Flash-Based FPGAs are qualified for spaceflight systems.

Press Release Summary:

Featuring MIL-STD-883 Class B qualification, RT ProASIC®3 series provides designers of spaceflight systems with reprogrammability for facilitated prototyping and design validation while offering immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets. Models include 600,000-gate RT3PE600L and 3,000,000-gate RT3PE3000L, both of which incorporate reprogrammable, non-volatile flash cells and can operate at core voltage variable from 1.2-1.5 V. Multiple package options are available.

Original Press Release:

Actel's Radiation-Tolerant Flash Based FPGAs Now Qualified for Spaceflight Systems

Actel's RT ProASIC3 FPGA Family Completes MIL-STD-883 Class B Qualification

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Reaffirming its leadership in the space market, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced the first fully qualified flash based FPGAs for space flight applications. Actel's RT ProASIC®3 family successfully passed the extensive testing required for MIL-STD-883 Class B qualification. Building on its 17 year heritage and leadership of providing antifuse FPGAs for system critical applications, Actel ushers in a new paradigm in the space market with the qualification of its flash-based RT ProASIC3 devices.

The RT ProASIC3 FPGA family provides designers of spaceflight systems with reprogrammability for easy prototyping and design validation, while at the same time offering critical immunity to radiation induced configuration upsets. The new devices are based on the proven ProASIC3 flash architecture and are offered in two sizes. The 600,000 gate RT3PE600L and the three million gate RT3PE3000L are both offered in ceramic column grid array, ceramic land grid array, and ceramic quad flat-pack packages. RT ProASIC3 FPGAs can operate at a core voltage variable between 1.2 V for low power applications and 1.5 V for performance-driven designs.

The Flash Advantage
Unlike SRAM-based FPGAs and ASICs, Actel's RT ProASIC3 family uses flash cells to store configuration information, presenting unique opportunities and advantages to designers of spaceflight electronic hardware, including:
  • Reprogrammable flash cells - Allow the designer to change the design of the FPGA without removing the FPGA from the board, making prototyping easier. The flash cells also enable in-flight reprogrammability, thereby extending mission life by re-purposing the hardware to incorporate updated algorithms. In addition to the benefits of reprogrammability, FPGAs inherently have zero NRE costs and offer fast time to market compared with ASICs.
  • Non-volatile flash cells - Flash-based FPGAs are standalone devices that enable code storage on-chip, removing the need for an external configuration device. This significantly reduces board space requirements. In addition, the flash cells do not exhibit single-event upsets in the presence of heavy ion radiation, eliminating the requirement of costly mitigation schemes to protect the design from loss of configuration.

    "This milestone begins a new era for FPGAs in spaceflight applications," said Ken O'Neill director, high-reliability marketing, Actel Corporation. "The inherent benefits of flash, specifically SEU immunity and reprogrammability for radiation-hardened applications, offer a compelling solution for engineers who are taking their applications into space."

    Actel's RT ProASIC3 FPGAs are available in two densities, 600,000 and 3 million system gates, giving designers the opportunity to integrate medium or large-size designs into a single-chip solution. For further information, please contact Actel.

    About Actel
    Actel is the leader in low power FPGAs and mixed signal FPGAs, offering the most comprehensive portfolio of system and power management solutions. Power Matters. Learn more at www.actel.com.

    Actel, Actel Fusion, IGLOO, Libero, Pigeon Point, ProASIC, SmartFusion and the associated logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Actel Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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