LONDON – Tower Semiconductor Ltd., a specialty foundry that trades as TowerJazz, and Ramon Chips Ltd., a fabless company that specializes in space applications, have announced they have completed a second generation of radiation-hardened processors.
The GR712RC graphics processor, developed by Ramon Chips (Haifa, Israel) and Aeroflex Gaisler (Gothenburg, Sweden), is made by Tower (Migdal Haemek, Israel) using a 0.18-micron CMOS process technology. It is intended for use in high altitude avionic and earth orbiting space applications.
The GR712RC is a dual-core Leon-3 SPARC V8 processor. It can be clocked up to 125-MHz over the military temperature range. This provides up to 300 DMIPS and 250 MFLOPS peak performance. It integrates advanced interface protocols, including SpaceWire, CAN, SatCAN, UART, 1553B, Ethernet, SPI, I2C, GPIO, and more. It has high speed interface busses to external SDRAM/SRAM/PROM/EEROM/NOR-FLASH memories.
The processor is designed using Ramon Chips' proprietary RadSafe standard cell library which were developed for the Tower 0.18-micron CMOS achieving radiation hardness of up to 300-Krad, Tower said.
The rad-hard by design (RHBD) market for aerospace and defense, rather than by screening and enclosure, is worth between $400 million and $500 million worldwide, according to Tower, which referenced King Research as its source.
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