• Processor solutions that are optimized for the most challenging situations
• Providing access to the latest processing technology via comprehensive screening
• Assured supply continuity in line with protracted system lifecycles
The mission-critical nature of avionics systems means that no compromises can be made in terms of either component quality or operational reliability - otherwise lives could potentially be put at risk.
As with space applications, size weight and power (SWaP) constraints are going to have a significant influence upon which components are specified. Solutions that enable more simplified systems will be preferable, with fewer components thus being needed. This will put less strain on available resources, such as physical space or fuel reserves.
SWaP considerations can mean that thermal management which would normally be commonplace in ground-based equipment may not actually be applicable in avionic systems. The space needed to accommodate fans and the power to run them might not be available, so fan-less heat dissipation (which is not always as effective) may have to be employed. This will put larger thermals stresses onto constituent components.
Multi-core processors are of huge appeal from a SWaP perspective. Taking this highly integrated approach will enable significant reductions in relation to board real estate utilization and system power consumption. By sharing common cache and interfacing elements, systems are less complex, making them much better aligned with SWaP demands.
Conversely, in other circumstances having an array of discrete single-core processors, may potentially prove preferable. This will certainly be true if there are concerns about having a single power line or clock signal feeding a system’s entire processing resource. By having processors with their own accompanying peripherals, greater redundancy may be built into the system. Long-term reliability can thereby be depended upon.
However, the advances being seen in multi-core processing are making this route far more compelling for future implementations. Recent innovations have meant that any interference between cores can be mitigated. Also it should be noted that, through use of multi-core devices, it is possible for compute-intensive artificial intelligence (AI) workloads to be executed. This opens up the possibility for greater use of functionality like image recognition, for example, in the avionics sector.
Having a detailed understanding of how processors will behave when subjected to difficult conditions, such as extreme temperatures is a vital part of the specification process. Also, if the supporting thermal management systems should fail during flight, it must be verified that the processor technology will still be able to carry on operating.
Due to the prolonged development and qualification procedures associated with avionic system designs (usually taking several years), manufacturers want to be able to take advantage of design re-use as often as they can. This is why having access to processor platforms made up of various devices which are form factor and interface compatible is so important. With systems being deployed for extensive periods of time, ongoing continuity of supply must also be guaranteed and the threat of obsolescence safeguarded against.
Fully AS/EN 9100 compliant, for the last 4 decades Teledyne e2v has been supplying high-reliability processor technology to the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers. Taking the best performing commercial units from vendor partners (like NXP), the application-optimized devices we ship have all the facets necessary for implementation into modern aircraft. Comprehensive temperature screening is applied to them, to make certain they can maintain the operational parameters necessary. In addition to coping with wide temperature variations, these rugged devices exhibit resilience to continued vibrations, as well as heavy shocks and elevated levels of humidity. If required, structural modifications can be undertaken (such as attachment of lead solder balls).
Utilizing Teledyne e2v’s expertise in custom-made substrates, and drawing on NXP’s QorIQ® processor portfolio, Qormino® offers high performance plus continued operational reliability in an ultra-compact form factor. These devices each have a 64-bit Arm® Cortex® A72 quad-core resource that is capable of running at 1.4GHz. This is co-packaged with a 4GByte DDR memory. The result is a solution that saves board real estate and is simple to integrate into systems (eliminating the need to design an interface to link the processor with the memory).
Teledyne e2v’s T1040 QorIQ® quad-core processors are all based on a 64-bit e5500 architecture. Delivering 1.4GHz operation, they can be used in combined control, data path and application layer processing activities, as well as general purpose embedded computing tasks. These devices have scope for connection via a multitude of different interfaces (including SATA, PCI-Express, USB, eSPI, etc.). A broad operational temperature range, from -55°C to +125°C, is supported.
The T1042 QorIQ® is another device that is highly suited to use in aerospace applications. Thanks to heightened levels of integration, performance figures are boosted beyond what can be achieved with multiple discrete processors. Each of the cores on this quad-core device has its own separate L2 cache (with a 256kByte capacity) to prevent any operational interference issues between cores.
There is also the T1014 QorIQ®, which is a single core version of the T1024 for discrete processor implementations. Devices in this series come in a 23mm x 23mm format package, enabling full pin compatibility with a wide range of other Teledyne e2v processors (such as the T1024). As a result, engineers can employ a platform strategy on their system designs - scaling performance and power budget levels up or down as required.
With an extensive array of I/Os (including Gbit Ethernet, PCI-Express, SATA, USB 2.0, DUART and I²C) alongside 32-/64-bit DDR3L/DDR4 SDRAM memory controller capabilities, the T1040 QorIQ® is very well suited to data intensive applications. It has a 64‐bit quad-core structure, with high degrees of integration. This leads to substantial performance improvements over arrangements using multiple discrete processor units, and allows space constraints to be respected. An operational temperature range of -55°C to +125°C is covered.
The T2080 QorIQ® and T2081 QorIQ® communications processors both feature 1.8GHz dual-threaded e6500 cores. With eight virtual cores, each of these devices offers a cost-effective and power efficient data processing solution. The T2080 comes in an 896-ball BGA package (with 25mm × 25mm dimensions), while the T2081 is supplied in a smaller 780-ball BGA package (measuring 23mm x 23mm). They have 32-/64-bit DDR3 SDRAM memory controller functionality, plus Gbit Ethernet and PCI-Express connectivity.
The T1024 QorIQ® is a dual-core 64-bit e5500 device which utilizes a performance-enhanced data path acceleration architecture (DPAA). Incorporation of a QUICC Engine® display interface unit facilitates connection with the system human machine interface (HMI), while inclusion of error corrected code (ECC) functionality means that strong data integrity is always upheld.
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