Integrated development kit speeds design of FPGA-based satellite systems

8th March 2023
Harry Fowle

Developers using FPGAs to meet satellite system payload and throughput requirements can speed designs by prototyping with space-qualified devices rather than commercial off-the-shelf silicon.

Microchip has announced it has combined its flight-ready RT PolarFire FPGA with the development kit and interfaces for evaluating design concepts based on actual in-flight electrical and mechanical characteristics.

“Our new integrated development platform for space applications includes features and interfaces that are ideal for prototyping,” said Shakeel Peera, Vice President of Marketing for Microchip’s FPGA Business Unit. “Using the same package and silicon that final, in-orbit or deep-space units will have, designers can evaluate high-speed transceivers and test all of their control, DSP, communications and image-processing algorithms.”

The RT PolarFire development kit supports various daughter boards and includes two fully populated high-pin count (HPC) FPGA mezzanine card connectors, DDR3 DIMM and RT Gigabit Ethernet connection, SPI flash memory, and SubMiniature Version A (SMA) connectors. Also included are radiation data and the Libero software tool suite for programming the RT PolarFire FPGA.

Microchip’s RT PolarFire FPGA increases mission-critical computing and connectivity throughput compared to SRAM FPGAs while consuming up to 50% less power and offering greater immunity to radiation-induced configuration Single Event Upsets (SEUs). It can be used to solve such difficult spaceflight challenges as reducing satellite signal processing congestion. Microchip has completed MIL-STD-883 Class B qualification for the RT PolarFire FPGA and is in the process of completing Class Q and Class V qualifications.

Microchip offers multiple kit options based on four versions of its RTPF500T RT PolarFire FPGA spanning different package pin counts and speed grades.

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