Space Applications

Innovative Semiconductor Technology for Space Applications

• Radiation-tolerant processor, memory and data conversion solutions
• Broadening the scope of applicable processor options, thanks to unmatched screening expertise
• Enabling direct digitization of signals at microwave frequencies

Main Application Criteria:

Space represents the most uncompromising of applications environments, and consequently there are major engineering challenges associated with it. The space-grade digital and mixed signal devices developed by Teledyne e2v offer an optimal balance of performance, reliability and cost effectiveness.


Space satellite
Robustness & SWaP Considerations

Hardware being deployed into space, such as satellites, will need to be able to cope with the rigors of launch. The component parts specified must therefore exhibit high degrees of physical robustness - so they are not damaged when subjected to intense shocks or vibrational activity.

Likewise, there are also certain to be size, weight and power (SWaP) limitations needing to be taken into account. Semiconductor solutions that are compact, lightweight and energy efficient should therefore be sourced. Resilience to extreme temperatures is another important attribute. In the vacuum of space, heat dissipation relies on radiant rather than conductive mechanisms. As a result, it is essential that all devices specified can cope with this situation accordingly.

Radiation Testing

In space deployments, measures need to be taken to mitigate the impact of cosmic radiation. Firstly, engineers must consider single event issues. In some cases (like latch-ups, transients, functional errors, etc.), these can be resolved through a system reboot, while in others they may unfortunately have non-recoverable outcomes (such as hardware burnout). Secondly, there is the total ionizing dosage (TID) issue to be aware of. This will have a detrimental effect on the long-term performance of electronic circuitry, with a shortening the operational lifespan resulting. Use of radiation-tolerant or radiation-hardened technology will therefore be required.

By leveraging the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components available from key manufacturing partners, then applying stringent regimes to these items in order to qualify them for space deployment, Teledyne e2v has become a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor technology in this sector.

Rather than looking at the small number of device options available that are designed specifically for space usage, customers have access to a greater array of possible devices, which have been driven by larger volume applications. Teledyne e2v’s screened space-grade processors feature the latest highly sophisticated Arm-based processor cores and are capable of delivering elevated performance benchmarks. Complementing the processor portfolio, our data converters are pivotal in direct digital sampling at microwave frequencies. This eliminates the inconvenience of including frequency down conversion subsystems, thereby lowering component count and saving valuable board real estate.

By specifying Teledyne e2v processors, customers will benefit from markedly reduced price points compared to what they would if they had chosen purpose-built space solutions. Via our data converters, they will gain access to devices that offer unique RF sampling capabilities, while our memory products have exceptional endurance characteristics. The company has AS/EN 9100 certification, which assures the highest levels of quality are always maintained.

Space Flows Comparison Chart

Teledyne e2v Semiconductors has been trusted to design and deliver electronics and sub-systems for over 150 space missions by the world’s largest space agencies, including NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA and the World Space Observatory.

We have published an overview and comparison chart of globally recognized and Teledyne e2v’s own space flows, including military, industrial and commercial flows, to help our customers find the most suitable quality grade.

Click to download our Space Flows Comparison Chart.

Product Highlights:

Targeted at ultra-low latency communication, imaging processing and data manipulation tasks, the LS1046-Space has quad embedded 64-bit Arm® Cortex® A72 cores and can attain operating frequencies of up to 1.8GHz. It has passed 100krad TID testing, with 60MeV.cm²/mg radiation tolerance in relation to both single event latch-ups (SELs) and single event upsets (SEUs).

Available co-packaged in the QLS1046 module with the LS1046-Space or as a discrete component, the DDR4T04G72 is a radiation-tolerant high-density DDR memory resource. This device has a 4GByte capacity and supports 2.4Gtransfers/s. It has passed 100krad TID testing, along with having >60.88MeV.cm²/mg SEL and SEU radiation tolerance. In addition, it has NASA Level 1 and ECSS Class 1 qualification.

The dual-core QorIQ® P2020 processor from Teledyne e2v offers strong computational performance figures (supporting 1.33GHz operation) while having relatively low power consumption requirements. Intended for Earth observation and navigation activities, it incorporates 512kBytes of L2 cache with error correction code (ECC) functionality, plus USB, RapidIO, PCI-Express and 10/100/1000 Ethernet connectivity.

Running at up to 1.2GHz, the PC8548 processor has a Power Architecture® e500 core with ECC capabilities. It delivers 2200DMIPS of processor performance, while taking up only minimal board space and drawing a very modest power budget. It has 75krad TID and 86MeV.cm²/mg SEL/SEU radiation tolerance. RapidIO, PCI-Express and GPIO interfacing are all supported.

Now sampling, the EV12DD700 dual-channel digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is pivotal in the implementation software defined microwave (SDM) air interfaces. It is capable of producing signals all the way up into the Ka-band (reaching frequencies of 30GHz), allowing the many benefits of direct digitization to be realized there. In a space context, this means that systems can easily be reconfigured while in orbit.

Available in a radiation-tolerant version that is highly suited to space deployment, the EV12AQ600 analog-to-digital (ADC) can be used in Earth observation and experimentation work, as well as for communication purposes. This 12-bit resolution, quad-channel device has a 6.4GSamples/s sampling rate, which can be spread across all its full channels or focused onto just one.

The radiation-tolerant dual-channel EV12AD550 ADC supports a 1.6GSamples/s sampling rate and an input frequency range spanning 4.3GHz. Enabling direct digitization within the S-band, it has real value to space engineers looking to keep their systems as simple and economical as possible. Chained synchronization is highly advantageous for phased array implementations. Among this ADC’s main uses are satellite data links, Earth observation and in satellite traveling-wave tube amplifier (TWTA) compensation.

With thousands of units already deployed in space and avionics applications, Teledyne e2v’s EV12DS130xZP is a 12-bit 3GSamples/s DAC. With a 7GHz analog output bandwidth, it allows direct digitization in the L and S frequency bands, as well as the lower half of the C-band. The selectable 4:1 or 2:1 multiplexing capabilities of this data converter facilitate interfacing with standard low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) programmable logic devices.

Attending to the requirements of SWaP-oriented space designs, the EV10AS180A is 10-bit ADC with a 3GSamples/s sampling rate. It enables direct digitization within the L-band, and is suitable for satellite communication and Earth observation. This device can cope with operating temperatures of 170°C, allowing it to be used in low Earth orbit (LEO) situations, where more extreme temperature variations may occur. 110krad TID radiation tolerance is another attractive attribute.

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