RT FPGAs pass major step for spaceflight

Microchip Technology Inc. has announced that its RT (radiation tolerant) PolarFire FPGAs have achieved the first qualification milestone for meeting spaceflight component reliability. The RT PolarFire FPGAs received MIL-STD-883 Class B qualification and are in the process of meeting the Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) Class Q and Class V standards for spaceflight component reliability.

RT FPGAs pass major step for spaceflight

(Source: Microchip Technology)

Microchip said the RT PolarFire FPGAs offer significantly lower power consumption and immunity to configuration single event upsets (SEUs) compared to SRAM-based FPGAs. In addition, without any configuration upsets in radiation, there is no need for mitigation, which reduces engineering and bill-of-materials costs, said the company.

“This MIL-STD-883 class B qualification is yet another big step toward solving some of spaceflight’s most difficult system challenges, including reducing satellite signal processing congestion with much lower power consumption and greater reliability than is possible using alternative FPGA solutions,” said Shakeel Peera, vice president of marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit, in a statement.

To achieve MIL-STD-883 Class B qualification, the RT PolarFire FPGAs passed a series of environmental tests to determine resistance to the harmful effects of natural elements, the conditions of defense and space operations, and mechanical and electrical tests. Their embedded configuration switches can withstand more than 100 krad of total ionizing dose radiation exposure, which makes them suitable for most earth-orbiting satellites and deep space missions.

The RT PolarFire FPGAs consume up to 50 percent less power than SRAM-based alternatives while enabling ON-orbit data processing systems to operate without excessive heat generation in the radiation environment of space. The devices offer a combination of Logic Elements (LEs), embedded SRAM, DSP blocks, and 12.7-Gbits/s transceiver lanes that enable higher resolution for passive and active imaging, more channels and finer channel resolution for multi-spectral and hyper-spectral imaging, and more precise scientific measurements using noisy data from remote sources, according to Microchip.

RT FPGAs pass major step for spaceflight

Click for a larger image. (Source: Microchip Technology)

The RT PolarFire FPGAs can be paired with one or more complementary Microchip solutions in spaceflight systems, including its Ethernet PHY VSC8541RT, CAN interface USB-to-UART PHYs, clocks and oscillators, and power solutions.

The Microchip RT PolarFire FPGA with MIL-STD-883 Class B screening is available now in production quantities in hermetically sealed ceramic packages with land grid and solder column termination options. Manufacturers who have already adopted these FPGAs will have their orders scheduled for shipment, said Microchip.

Designs based on these FPGAs are developed and programmed using version 2021.3 of Microchip’s Libero SoC Design Suite. Development boards and radiation data are available.

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