Memory extends options for designing space systems

25-04-2022 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip Technology Inc. proposed the concept of starting with COTS devices and then replacing them with space-qualified, RT equivalent parts. The company has announced it has extended its family of COTS-based RT SuperFlash options for these applications and is bringing its memory technology’s unrivalled 50krad TID tolerance to a 64Mbit serial quad I/O NOR flash memory device for employment in harsh aerospace and defence system environments.

“The SST26LF064RT SuperFlash device brings the best TID performance on the market to a 64Mbit serial quad I/O memory solution that works alongside any SRAM-based FPGA in diverse space applications,” said Bob Vampola, associate vice president of Aerospace and Defence at Microchip. “It is ideal for systems used in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space constellations and other harsh radiation environments where companion flash memory is required for storing the critical software code or bitstream that drives the complete system.”

Its SuperFlash NOR flash memory products employ a proprietary split-gate cell architecture to improve performance, data retention and reliability when compared to traditional stacked gate flash. They eradicate the complexity of power management switching to accomplish their industry high TID even while the flash is still biased and operating in systems such as satellite onboard computers and different types of controllers for sensors, motors, solar panels and power distribution.

Proven in industrial applications, the RT SuperFlash technology has been provided as a parallel-interface solution with its device that is now space-qualified and available in-flight models. Designers now also have a serial quad I/O 64Mbit memory option with the product.

An application note describes how to use the serial 64-Mbit SuperFlash device with the RT flash reference evaluation board and space-qualified SRAM-based FPGAs. Like its parallel SuperFlash memory, the serial SuperFlash option can also be employed as configuration memory with an FPGA and other Microchip solutions such as the Arm Cortex-M7- based SAMRH707 radiation-hardened MCU. It can also be employed with the RT PolarFire FPGA to support in-flight system reconfiguration.

By Natasha Shek