BAE Systems collaborates with GF to produce SBCs for space

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BAE Systems’ radiation-hardened RAD510 System on Chip (SoC) for space-based computing has gone into fabrication.

Designed by BAE Systems and manufactured by GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), the RAD510 SoC will be the core of a single board computer (SBC) with twice the performance capability of the industry standard RAD750 microprocessor. The SBC will provide Power Architecture software-compatible processing that is more advanced than the RAD750 radiation-hardened general purpose processor, while demanding less power from the spacecraft.

“The RAD510 SBC is the natural evolution of our RAD750 heritage microprocessor-based SBC, which has powered many of the most important national space assets,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of Space Systems at BAE Systems. “These high-reliability computers increase performance capability for satellites and other spacecraft, making space missions more effective. BAE Systems’ relationship with GLOBALFOUNDRIES began in 2001 with the development of the highly successful RH25 semiconductor technology node.”

The RAD510 SoC is already being integrated into SBCs that will be available to space agencies and spacecraft manufacturers this year.

To make the transition easier, the software is compatible with both the RAD750 and RAD5545 computers. The BAE Systems family of space-based electronics can withstand radiation doses a million times stronger than a fatal human dose; that durability is valued on missions like GPS III, Mars rovers, and many satellites on-orbit today. The RAD510 SBC also requires less power and has the radiation advantages of RH45 45nm silicon-on-isolator (SOI) technology.

BAE Systems’ facility in Manassas, Va. is a U.S. Department of Defense Category 1A Microelectronics Trusted Source as is GF’s Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.

GF and BAE Systems have initiated the process of transitioning the manufacturing of 45 nm SOI technology to GF’s most advanced facility, Fab 8 in Malta, N.Y., making it available to the space community in the future.