Radiation-qualified devices enable expanded Ethernet connectivity for space applications

15-01-2020 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

To enable hardwired communication speed, support higher data rates, and facilitates interoperability between satellites and other spacecraft, Microchip Technology has released what is claimed to be the industry’s first space-qualified Ethernet transceiver – a radiation-tolerant device based on a COTS solution extensively deployed in other industries now giving reliable performance for applications extending from launch vehicles to satellite constellations and space stations.

As well as the company’s new VSC8541RT radiation-tolerant Ethernet transceiver sampling, they received final qualification for their new SAM3X8ERT radiation-tolerant microcontroller, its latest Arm Cortex-M3 core processor and embedded Ethernet controller. These are intended to support the space industry demand for radiation-tolerant devices separately or in combination.

“As the first to provide both a rad-tolerant transceiver and an enhanced rad-tolerant microcontroller for the rapidly-expanding, high-reliability Ethernet market, Microchip continues to support space industry developments and evolution with qualified and proven solutions,” said Bob Vampola, associate vice president of Microchip’s aerospace and defence group. “Microchip’s COTS-based space-grade processing provides the right performance and the right level of qualification to meet evolving requirements from Low-Earth Orbit constellations to deep space missions.”

These new devices are among the company's extensive suite of COTS-based radiation-tolerant microelectronics supporting Ethernet connectivity to be employed on satellite platforms, payloads for data and sensor bus control, space vehicle networks, remote terminal communication, and module connectivity in space stations.

These latest devices complement the company's suite of radiation-tolerant and radiation-hardened hardware processing solutions, with the SAMV71Q21RT Arm M7 MCU up 600DMIPS and ATmegaS128/64M1 8-bit MCU series, all sharing the same development tools.

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