Rad-hard reconfigurable microprocessor solution announced by ATMEL

MIAMI. Engineers at Atmel Corp. in Rousset, France announced a SPARC V8-based, radiation-hardened (RAD Hard) microprocessor -- Atmel ATF697FF -- that can be reconfigured for space applications on-the-fly. ATMEL officials made the announcement this week at the Nuclear Space and Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) in Miami.

It enables users to make on-going design modifications to satellites – such as specification updates and in-flight adjustments – in the midst of trial flights and post-launch alterations.

The new device integrates Atmel’s rad-hard AT697F processor and reconfigurable ATF280F FPGA in a Single Multichip Module (MCM). The MCM approach enables engineers to reduce overall system cost while saving printed circuit board (PCB) space.

The device’s reprogrammable FPGA combined with the core processor enables reconfiguration of peripherals and interfaces, allowing users to keep pace with evolving standards such as SpaceWire, CAN or IEEE1553.

The new product marries an Atmel AT697F SPARC V8 rad-hard processor with a rad-hard ATF280F SRAM-based FPGA and an internal PCI link. The ATF697FF runs as fast as 100MHz and can perform using as little as 0.7W. A SDE Software development kit -- Jointly developed with STAR-Dundee in the United Kingdom, -- is also available for the SPARC V8 Platform to provide debugging, compiling, and monitoring tools. IDS and Mentor tools are available for FPGA designs and Atmel will offer pre-placed IPs for customized interfaces developments.

Atmel is currently working with alpha customers on the ATF697FF. The product will be available for prototyping later this month and for flight model implementation by the end of the year.

For more information on Atmel’s ATF697FF, visit: http://www.atmel.com/devices/ATF697FF.aspx.