Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on Personal Electronics

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Estimated failure rates from single event upsets at the transistor, integrated circuit and device level for the last three semiconductor architectures. Credit: Bharat Bhuva, Vanderbilt University

You may not realize it but alien subatomic particles raining down from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on your smartphones, computers and other personal electronic devices.

When your computer crashes and you get the dreaded blue screen or your smartphone freezes and you have to go through the time-consuming process of a reset, most likely you blame the manufacturer: Microsoft or Apple or Samsung. In many instances, however, these operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system.

“This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public,” said Bharat Bhuva, professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, in a presentation on Friday, Feb. 17 at a session titled “Cloudy with a Chance of Solar Flares: Quantifying the Risk of Space Weather” at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

TO BE CONTINUED ON

https://m.phys.org/news/2017-02-particles-outer-space-wreaking-low-grade.html

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