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High temp and rad hard Cortex-M0 based MCUs launched

Vorago Technologies has launched the first ARM Cortex based microcontrollers designed specifically for radiation and extreme temperature operation without up-screening.

“Things just got a lot simpler for product designers looking for the best choice in components to use in products that must withstand extreme conditions,” said Bernd Lienhard, Vorago’s CEO. “With these new MCUs, truly game changing products can now be developed.”

Based on the company’s HARDSIL technology, the VA108x0 MCUs are said to provide system designers with ‘built for purpose’ embedded solutions that reduce development complexity and power consumption, while increasing reliability and longevity.

There are two MCUs; the VA10800, for high temperature applications, and the VA10820, for radiation hardened use. Both feature a Cortex-M0 CPU core. Marketing manager Ross Bannatyne said: "The 10820 has triple modular redundancy using an approach called dice latch. Everywhere there’s a latch in the core, it’s replaced by three and two have to agree.”

Vorago has developed the parts in response to demand from designers. Bannatyne explained: “There’s a limited selection of components available and designers will look for those which have been up screened, such as DSPs or FPGAs, either because they will work at high temperatures or they have been tested for radiation hardness. But those designers want to use a Cortex-M0 or similar.”

HARDSIL is based on a standard CMOS process. “It adds a couple of extra layers and some implants,” Bannatyne continued, “but it’s not massively different to existing CMOS.”

Interestingly, the 10800 is available in a plastic package capable of withstanding 200°C, as well as in a more traditional ceramic package.

Evaluation boards are available for both devices.

Graham Pitcher

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