Xilinx to Harden Virtex-5 Microchip Series against Radiation Effects

The US Air Force is funding the radiation hardening of modular integrated circuits produced by Xilinx Inc. these radiation hardened components will contribute to simpler, more robust electronic applications in missiles and spacecraft. Xilinx is expected to complete the development by 2010. The hardening process will be extensible to future FPGA technology generations.

The Air Force awarded Xilinx a $23.5 million contract to implement radiation hardening (RHBD) within their existing architecture and design methodology implemented with newly released Virtex-5 family of Field-programmable ate array (FPGA) using the latest 65 nm technology. These microchips contain multi-million gates, designed with Single-event effects Immune Reconfigurable FPGA (SIRF). Through the development effort, all the FPGA’s logic blocks will be inspected to determine susceptible elements and migrate against single effects (SEU). Implementing radiation hardened Virtex-5 will enable designers to employ architecture that potentially eliminates the need for multiple redundant instantiations and voting, and allow system developers greater flexibility in space and missile applications.

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