Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) has added digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities to its radiation-tolerant FPGA technology for space-flight applications. The RTAX-DSP family uniquely combines Actel’s radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGA fabric with a high-speed multiply-accumulate (MAC) capability on a single chip. An attractive alternative to costly and complex SRAM-based, DSP-enabled FPGAs or radiation-hardened application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), the RTAX-DSP devices are protected against single-event upsets (SEUs) and offer total signal processing capability in excess of 15 billion multiplications per second.
There are two RTAX-DSP devices — the four-million gate RTAX4000D and the two-million gate RTAX2000D. The larger of the two devices features 120 DSP mathblocks, each capable of performing 18-bit x 18-bit multiplications in excess of 125 MHz over the entire military-temperature range (-55°C to 125°C). The two-million-gate RTAX2000D features 64 DSP mathblocks, giving a total signal processing capability in excess of eight billion multiplications per second. These signal processing rates make RTAX-DSP suitable for implementing DSP functions such as FIR and IIR filtering, FFT, IFT and DCT transforms in applications such as radio communication in spacecraft command and data handling systems and communications payloads, imaging and radar systems.
Mathblocks feature built-in mitigation against single-event upsets and single-event transients, which could otherwise occur due to heavy ion radiation in space. In addition, the RTAX-DSP devices are immune to radiation-induced configuration upsets, unlike SRAM-based FPGAs, which require costly and complex user-instantiated triple-chip redundancy.
Rigorous testing of the RTAX4000D and RTAX2000D devices toward Mil-Std 883 Class B qualification is expected to be complete in 2009. The RTAX2000D will be offered in 1,152-pin CCGA and LGA packages, while the RTAX4000D will be offered in 1,272-pin CCGA and LGA packages. Both devices are pin compatible with their RTAX-S counterparts, and will support the same IP.
More info: Actel