Hwai Lin Khor, Zero Error Systems vice president of business development and strategy, joined the Singapore-based company in early 2022. Credit: Zero Error Systems

SAN FRANCISCO — Zero-Error Systems, a Singapore startup developing radiation-hardened integrated circuits, raised $7.5 million in a Series A investment round supported by Airbus Ventures.

“With this $7.5 million, we are looking at growing our business presence in the U.S. and Europe, and building on our product line,” Hwai Lin Khor, ZES vice president for business development and strategy, told SpaceNews.

ZES, a spinoff of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, was founded in 2019. The company’s radiation-hardened chips flew for the first time on three satellites launched in 2021 by Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology.

Radiation Effects

While many space companies fly automotive or consumer-grade integrated chips and rely on shielding to reduce the impact of radiation, shielding only protects chips from total ionizing dose effects, Khor said.

ZES patented technology to address another radiation-related issue, single event effects.  

“That problem can only be solved if the system itself is aware that the single event has happened and it powers off at the right time,” Khor said. “Once the radiation goes away, it turns back on again. Essentially, this is a simple concept like a circuit breaker.”

Expanding Internationally

With the new funding, ZES plans to expand in the U.S. market to encourage private space companies to adopt its technology.

“We also are looking at Europe because we do have a strong connection with some of the prime contractors in the European region,” Khor said.

ZES named only two of the investors that contributed to its Series A round: Airbus Ventures and the Dart Family Office, based in Singapore.

“Airbus Ventures has a strong network to the satellite ecosystem, including satellite manufacturers and space agencies,” Khor said. “Airbus Ventures also has strong ties with some of the space contractors who are building payload systems.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...