Quad core ARM Cortex-A72 processor qualified for space

December 17, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Quad core ARM Cortex-A72 processor qualified for space
The quad core LS1046-Space from Teledyne e2v has passed radiation testing for space applications

Teledyne e2v’s quad ARM Cortex-A72 space processor has passed stringent total ionizing dose (TID) radiation tests, achieving 100krad resilience.

The LS1046-Space has four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processing cores and was able to operate as normal after the TID tests had been undertaken. These results complement those previously obtained in terms of single event latch-up (SEL) and single event upset (SEU) when exposed to heavy-ions up to more than 60MeV.cm²/mg.

The quad core processor, based on a NXP design, runs at operating frequencies of up to 1.8GHz with built-in 64-bit DDR4 SDRAM memory controller with 8-bit error corrected code (ECC), plus a 2MByte L2 cache shared across its cores. L1 and L2 caches are both ECC-protected, so as to offer a high degree of immunity to data corruption.

The high-reliability processor is supplied in a 780-ball BGA package and comes with a wide range of interfaces embedded - including 10Gbit Ethernet, PCI-Express (PCIe) 3.0, SPI, I2C and multiple UARTs.

It conforms with NASA Level 1 requirements, and is typically integrated into space-oriented single board computers (SBCs). It is commonly used in satellite-based imaging related tasks, such as processing/conditioning and image data compression, as well ultra-low latency communications and on-board decision making using AI algorithms.

The test results gives customers the information needed to know how the processing cores incorporated into LS1046-Space device will behave within challenging space settings. Engineers will be able to make better-informed choices about device selection by referring to the detailed test data now available. The TID figures will give assurances about the longevity of these units when deployed into space, while the SEL/SEU heavy ions results provide elevated confidence in ongoing functional integrity.       

“As a company, we have been involved in space projects for over three decades, working with the leading agencies and commercial entities in this sector. Our customers are fully aware of the reputation our processor ICs have gained, as well as the performance and


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