SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Actel Corp. here said it is introducing the industry's first field-programmable gate array series with radiation hardened latches for space applications. The new antifuse FPGAs eliminates the need for triple module redundancy (TMR), which is used in programmable logic devices that do not have radiation hardened latches, said the company.
The use of TMR reduces the available density of FPGAs by two thirds because multiple cells are used for redundancy to protect against radiation-induced errors. The hardened latches allow designers to use the entire density of a logic array in space systems, said Actel.
The new RTSX-S family will have densities of 32,000 to 72,000 gates, and the FPGAs will support system performance in excess of 250 MHz, said the Sunnyvale chip supplier. The FPGAs are aimed at a range of applications in radiation-intensive environments, such as space probes and satellites.
"Actel's RTSX-S represents the first of a new breed of FPGAs that was developed especially for aerospace applications," said Dennis Kish, corporate vice president of marketing at Actel.
The company said it modified and optimized its antifuse FPGA architecture for aerospace environments following a series of meetings with customers, including NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The RTSX-S series support 2.5-, 3.3- and 5-volt input signals, with configurable I/O support for 3.3 and 5-volt PCI, LVTTTL and TTL levels in any combination. The family also supports the 33-MHz, 32-bit PCI bus, Actel said.
Samples of the first RTSX-S device are now available. Fully-qualified MIL-STD 833 Class B products are slated to become available in June 2001.