EnSilica to develop satellite terminal chip

EnSilica to develop satellite terminal chip

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

EnSilica in the UK is designing a chip for the next generation of mass market satellite broadband terminals.

The contract has been awarded through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Core Competitiveness programme (ARTES CC) with the support of the UK Space Agency.

The chip will enable a new generation of lower-cost, low-power satellite broadband user terminals, which track the relative movement of low-earth orbit satellites and allow users to access high bandwidth connectivity when out of reach of terrestrial networks.

The chip is RF agnostic and so can support the Ka or Ku frequencies used by LEO constellations such as OneWeb and the broadband network proposed by the European Commission. It could also support 5G satellite (NTN Release 17) networks which are currently focussed on L and S band. EnSilica has already designed chips for ESA and for a 5G satellite network being developed by AST SpaceMobile.

“We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnerships with both UKSA and ESA to further develop innovative semiconductor solutions for the next generation of satellite broadband user terminals,” said Paul Morris, VP of the RF and Communications business unit at EnSilica.

Uses for the chip include satellite communication-on-the-move (SOTM) for automotive, maritime, and aerospace connectivity as well as extending broadband access to users without internet access.

“ESA is pleased to continue our collaboration with EnSilica through the ARTES Core Competitiveness programme and to support this important technology development, which will facilitate the provision of high capacity connectivity across a wide range of use cases,” said Dietmar Schmitt, Head of Technologies & Products Division at ESA;

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