Actel Debuts RT ProASIC3 Radiation Tolerant, Flash FPGA for Space Flight

Continuing to deliver innovative silicon solutions that meet the needs of aerospace designers, Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) introduced the industry’s first radiation-tolerant, flash-based FPGAs for space-flight applications. The reprogrammability of the new low-power RT ProASIC(R)3 devices simplifies prototyping and eases hardware timing validation while offering critical immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets. This announcement, combined with the launch of the new RTAX-DSP solutions also announced, broadens Actel’s industry-leading space-flight offering and gives designers the reliable, flexible solutions needed to design next-generation space-flight systems.

Based on Actel’s ProASIC(R)3 architecture, the new radiation-tolerant, flash-based 600,000-gate RT3PE600L and three million-gate RT3PE3000L support power supplies ranging from 1.2 to 1.5V, which allows designers to choose the optimum balance between power consumption and performance. Because high power consumption requires larger, heavier power supply components, minimizing power consumption in space-flight systems is critical. Managing heat dissipation also requires bulky and heavy mechanical infrastructure in the spacecraft. As a result, designers are motivated to carefully monitor these factors as increased size and weight contribute to higher launch costs.

Ken O’Neill, director of high-reliability marketing for Actel, said, “For aerospace designers, reprogrammable FPGAs can simplify the prototyping and permit early hardware timing validation of their complex space systems. However, not all reprogrammable space-grade devices offer immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets, thereby increasing risk, cost, design complexity, size and weight. The availability of our reprogrammable flash-based RT ProASIC3 devices gives aerospace designers the flexibility they desire combined with freedom from the cumbersome triple-chip redundancy required by SRAM-based solutions in space.”

Actel is the leading provider of FPGAs for high-reliability space applications. Over the last decade, the company’s FPGAs have been onboard more than 100 launches and flown on over 300 satellites and spacecraft, including GPS, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Explorer Rovers 1 and 2 (Spirit and Opportunity).

Rigorous testing of the RT ProASIC3 devices toward Mil-Std 883 Class B qualification is underway, with completion expected in early 2009. The RT3PE600L will be offered in 484-pin ceramic column grid array (CCGA) and land grid array (LGA) packages, while RT3PE3000L will be offered in both 484- and 896-pin CCGA and LGA packages. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel.

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Actel is the leader in low-power and mixed-signal FPGAs and offers the most comprehensive portfolio of system and power management solutions. Power Matters.

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