Microchip Announces Industry’s First Space-Qualified COTS-Based Radiation-Tolerant Ethernet Transceiver and Embedded Microcontroller

January 14, 2020 | 11:25
Radiation-qualified devices enable expanded Ethernet connectivity for space applications
Radiation-qualified devices enable expanded Ethernet connectivity for space applications
Ethernet is becoming more common in spacecraft to enable hardwired communication speed, support higher data rates, and facilitate interoperability between satellites and other spacecraft. As Ethernet in space applications continues to expand, Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced the industry’s first space-qualified Ethernet transceiver – a radiation-tolerant device based on a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solution widely deployed in other industries now offering reliable performance for applications ranging from launch vehicles to satellite constellations and space stations.
 
In addition to Microchip’s new VSC8541RT radiation-tolerant Ethernet transceiver sampling, the company received final qualification for the new SAM3X8ERT radiation-tolerant microcontroller, its latest Arm® Cortex®-M3 core processor and embedded Ethernet controller. These are designed to support space industry demand for radiation tolerant devices separately or in combination.
 
Both devices are COTS-based parts with enhanced characterized levels of radiation performance and high reliability quality flow, available in plastic and ceramic packages. They share the same pin-out distribution, allowing designers to begin implementation with COTS devices before moving to space-grade components. This significantly reduces development time and cost.
 
“As the first to provide both a rad-tolerant transceiver and an enhanced rad-tolerant microcontroller for the rapidly-expanding, high-reliability Ethernet market, Microchip continues to support space industry developments and evolution with qualified and proven solutions,” said Bob Vampola, associate vice president of Microchip’s aerospace and defense group. “Microchip’s COTS-based space-grade processing provides the right performance and the right level of qualification to meet evolving requirements from Low-Earth Orbit constellations to deep space missions.”
 
These latest devices are among Microchip’s broad suite of COTS-based radiation tolerant microelectronics supporting Ethernet connectivity to be used aboard satellite platforms, payloads for data and sensor bus control, remote terminal communication, space vehicle networks, and module connectivity in space stations.
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