Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP), via its Microsemi subsidiary, collaborated with STAR-Dundee to create an evaluation platform that implements SpaceFibre technology, which was recently recognized by the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) as a control-and-data plane option for its SpaceVPX interconnect standard.
The SpaceFibre standard is already published as a very high-speed serial link standard by the European Cooperation for Space Standardization.
The STAR-Dundee 3U SpaceVPX demonstration board speeds the development of flexible, high-speed SpaceVPX (VITA-78)-compliant data-networking systems for space applications. As the first of its kind to feature FPGAs that are immune to radiation-induced configuration changes, the development board uses the unique architecture of Microchip’s RTG4 devices to optimize performance while providing systems with a critical additional level of failure protection in space.
As the use of SpaceVPX increases for use in payload processor and system controller modules, the SpaceVPX-compliant platform using SpaceFibre technology and Microchip’s RTG4 FPGAs provides the following benefits:
- Offers much higher performance than was possible with the previous SpaceWire data transmission standard
- Supports increasing demand for data to be transmitted between boards and systems onboard modern spacecraft
- Reduces mass and in return reduces cost by operating over electrical or fiberoptic cables
- Improves system reliability by enabling virtual planes to carry data, control and management information
- Protects spaceflight systems from configuration upsets in harsh radiation environments through built-in radiation mitigation techniques
Microchip’s non-volatile RTG4 FPGAs include logic resources, digital signal processing math blocks and 24 on-chip high-speed serializer/deserializer (SERDES) lanes and can be used to implement data-handling and processing subsystems that have multi-Gbit/s SpaceFibre interfaces. Additional information on the RTG4 FPGAs is available here.