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Radiation hardened CMOS technology by design

Imec.IC-link supports radiation-hardened design platforms using layout and circuit design techniques applied to commercial foundry technology. Our platforms are called DARE: Design Against Radiation Effects.
DARE platforms provide cost-effective, complementary, flexible alternatives to the limited number of low-volume foundries manufacturing ASICs in intrinsically radiation-hard technology.

Application areas

  • Space
  • Avionics
  • High energy physics
  • Medical


We support DARE platforms for commercial technologies in different nodes from several foundries. The DARE platform with the highest level of support currently is based on 0.18 um UMC technology and is compatible with the Logic, Mixed-Mode RF and the CIS (imager) technology flavors.

Building blocks

Our DARE platforms typically hold these building blocks with which our customers can build their own radiation hardened ASIC.

  • Digital core standard cells
  • Integrated clock gating cells
  • I/O cells (including 5 Volt tolerant inputs, pull-up/down, etc.) with 4KV HBM ESD hardness and dual bond capability. Pad sizes can be customer-defined.
  • Low-voltage differential signaling
  • (LVDS) I/O cells
  • Phase-locked loops (PLL)
  • Single and Dual-port Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Band gap voltage references
  • Analog to Digital converters (ADCs)
  • Digital to Analog Converters (DACs)
  • Low Drop-Out (LDO) regulators

Flight Model evaluation and qualification

Our DARE platform also comprises all the services to take a designed ASIC through the manufacturing, test, evaluation and qualification steps necessary to obtain Flight Models.

Over the years imec.IC-link has built up a lot of experience in the field of space evaluation (ESCC2269000) and qualification (ESCC9000). The hardware required to screen the Flight Modules, such as test load boards, packages & sockets are developed and customized for each customer project.