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BAE Systems Launches New Space Microprocessor Line

The RAD750 advanced architecture and processing throughput will allow a new generation of high-performance satellite payloads to solve more intensive computing problems, while using fewer processors.
Manassas - Feb. 4, 2002
BAE Systems is now producing the next-generation space computer microprocessor - the RAD750 microprocessor - the most powerful radiation-hardened general-purpose microprocessor ever developed, said Dale Hutchinson, Executive Vice President for the Information & Electronic Warfare Systems unit.

"The processor has successfully passed manufacturing and environmental testing and is ready for civil, military and commercial satellite applications," Hutchinson added.

The RAD750 is a licensed, radiation-hardened version of the PowerPC 750. It has almost ten times the performance of current space processors, said Laura Burcin, program manager for BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems in Manassas, Virginia.

The RAD750 advanced architecture and processing throughput will allow a new generation of high-performance satellite payloads to solve more intensive computing problems, while using fewer processors.

"BAE Systems' radiation hardening of the IBM PowerPC for space applications is evidence of the processor's versatility," said Scottie Ginn, vice president, Pervasive Computing Business Line, IBM Microelectronics. "Their work takes the processor to new heights, literally and figuratively."

The RAD750 architecture supports an industry-leading 240 million instructions per second (MIPS) and operates at speeds of 133 MHz and greater. This feature increases onboard processing capability while reducing the number of processors needed - saving power, weight and cost.

The RAD750 is available on the 3U CompactPCI space flight computer (SFC) board design, which was developed under contract to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). A companion ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), the Power PCI, was developed simultaneously with the board, and provides the bridge between the CPU, main memory and the PCI bus.

The RAD750 3U CompactPCI board provides the main computational capability for a spacecraft. This SFC, combined with other I/O and memory boards, forms the core of a powerful and compact spacecraft avionics command and data handling system.

The microprocessor is a follow-on to the successful RAD6000 processor, which currently supports customers in the defense and scientific community. More than 100 RAD6000s are in orbit today serving commercial telecommunications, military, and research and exploration programs, including NASA's Mars Odyssey and Saturn Cassini missions.

The RAD750's rigorous manufacturing testing included more than one million manufacturing test vectors and complete board-level testing. BAE Systems has also conducted temperature and voltage characterization. Radiation qualification shows that the RAD750 will achieve a single event upset (SEU) hardness level of 1E-10 upsets/bit-day and a total ionizing of greater that 200Krads (Si).

That means a satellite in a geo-stationary earth orbit (GEO) will, on average, experience only one upset every ten years.

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SEAKR Offers Compact Flash Memory Pak For Space Applications
Englewood - July 16, 2001
SEAKR Engineering, Incorporated announced today the availability of its NV-CPCI Non-volatile, Solid State Flash Memory product family. Currently available product consists of two versions: a space qualified and an "Other Than Space" version. According to SEAKR officials, the two configurations complement both space and "Other Than Space" applications.

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