FPGA optimised for demanding spacecraft payload systems’ high-speed data paths

23-10-2019 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Developers of spacecraft electronics use RT FPGAs to create on-board systems that satisfy the critical performance requirements of future space missions, survive the brutal launch process, and proceed to perform reliably in the severe environment of space. Microchip has extended its RT FPGA products to take these abilities to emerging high-performance space applications with the RT PolarFire FPGA.

The FPGA builds on the success of the company's RTG4 FPGA, which has been extensively deployed in space applications that need its radiation-hardening by design against SEUs and inherent immunity to SELs and configuration upsets. For space applications that need up to five times the computing throughput, the device produces 50% more performance and triple the logic elements and SERDES bandwidth.

The device also gives six times the amount of embedded SRAM to allow more system complexity than possible previously employing FPGAs and withstands TID exposure beyond the 100kRads that is typical of most earth-orbiting satellites and numerous deep-space missions.

Supplied in a hermetically-sealed ceramic column grid array with integrated decoupling capacitors, the FPGA will be offered and qualified for space-flight deployment in 2021. Customers can begin designs now applying the commercial PolarFire MPF500T FPGA with the company's Libero software tool suite that comprises optional TMR synthesis support for implementing SEU mitigation where needed, such as in control circuits. Development boards are offered with the commercial PolarFire FPGA and will later incorporate the device in engineering model form. Available radiation data includes TID, SEL, configuration upsets, and upsets in unprotected DFF and memory.

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