The following ongoing ASIC developments are supported or led by the Microelectronics Section.
GR740: The ESA Next Generation Microprocessor (NGMP)
After the preliminary GINA study based on LEON3, completed in 2006, Aeroflex Gaisler has started the first development phase of the Next Generation Microprocessor (NGMP) under a TRP contract. This first phase was kicked off in summer 2009, and it comprises the architectural (VHDL) design, verification by simulation and on FPGA. FPGA boards have been made available in 2010. The design is a quad-core LEON4 based microprocessor with L2 cache and numerous peripherals.
The development of Functional Prototypes of the NGMP, called NGFP, has been started in April 2011. These prototypes have been manufactured in 45 nm commercial structured ASIC technology eASIC Nextreme2. While the FPGA prototypes include only a subset of the NGMP features, and their clock frequency is limited to 45 - 70 MHz, the goal of NGFP is to allow functional validation and evaluation by end users of an almost fully fledged NGMP implementation. NGFP contains most of the features of NGMP (except the high speed serial links), and runs at a clock frequency of 150 MHz, which is a good step towards the final space ASIC implementation. Development boards have been made available in 2013 under the product name GR-CPCI-LEON4-N2X.
After some delay due to unavailability of a suitable chip technology, the development was resumed in Q2/2014, and currently the first layout iterations are in progress, using the C65SPACE platform from ST Microelectronics. Due to technology constraints, compared to the full NGMP baseline design, a somewhat modified version will be implemented. Most prominent changes are the removal of DDR2 and HSSL interfaces due to missing IP and packaging solutions, but there are also some enhancements, namely the increased L2 cache size of now 2 MByte. This chip will be commercialised under the product number GR740.
For further updates and documentation please consult this page.
Date: Dec. 2014 (pdf)
Control Loop Processor (CLP)
Fully deterministic processor targeting the control of electromechanical systems, developed under contract with SABCA (Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques).
Further information is available at this page.
Date: Dec. 2014
BRAVE NG-FPGA project (2.5 Mgates complexity FPGA based on NanoXplore architecture – ST 65nm)
Advanced GPS Galileo ASIC (AGGA-4)
GNSS baseband ASIC capable of processing modernized GPS and Galileo Signals.
The ASIC is manufactured in the radiation hardened 180 nm process ATC18RHA from Atmel.
Date: Dec. 2014 (pdf)