Rad-hard MCU enables FPGA reconfiguration in space

Rad-hard MCU enables FPGA reconfiguration in space

News |
By Nick Flaherty

AMD and Vorago Technologies have teamed up to support in-flight reconfiguration of the AMD Space-Grade Kintex UltraScale FPGAs with the Vorago radiation hardened microcontrollers.

A Vorago rad-hard ARM Cortex-M4 MCU such as the VA41620 allows updates to be managed in-flight via AMD’s serial reconfiguration interface, simplifying reprogramming of an FPGA over traditional methods.

The MCU firmware enables the FPGA to be reconfigured after the system is deployed, allowing new features and bug fixes to be added later, and enables a multitude of mission modes and profiles. This is increasingly important with the evolution of edge AI algorithms used on FPGA systems in space.

Skywater opens up space chip design with Vorago deal

The VA1630 rad hard MCU has 256kB program and 64kB data memory alongside an 8-channel ADC and dual channel DAC as well as Ethernet and SpaceWire interfaces and 256kB of non-volatile memory (NVM).

AMD Kintex UltraScale FPGAs focus on high performance in space, with DSP and block RAM resources, and high bandwidth transceivers combined with space-grade packaging. The reprogrammability, unconstrained by radiation effects or write cycle endurance limits, enable a new generation of reconfigurable satellite payloads to support remote sensing and communications missions.

With up to 300 krad(Si) TID and SEL >110 MeV*cm2/mg, the rad-hard MCUs provide radiation hardness to withstand the harsh conditions encountered in space for applications such as system level single event monitoring and motor control.

An application note and proof of concept are available based on an AMD XQRKU060 FPGA interfacing to a VORAGO VA41620 MCU.


If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles