FPGAs in Space: Microsemi’s Line of Devices Qualified for Critical Space Missions

28 August 2018

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology Inc., has announced that its RTG4 high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have achieved Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) Class V qualification by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

This designation means that the FPGAs are qualified for space components and Microsemi said this opens the door for these FPGAs to be used on critical space missions. The RTG4 offers more than 150,000 logic elements and the company claims it provides more signal processing bandwidth than has been previously available in radiation-tolerant non-volatile FPGAs. This enables designers of satellite on-board data processing systems to prototype and accelerate design cycle times.

The QML Class V qualification is an endorsement by the DLA, NASA and U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Command on the quality and reliability of RTG4 FPGAs. The validation is important for satellites being built to perform a wide variety of missions such as imaging, communications, navigation, science and monitoring of weather, climate and natural resources.

In addition to satellites, the FPGAs can also be used for space launch vehicles, planetary orbiters and landers as well as deep space probes.

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