne, PIF & NIF facility coordinator and principal investigator for the TRIUMF team on this project. “Through this collaboration with QRT, we gain direct insight into the needs and priorities of reliability insurance experts, and new tools to ensure we can keep providing neutron test beams that meet the needs of the electronics industry.”
“Demand for neutron radiation tests is increasing continually as industry races to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. TRIUMF is essential in providing proton and neutron beams for the global semiconductor industries to produce highly reliable automotive and AI-enabled products.
With the updated MOU and R&D collaboration between QRT and TRIUMF, we can provide executable results to the industry on improving test accuracy and efficiency. The loaned equipment, the Advanced SEE Analysis System, can play an important role not only within NIF but to the users of the beams," says Sung Chung, CTO of QRT.
Figure 2: The single-event effect test system arrives at TRIUMF in July 2023.
Since their inception in 1995, TRIUMF's PIF & NIF facilities have become recognized as premier test sites for space-radiation effects using protons and neutrons, which are created from the proton beams. PIF & NIF teams have been providing neutron test beams for electronic components since 2002.
QRT Inc. has been a leading solution provider in reliability testing and failure analysis for microelectronics devices and systems since 1983.
With this second agreement between QRT and TRIUMF, the work undertaken within the MOU will continue through November 2025.