Microchip’s COTS-to-radiation–tolerant and radiation-hardened Arm Core MCUs for Space Applications

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Microchip Technology Inc. launched the space industry’s first Arm®-based microcontrollers (MCUs) that combine the low-cost and large ecosystem benefits of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technology with space-qualified versions that have scalable levels of radiation performance. The SAM71 series have two versions SAMV71Q21RT and SAMRH71 where the SAMV71Q21RT is radiation-tolerant and SAMRH71 is radiation-hardened MCU with Arm Cortex-M7 core System on Chip (SoC) enabling more integration, cost optimization and scalable level of performance in deep space applications.

The SAMV71Q21RT and SAMRH71 allow software developers to begin implementation with the SAMV71 COTS device before moving to a space-grade component, significantly reducing development time and cost. The devices come with the support of SAMV71’s full software development tool-chain since both share the same ecosystem including software libraries, Board Support Package(BSP) and Operating System(OS) which allow software developers to begin implementation with device before the actual space grade component.

Once preliminary developments are complete on the COTS device, all software development can be easily swapped out to a radiation-tolerant or radiation hardened version in a high-reliability plastic package or space-grade ceramic package. The SAMV71Q21RT radiation-tolerant MCU reuses the full COTS mask set and offers pinout compatibility, making the transition from COTS to qualified space parts immediate.
The radiation performance of SAMV71Q21RT is ideal for New Space Applications such as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations and robotics, whereas SAMRH71 is ideal for applications such as gyroscopes and start tracker equipment. Both devices are tolerant to Single Event Latchup (SEL) up to 62 MeV.cm2/mg.

SAMV71Q21RT rad-tolerant ensures an accumulated TID of 30Krad (Si) with latch up immunity and is non-destructive against heavy ions. The SAMRH71 radiation-hardened MCU is designed specifically for deep space applications with the following targeted radiation performances:

  • Accumulated TID of more than 100 Krad (Si)
  • No Single Event Upset (SEU) Linear Energy Transfer (LET) up to 20 MeV.cm²/mg, without system mitigation
  • Designed for No Single-Event Functional Interrupts (SEFI), which secures all memories’ integrity

Based on the Arm Cortex-M7 core, the SAMV71Q21RT and SAMRH71 feature high-performance and low-power operation to provide long operating life for aerospace applications. To protect against the effects of radiation and manage system mitigation, the architecture of the devices includes fault management and data integrity features such as Error-correcting Code (ECC) memory, Integrity Check Monitor (ICM) and Memory Protection Unit (MPU). The SAMV71Q21RT and SAMRH71 also feature CAN FD and Ethernet AVB/TSN capabilities to follow the evolution of space systems’ connectivity requirements. To further support deep space applications, the SAMRH71 has dedicated SpaceWire and MIL-STD-1553 interfaces for control and high-speed data management up to 200Mbit/s.

Development Tools

Developers can use existing ATSAMV71-XULT evaluation board and for developing, debugging and software libraries. The devices are supported by Atmel Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing, debugging and software libraries. Both devices will also be supported in MPLAB® Harmony version 3.0 by mid-2019.

Pricing and Availability

The SAMRH71 in CQFP256 ceramic package is sampling today, and the SAMV71Q21RT is available today in volume production quantities in four derivatives:

  1. SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-E in ceramic prototype QFP144 package
  2. SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-MQ in ceramic space-grade QFP144 package, QMLQ equivalent
  3. SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-SV in ceramic space-grade QFP144 package, QMLV equivalent
  4. SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-MQ in plastic QFP144 package, AQEC high reliability qualified

For additional information and to purchase products mentioned here, contact a Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor.


Application image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/46749696124

SAMV71Q21RT chip shot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/46749696434/in/photostream/

SAMRH71 chip shot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/46749696894

Diagram: https://www.flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/46565369375

About Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading semiconductor supplier of smart, connected and secure embedded control solutions. The company’s solutions serve more than 125,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications and computing markets. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. Find more information, visit the Microchip website at  www.microchip.com .


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