Developers of small-satellite constellations and other systems used in New Space missions must deliver both high reliability and radiation protection while meeting stringent cost and scheduling requirements. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) has now given them a faster, more economical production path with the first Radiation Tolerant (RT) FPGA that offers the low cost of a JEDEC-qualified plastic package plus the proven reliability of RTG4™ FPGA technology and decades of spaceflight heritage so they do not need to be screened to full Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) procedures.
“This is a major milestone for system designers who need large volumes of space-grade components at low unit cost, and reduced lead times so they can keep pace with shorter service launch cycles,” said Ken O’Neill, associate director, space and aviation marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “These RTG4 FPGAs have very high standards for reliability and radiation protection, while keeping the cost down using plastic packages and Sub-QML screening”.
Microchip’s RTG4 Sub-QML FPGA has been qualified to JEDEC standards in a flip-chip 1657 ball grid array plastic package, with 1.0 mm ball pitch. It is pin-compatible with the company’s QML Class V-qualified RTG4 FPGAs in ceramic packages, making it easy for developers to migrate their designs between New Space and more rigorous Class-1 missions. The RTG4 Sub-QML FPGAs in plastic packages are also available as prototypes in small quantities, allowing designers to evaluate the product and prototype their systems before committing to large volumes of flight models.
Other Microchip products available in plastic packages for spaceflight systems include its LX7730 telemetry controllers, LX7720 position sensing and motor controllers, and high-reliability plastic versions of its microcontrollers, microprocessors, Ethernet PHYs, analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), and flash and EEPROM memory.
The JEDEC-qualified RTG4 Sub-QML FPGA in the 1657 ball plastic BGA package is available in production volumes. Complete product information can be downloaded here.