Microchip’s integrated development kit supports satellite prototypes

An integrated development kit from Microchip has features and interfaces that use the same package and silicon that final, in-orbit or deep space products. 

Developers using FPGAs to meet satellite system payload and throughput requirements can speed designs by using space-qualified devices in the prototyping phase, rather than COTS (commercial off the shelf) silicon. Microchip Technology has combined its flight-ready RT PolarFire FPGA with the development kit and interfaces. The result can evaluate design concepts based on actual in-flight electrical and mechanical characteristics.

Shakeel Peera, vice president of marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit, said: “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 FPGA mezzanine card connectors, DDR3 DIMM and RT GbE connection, SPI flash memory and sub-miniature Version A connectors. The kits also includes 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 per cent 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 confirmed that it 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 qualification. 

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

Microchip’s RT PolarFire development kits are available now. 

Microchip Technology provides smart, connected and secure embedded control products. The company said that its development tools and product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. 

The company supplies products for more than 120,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defence, communications and computing markets. It is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, USA.


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