Aerospace & Defence

Rad-hardened devices for medium and geosynchronous orbits

15th July 2021
Alex Lynn

Renesas Electronics has launched a new line of plastic-packaged radiation-hardened (rad-hard) devices for satellite power management systems. The four new devices include the ISL71001SLHM/SEHM point of load (POL) buck regulator, ISL71610SLHM and ISL71710SLHM digital isolators, and the ISL73033SLHM 100V GaN FET and integrated low-side driver.

Combining rad-hard assurance levels with the board area savings and cost advantages of plastic packaging, the new portfolio brings space-grade solutions to missions in medium/geosynchronous Earth orbit (MEO/GEO) with longer lifetime requirements, as well as small satellites (smallsats) and higher density electronics, while reducing size, weight, and power (SWaP) costs.

The new ICs also complement the radiation-tolerant plastic-package ICs Renesas introduced in 2017 for smallsats in Low Earth Orbit. Together, Renesas’ plastic IC lineup supports multiple orbit ranges, providing the radiation performance and optimal cost balance required for a variety of satellite subsystems and payloads.

“With every new mission, customers want more functionality, which requires larger satellite payloads and has traditionally translated into increased SWaP for the satellite systems,” said Philip Chesley, Vice President, Industrial and Communications Business Division at Renesas. “With Renesas’ new ICs, customers can enjoy the SWaP advantages of plastic packaging to save up to 50% of the board area compared to ceramic-packaged devices, while maintaining the reliability and radiation assurance required for higher orbit missions with lifespans ranging up to and beyond 15 years.”

Traditionally, radiation-hardened ICs were almost exclusively produced using hermetically sealed ceramic packages, which achieved the required reliability but had significant tradeoffs in terms of size and weight. The new Renesas rad-hard plastic ICs help customers reduce their electronics footprint and cost without compromising performance.

To ensure the plastic ICs adhere to the highest quality for operation in harsh space environments, the new devices feature QMLV-like production level testing, and all devices will undergo Radiation Lot Acceptance Testing (RLAT).

The production test flow includes 100% CSAM, X-Ray, Temperature Cycling, Static and Dynamic Burn In, and visual inspection, and aligns with the SAE AS6294/1 standard for plastic encapsulated microelectronics in space. Additional screening includes Lot Assurance Testing per assembly and wafer lot product for HAST, Life Testing, and Moisture Sensitivity.

The rad-hard ICs are characterisation tested at a total ionising dose (TID) of up to 75krad(Si) for low dose rate (LDR) and at a linear energy transfer (LET) of 60MeV•cm2/mg or LET 86MeV•cm2/mg for single event effects (SEE). The ISL71001SEHM is rated at TID up to 100krad(Si) for high dose rate (HDR).

Key features of ISL73033SLHM low-side driver and 100V GaN FET:

  • Combines world-class GaN FET driver and GaN FET in a single package to simply gate design and improve efficiency.
  • Reduces area size by 20 percent compared with an SMD 0.5 rad-hard MOSFET.
  • VDS = 100V & IDS = 30A with 7.5mΩ (typ) RDSON.
  • Ultra low total gate charge: 14nC (typ).
  • Integrated driver features 4.5V regulated gate drive voltage and 3A/2.8A sink/source capability.

Key features of ISL71610SLHM and ISL71710SLHM digital isolators:

  • Giant Magneto Resistive (GMR) isolation technology delivers better radiation tolerance compared with existing space grade optocouplers on the market.
  • 2.5kVRMS Isolation.
  • Up to 100Mbps data rates for the ISL71610SLHM and 150Mbps for the ISL71710SLHM.
  • 1.3mA quiescent current and low EMI with no carrier or clock noise.

Key features of ISL71001SLHM/SEHM buck regulator:

  • Six amp synchronous POL regulator enables high power conversion efficiency in a smaller package.
  • Highly efficient: 95% peak efficiency.
  • Fixed 1MHz switching frequency.
  • Adjustable output voltage.

Renesas offers power management products that can be used in multiple power distribution architectures. Customers can add the new rad-hard plastic ICs to their existing architecture with a new package type and production flow.

The ISL71610SLHM and ISL71710SLHM ICs can also be combined with Renesas’ rad-hard and rad-tol CAN bus transceiver and RS-422 transceiver product families for use in serial communications systems.

The ISL71610SLHM, ISL73033SLHM and ISL71001SLHM are available now. The ISL71710SLHM will be available in September 2021 and the ISL71001SEHM will be available in Q4 2021.  

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