Atmel offers reconfigurable processor for on-the-fly space adjustments


Processor and FPGA co-packaged in RAD-Hard multi-chip module

ATF697FF a unique reconfigurable processor integrates RAD Hard AT697F processor and the reconfigurable ATF280F (FPGA) unit in a single Atmel multichip module (MCM).

Atmel extends its product line to reduce overall system costs and PCB area with the Atmel ATF697FF, the newest member of the SPARC V8 processor family and industry's first RAD Hard (radiation-hardened) high-performance aerospace microprocessor that can be reconfigured on-the-fly. The ability to reconfigure on-the-fly allows users to make on-going design modifications to remote systems such as satellites, including specification updates, in-flight adjustments during trial flights and post-launch alterations. Reflecting 30 years of innovation in the aerospace market, the new ATF697FF is a unique reconfigurable processor that integrates Atmel's proven RAD Hard AT697F processor and reconfigurable ATF280F FPGA in a single MCM (multichip module). With this MCM approach, engineers can reduce overall system cost and save space on the PCB. The ATF697FF, designed and developed by the Atmel Aerospace Business unit in Rousset, France, adds the flexibility of a reprogrammable FPGA to the reliability of a powerful core processor running application software. It serves systems that require reconfiguration of peripherals and interfaces, making it easy to comply and stay up-to-date with evolving standards that many space missions use, such as SpaceWire, CAN, or IEEE1553. The flexibility of the ATF697FF processor is also beneficial for late design modifications performed on Earth, for in-flight adjustments on satellites, and for space trial operations. The new MCM combines an Atmel AT697F SPARC V8 RAD Hard processor with a RAD Hard ATF280F SRAM-based FPGA and an internal PCI link. The ATF697FF delivers best-in-class performance, running at up to 100MHz, as well as low power, down to 700 mW, for space applications today. Jointly developed with STAR-Dundee of the United Kingdom, an SDE Software development kit is also available for the SPARC V8 Platform to provide compiling, debugging, and monitoring tools. IDS and Mentor tools are available for FPGA designs. "The ability to make real-time, on-the-fly adjustments to satellites just before launch or while in-flight is an increasing demand in aerospace today. We've leveraged our extensive flight experience to deliver the industry's first reconfigurable processor that also reduces costs and increases time-to-market," said Patrick Sauvage, general manager, Aerospace Business Unit, Atmel Corporation. "With over 3,000 flight models of the previous generation TSC695 processor in space and 300 flight models of the ATF697 processor delivered worldwide to-date, we have a proven track record of providing reliable, innovative products. The ATF697FF is further testament to our leadership." Availability Atmel is currently engaging with alpha customers on the ATF697FF. The product will be available for prototyping in July and for flight model implementation the end of 2012. Atmel Corporation