Microsemi expands space portfolio with RTG4 radiation-tolerant FPGAs for high-speed signal processing

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., 10 April 2015. Microsemi Corp. (Nasdaq:MSCC), a provider of semiconductor solutions, is introducing its RTG4 family of high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Microsemi expands space portfolio with RTG4 radiation-tolerant FPGAs for high-speed signal processing
Microsemi expands space portfolio with RTG4 radiation-tolerant FPGAs for high-speed signal processing

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., 10 April 2015.Microsemi Corp. (Nasdaq:MSCC), a provider of semiconductor solutions, is introducing its RTG4 family of high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). RTG4 supports space applications requiring up to 150,000 logic elements and up to 300 MHz of system performance.

Typical uses for RTG4 include remote sensing space payloads, such as radar, imaging, and spectrometry in civilian, scientific, and commercial applications. These applications span across weather forecasting and climate research, land use, astronomy and astrophysics, planetary exploration, and earth sciences. Other applications include mobile satellite services (MSS) communication satellites, as well as high-altitude aviation, medical electronics, and civilian nuclear power plant control -- applications which have historically used expensive radiation-hardened ASICs and which force development programs to incur substantial cost and schedule risk. RTG4 allows programs to access the ease-of-use and flexibility of FPGAs without sacrificing reliability or performance.

The RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, requiring no configuration scrubbing, unlike static random-access memory (SRAM) FPGA technology, officials say.

“We expect that the next 10 years will see an increase of about 25 percent in the number of new spacecraft of 50Kg mass or larger,” says Marco Cáceres, senior analyst and director of space studies for the Virginia-based Teal Group consulting firm. “These new spacecraft will have more sophisticated payload electronics than their predecessors, doing more on-board data processing to maximize data acquisition while dealing with limited downlink bandwidth.”

“Space Micro is pleased to be working with Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs on our next-generation software-defined radio and also image processing computer, which we are designing for several NASA and international scientific space missions,” explains David Strobel, CEO of Space Micro Inc. of San Diego, California. “We believe the high-performance and rich feature set of the RTG4 FPGAs, together with our proprietary advanced processing algorithms, will make for a winning combination, creating great value for our space and missile customers.”

Ken O’Neill, director of marketing, space and aviation at Microsemi, calls the new product introduction an affirmation of the company’s “strong commitment to the space industry” as a supplier of FPGAs for applications requiring mitigation of radiation effects.

“RTG4 FPGAs combine a wealth of features with the highest quality and reliability to meet the increasing demands of modern satellite payloads,” Strobel adds.

Product features include:

Up to 150,000 logic elements; each includes a four-input combinatorial look-up table (LUT4) and a flip-flop with built-in single event upset (SEU) and single event transient (SET) mitigation

High system performance, up to 300 MHz

24 serial transceivers, with operation from 1 Gb/sec to 3.125 Gb/sec

16 SEU- and SET-protected SpaceWire clock and data recovery circuits

462 SEU- and SET-protected multiply-accumulate mathblocks

More than 5 Mbits of on-board SEU-protected SRAM

Single event latch-up (SEL) and configuration memory upset immunity

Total ionizing dose (TID) beyond 100 Krad

Engineering silicon, Libero SoC development software, and RTG4 development kits are available now. RTG4 FPGAs and development kits have already shipped to some of the 120+ customers engaged in the RTG4 lead customer program. Flight units qualified to MIL-STD-883 Class B are expected to be available in early 2016.

RTG4 is Microsemi’s latest development in a long history of radiation-tolerant FPGAs that are found in many NASA and international space programs.

With a comprehensive portfolio of space products, Microsemi provides radiation-tolerant FPGAs, rad-hard mixed-signal ICs, rad-hard DC-to-DC converters, precision time and frequency solutions, linear and POL hybrids, custom hybrid solutions, and rad-hard discretes including the broadest portfolio of JANS Class diodes and bipolar products.

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