Developers of small-satellite constellations and other systems employed in New Space missions must achieve both high reliability and radiation protection while satisfying stringent cost and scheduling demands. Microchip Technology has now provided them with a faster, more economical production path with the first RT FPGA that gives the low cost of a JEDEC-qualified plastic package and the proven reliability of RTG4 FPGA technology and decades of spaceflight heritage, so they do not necessitate being screened to full QML procedures.
“This is a major milestone for system designers who need large volumes of space-grade components at low unit cost and reduced lead times so they can keep pace with shorter service launch cycles,” said Ken O’Neill, associate director, space and aviation marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “These RTG4 FPGAs have very high standards for reliability and radiation protection while keeping the cost down using plastic packages and Sub-QML screening”.
The company's RTG4 Sub-QML FPGA has been qualified to JEDEC standards in a flip-chip 1657 BGA plastic package with a 1mm ball pitch. It is pin-compatible with the company’s QML Class V-qualified RTG4 FPGAs in ceramic packages, making it simple for developers to migrate designs between New Space and more rigorous Class-1 missions. The RTG4 Sub-QML FPGAs in plastic packages are also offered as prototypes in small quantities, enabling designers to evaluate the product and prototype their systems prior to committing to large volumes of flight models.
Other company products offered in plastic packages for spaceflight systems include its LX7720 position sensing and motor controllers, LX7730 telemetry controllers, and high-reliability plastic versions of its microcontrollers, microprocessors, Ethernet PHYs, ADCs, and flash and EEPROM memory.