Military Embedded Systems

Rad-hard space-grade ASICs gain testing, qualification under partnership


April 14, 2023

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy SatixFy Communications

REHOVOT, Israel and MEYREUIL, France. Satellite communications company SatixFy Communications and semiconductor engineering and production company Presto Engineering announced a strategic partnership under which Presto Engineering will provide SatixFy with testing and qualification of Presto's radiation-hardened (rad-hard) ASICs [application-specific integrated circuits] for deployment in space, plus automated test solution and long-term production services for SatixFy's high-speed, mixed-signal ASIC products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Presto Engineering will test and qualify SatixFy's rad-hard ASICs and has signed up for long-term production of the SatixFy Sx4000 and PRIME2 high-speed, mixed-signal ASIC products. According to the companies' announcement, SatixFy’s Sx4000 is a DVB-S2X/RCS2 software-defined radio (SDR) ASIC for regenerative onboard processing and transparent satellite systems, while PRIME2 is a digital beamformer ASIC designed for use on massive MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) antenna in space and multibeam LEO/GEO (low or geostationary earth orbit) aeronautical antennas.

ASICs intended for space applications must undergo rigorous testing and qualification processes to ensure that they will perform reliably in the harsh radiation and thermal environments of space; these parts are designed with radiation-hardening features -- such as error-correcting codes and specialized semiconductor processes -- to reduce the risk of radiation-induced errors and other malfunctions.

Both companies have additional offices in North America and Europe.