A modern, high-speed flight-qualified satellite computer, or other microelectronics for space applications, is challenging to design and build due to three interrelated factors: power, throughput, and radiation effects on the microprocessor (CPU) due to the space environment. Independent solutions exist for all three factors, unfortunately improving one or two factor(s) has always resulted in damaging the third factor. The resulting microprocessor then falls short of the desired goals.
Commercial microprocessors have been able to achieve both low power and high throughput (1,500 to 2,000 MIPS at 5 to 10 watts), but fail to have useful radiation tolerance. Radiation hardened microprocessors have been able to achieve solid radiation performance (>100 krad, no single event latchup and single event upset better than 1 upset per 1,000 days/device), but only achieve 250 MIPS throughput performance at 5 to 10 watts. Recent characterizations of advanced commercial foundries show that total dose (TID) and single event latchup (SEL) tolerance of commercial processes have favorable performance trends, making single event upset (SEU) the primary problem preventing the design of a low power, high speed and radiation hardened computer system.
Space Micro has developed and patented an SEU mitigation technique, termed Time-Triple Modular Redundancy (TTMR™), which is able to detect and correct SEUs in microelectronic systems for space. The result is a radiation hardened computer architecture which uses the speed and capabilities of modern high-speed CPUs, while providing the SEU protection capabilities of intrinsicaly designed rad hard processors. Now, high speed, radiation hardened satellite computers are possible.
Space Micro's patented Hardened Core, or H-Core™, technology mitigates the damaging effects of single event functional interrupts (SEFI). SEFI affects space electronics when an SEU upsets the control circuits and places the device into an undefined state. H-Core™ mitigates the effects of SEFI and maintains the functionality of space microelectronics systems.
Space Micro's radiaton mitigration technologies can be used not only to produce radiation hardened single board computers, such as the Proton200k™, but also support the use of many satellite components, such as radiation hardened flash modules, divert attitude controller modules (DACS), star trackers, forward error correction chips, and microwave and RF devices.