Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, and STAR-Dundee Ltd, an aerospace company focused on spacecraft onboard data-handling and processing technology, today announced their collaboration to provide SpaceWire and SpaceFibre network technology using Microsemi’s RTG4™ high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

STAR-Dundee specializes in supporting users and developers of SpaceWire and SpaceFibre, which are data-handling networks for onboard satellites and spacecraft. SpaceWire is being used on hundreds of spacecraft by agencies, research organizations and the space industry worldwide, including European Space Agency (ESA), NASA and Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA). SpaceFibre is an emerging standard that provides a high-speed serial data-link for high data-rate payloads, complimenting the speed, simplicity, flexibility and interoperability capabilities of the widely used SpaceWire.

Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs are the only devices of their kind to feature unique embedded SpaceWire clock recovery circuits. These circuits allow designers to achieve SpaceWire clock and data recovery at data rates up to 400 Mbits per second. RTG4 also offers high-speed Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) transceiver capabilities to enable SpaceFibre to operate at data transfer rates beyond 2.5 Gbits per second. STAR-Dundee has demonstrated its SpaceWire and SpaceFibre intellectual property (IP) cores using Microsemi’s RTG4 Development Kit, with SpaceWire IP running at over 200 Mbits per second, and its next-generation SpaceFibre IP running at 2.5 Gbits per second.

“The extensive logic, memory, digital signal processing blocks, and SerDes capabilities of RTG4 FPGAs, together with their radiation tolerance and SEU-immune configuration memory, make these devices perfect for spacecraft applications,” said Ken O’Neill, marketing director for space and aviation at Microsemi. “STAR-Dundee’s SpaceWire and SpaceFibre IP solutions combined with RTG4 FPGAs allow spacecraft designers to rapidly create flexible high-bandwidth networks for sophisticated on-board signal processing systems.”

With STAR-Dundee’s technology and expertise creating an easier process for space designers using RTG4, target applications for Microsemi’s FPGAs include satellites, space launch vehicles, planetary orbiters and landers, and deep space probes. SpaceWire IP is widely used for spacecraft data-handling whereas SpaceFibre is a new technology that provides higher data rates, integrated quality of service and fault detection, isolation and recovery. These advanced capabilities make SpaceFibre suitable for a wide range of spacecraft onboard applications including integrated payload data-handling, attitude and orbit control networks, and launcher applications, where deterministic data delivery is required.

“We expect that the next 10 years will see an increase of about 25 percent in the number of new spacecraft of 50Kg mass or larger,” said Marco Caceres, senior analyst and director of space studies for the Virginia-based Teal Group consulting firm. “These new spacecraft will have more sophisticated payload electronics than their predecessors, doing more onboard data processing to maximize data acquisition while dealing with limited downlink bandwidth.”

SpaceWire connects together instruments, mass-memory, processors, downlink telemetry and other onboard subsystems. Space missions relying on SpaceWire technology include Earth observation, scientific, exploration and commercial spacecraft. SpaceFibre, developed by STAR-Dundee in collaboration with the University of Dundee and ESA, is able to fulfill a wide range of spacecraft onboard communications applications because of its inbuilt quality of service (QoS) and fault detection, isolation and recovery (FDIR) capabilities. SpaceFibre is backwards compatible with existing SpaceWire equipment at the packet level.

“We are pleased to be working with Microsemi and leverage our unrivaled expertise to help the company expand the growing adoption of RTG4 FPGAs in SpaceWire and SpaceFibre applications,” said Prof. Steve Parkes, managing director of U.K.-based STAR-Dundee. “Our commitment is to ensure our customers can begin working with our technologies as quickly as possible, and utilizing Microsemi’s innovative RTG4 FPGAs can help the industry achieve this easily.”

About Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs

RTG4 FPGAs bring new capabilities to the market and combine a wealth of features with the highest quality and reliability to meet the increasing demands of modern satellite payloads. The devices feature reprogrammable flash configuration, making prototyping easier for customers. RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers complete immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, without the configuration scrubbing required with SRAM FPGA technology. RTG4 supports space applications requiring up to 150,000 logic elements and up to 300 MHz of system performance. RTG4 is Microsemi’s latest development in a long history of radiation-tolerant FPGAs that are found in many NASA and international space programs. For more information, visit http://www.microsemi.com/products/fpga-soc/radtolerant-fpgas/rtg4.

Microsemi Leading Space Innovation for More than Half a Century

With one of the industry’s most comprehensive portfolios of space products, Microsemi provides radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), rad-hard mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), radiation-hardened DC-to-DC converters, precision time and frequency solutions, linear and POL hybrids, custom hybrid solutions, and rad-hard discretes including the broadest portfolio of JANS Class diodes and bipolar products. Microsemi is committed to supporting its products throughout the lifetime of its customer programs. The company continues to innovate and expand its portfolio, most recently adding its new LX7730 radiation-tolerant telemetry controller IC providing key functions for sensor monitoring, attitude and payload control, as well as its RTG4™ high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant FPGA family. The RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers complete immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, requiring no configuration scrubbing, unlike SRAM FPGA technology. For more information about Microsemi’s space products, visit http://www.microsemi.com/applications/space.

About STAR-Dundee

STAR-Dundee is an aerospace engineering company focused on spacecraft on-board data-handling and processing technology. The company delivers a comprehensive range of test and development equipment, chip designs and IP cores to the world’s space agencies and international aerospace industry. STAR-Dundee is a world leader in SpaceWire, a computer network for use onboard spacecraft, which connects together instruments, mass-memory, processors, the downlink telemetry, and other on-board sub-systems. SpaceWire is being used or designed into more than 100 spacecraft. STAR-Dundee chip designs are being used on many of these spacecraft and our test and development equipment is being used during their design, integration and test.

STAR-Dundee in collaboration with the University of Dundee and ESA has developed a new multi-Gbit/s network technology for space applications, called SpaceFibre. SpaceFibre runs over electrical and fibre optic cable and SpaceFibre is able to fulfil a wide range of spacecraft onboard communications applications because of its inbuilt quality of service (QoS) and fault detection, isolation and recovery (FDIR) capabilities. SpaceFibre is backwards compatible with existing SpaceWire equipment at the packet level allowing simple interconnection of SpaceWire devices into a SpaceFibre network. Evaluation, test and development equipment along with IP cores for SpaceFibre interfaces, SpaceFibre routers and SpaceWire to SpaceFibre bridges are available from STAR-Dundee.

STAR-Dundee also designs high performance signal and image processing units like a feature extraction and tracking chip for the vision-based navigation of planetary landers and a 2GHz bandwidth high resolution FFT based spectrometer. Visit www.star-dundee.com for further information.

About Microsemi

Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for communications, defense & security, aerospace and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world’s standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at www.microsemi.com.

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