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Satnews Daily
November 8th, 2018

Debuting from SatixFy are New ASICs for ESA Technology

SatixFy UK has hosted a reception to celebrate the completion of the UK Space Agency backed Prime and Beat activities implemented under the Core Competitiveness element of ESA’s program of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). SatixFy submitted its proposal in April 2016 and started its operation in August 2016 with 27 new employees on board from its first day.

SatixFy has also announced the availability of functional samples of the firm's Prime-digital-beam-former and Beat-Ku-band RFIC (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit) ASICs.

SatixFy's Prime ASIC Evaluation Board.

In addition to the ASICs, SatixFy now also has available their Prime and Beat Evaluation Boards (EVBs) and a Micro Antenna Test Range (AMTR), used to demonstrate system capabilities and design products based on those chips. Together, these new chips can create new generation of flat, electronically steered, antennas, with multiple beams and no moving parts, at new sizes and affordable prices.

SatixFy will be launching a series of products based on Prime and Beat chips starting in Q1 of 2019: antenna for short messaging mobility applications that can handle IP and has the smallest form factor in the market; in-flight connectivity and COTM (Communications-On-The-Move) terminals capable of multi-beam and LEO satellites applications.

Prime is the first commercial digital beam former ASIC implementing true time delay for satellite communications. It intelligently combines the radiation pattern from 32 elements simultaneously, entirely in the digital domain and could be cascaded to any size of antenna. Prime beam former is at the heart of electronically steered antennas and can point, track and manage multiple beams at multiple polarizations simultaneously.

The SatixFy Beat RFIC Evaluation Board.

Beat is a Ku-band RFIC supporting 4 antenna elements. Inside the Beat SatixFy implements 4 independents transmit and receive channels at any polarization. The chip realizes 8 PAs (Power Amplifiers) and 8 LNAs (Low Noise Amplifiers), thus making the implementation of Electronically Steered Antenna straight-forward, low power and low cost. It interfaces to the Prime on one side and directly to the antenna radiating elements on the other side.

The design ingenuity lies in the fact that the number of chips can be increased in line with the number of antenna elements, making the architecture fully modular (the same ‘building block’ can be used for multiple applications) and scalable. This innovation not only has immediate benefits for the business, but has wide-reaching implications in its everyday application; facilitating the development of products and services which were not feasible until today.

Executive Comments

Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency, said that in a short space of time, SatixFy has become an important part of the UK space sector, creating high quality jobs in Farnborough and Manchester and developing world leading space technology. The company is an excellent example of how investment support of innovative space companies can become really successful in the UK, while driving export opportunities. The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy sets out a clear vision for the UK to become the world’s most innovative nation and the agency is working with industry to capture 10 percent of the global space market by 2030.

Domenico Mignolo, Head of Ground Segment Technologies & Product section at European Space Agency (ESA), said that the company is pleased that SatixFy achieved this important milestone and is moving fast to fulfill their ambitions. The activity demonstrates the added value of ARTES CC in supporting Industry to develop innovative and competitive products.

Fabrizio de Paolis, Ground Segment Engineer, European Space Agency, noted that SatixFy has been able to rapidly solve an issue that has remained one of the great challenges facing the satellite industry. There is now a concrete opportunity for the satellite industry to enjoy high-volume production and, consequently, low costs per unit for a variety of applications.

Yoel Gat, CEO of SatixFy group, said that it is remarkable what the company has been able to achieve in just over two years. The ex-Qualcomm group the company hired, with additional key employees headed by Moche Cohen, did an astonishing job. Having two new chips and EVBs ready in two years is a world class achievement. For the first time in the satellite industry, SatixFy can offer complete low cost integrated terminals and can truly address mass markets like connected cars and IoT. The company's ASICs work in tandem to provide functionality such as lower power and higher performance.