Microchip’s RT PolarFire FPGA achieves QML Class Q qualification

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As designated by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the RT PolarFire FPGA from Microchip Technology is now QML Class Q qualified.

Products that have Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) designations are often the most trusted and readily accepted in space programme designs and this certification is considered the gold standard in entry-level qualification, enabling designers to begin integrating the RT PolarFire FPGA into their space flight systems more easily.

Because QML qualifications are standardised based on specific performance and quality requirements governed by the DLA, customers can streamline their design process by using QML-qualified products.

Low-power and reprogrammable RT PolarFire FPGAs offer expanded logic density and high performance, providing significant improvements in signal processing throughput. Unlike SRAM-based FPGA alternatives, these devices do not exhibit any configuration Single-Event Upsets (SEUs) in radiation and therefore do not require mitigation, which reduces engineering expenses and Bill of Materials (BOM) costs.

“The RT PolarFire FPGA reduces satellite signal processing congestion with higher levels of density and performance than any other product in our FPGA portfolio,” said Shakeel Peera, vice president of marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “Microchip is committed to providing high-quality and reliable solutions, and this milestone qualification provides customers with added confidence when designing our devices into their spaceflight systems.”

MIL-STD-883B, the baseline qualification standard for QML Class Q, sets out strict methods for testing microelectronic devices to ensure they are suitable for military and aerospace electronic systems.

To achieve QML Class Q qualification, the RT PolarFire FPGA went through rigorous assessments to determine its ability to withstand the harmful effects of natural elements and brutal conditions found in defence and space operations.

By achieving QML Class Q qualification, RT PolarFire FPGAs prove their ability to support systems that require the highest level of component quality. In addition, the QML Class Q qualification paves the way for an eventual QML Class V qualification while demonstrating the continued reliability of RT PolarFire FPGAs in space applications.

The RT PolarFire FPGA family consume up to 50 percent less power than SRAM-based alternatives while enabling on-orbit data processing systems to meet demanding performance requirements and reliable operation without excessive heat generation in the harsh radiation environment of space.

Their combination of Logic Elements (LEs), embedded SRAM, DSP blocks and 12.7 Gbps transceiver lanes enables higher resolution for passive and active imaging, more channels and finer channel resolution for multi-spectral and hyper-spectral imaging and more precise scientific measurements using noisy data from remote sources.

RT PolarFire FPGAs can also be paired with one or more complementary Microchip solutions in today’s space flight systems including the MIC69303RT 3A Low-Dropout (LDO) voltage regulator, VSC8541RT and VSC8574RT Ethernet PHYs, CAN interface USB-to-UART PHYs and a variety of clocks and oscillators.