Microchip, ESA drive radiation-hardened Arm® MCUs/MPUs for space

April 28, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Microchip expands radiation-hardened Arm® MCUs/MPUs for space
Designers can benefit from another step in the Arm Cortex®-M7-based system-on-chip (SoC) commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) to rad-hard scalable MCUs with the addition of embedded analog capabilities.

Microchip Technology has announced the qualification of its SAMRH71 Arm-based microprocessor (MPU) and the availability of the SAMRH707 microcontroller (MCU), both implementing Arm Cortex-M7 SoC radiation-hardened technology. Both the SAMRH71 MPUs and SAMRH707 MCUs were developed with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, to further research and program initiatives.

Deep space initiatives including planetary exploration, orbiter missions and space research require innovative spacecraft system technology providing connectivity and processing. To enable system designers better integration and higher performance while reducing development costs and time to market, COTS technologies and scalable systems are increasingly used in space applications.

“Spacecraft and satellites are expanding in complexity to provide commercial and military operators with robust new communication and data capabilities, greater reliability and faster speeds, while the operators continuously seek to reduce cost, size and weight,” said Bob Vampola, associate vice president of Microchip’s aerospace and defense business unit. “In this environment, lowering system development costs while enabling greater capabilities and space system integration are ever more critical.”

“The introduction of Arm technologies for space applications opens up new perspectives by enabling the use of the same ecosystem well in place in the consumer and industrial sectors,” said David Dangla, VLSI Components Expert at CNES. “The SAMRH71 is the first Arm Cortex M7-based rad-hard microprocessor available today on the market. It offers developers the simplicity of a single-core processor and the performance of an advanced architecture without having to implement heavy mitigation techniques as is required for non-space components.”


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