Ethernet is becoming more common in spacecraft to enable hardwired communication speed, support higher data rates, and facilitate interoperability between satellites and other spacecraft. As Ethernet in space applications continues to expand, Microchip Technology announced the industry’s first space-qualified Ethernet transceiver – a radiation-tolerant device based on a Commercial Off-the-Shelf solution widely deployed in other industries now offering reliable performance for applications ranging from launch vehicles to satellite constellations and space stations.
In addition to Microchip’s new VSC8541RT radiation-tolerant Ethernet transceiver sampling, the company received final qualification for the new SAM3X8ERT radiation-tolerant microcontroller, its latest Arm Cortex-M3 core processor and embedded Ethernet controller. These are designed to support space industry demand for radiation tolerant devices separately or in combination.
Both devices are COTS-based parts with enhanced characterized levels of radiation performance and high reliability quality flow, available in plastic and ceramic packages. They share the same pin-out distribution, allowing designers to begin implementation with COTS devices before moving to space-grade components. This significantly reduces development time and cost.
These latest devices are among Microchip’s broad suite of COTS-based radiation tolerant microelectronics supporting Ethernet connectivity to be used aboard satellite platforms, payloads for data and sensor bus control, remote terminal communication, space vehicle networks, and module connectivity in space stations.