Press Release

Microsemi Announces New Development Kit Providing Space Designers a Comprehensive Evaluation and Design Platform

By SpaceRef Editor
June 28, 2016
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Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, today announced the availability of its RTG4™ Development Kit with its recently announced RTG4™ PROTO field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). As the industry’s first radiation-tolerant FPGA kit providing space designers a comprehensive evaluation and design platform, the new kit is ideal for the development of applications such as data transmission, serial connectivity, bus interface and high speed designs, using the company’s RTG4 radiation-tolerant high-speed FPGAs.

The new kit includes Microsemi’s RTG4 PROTO FPGAs, enabling lower cost prototyping and design validation while offering the only reprogrammable prototyping solution of their kind delivering the same timing and power characteristics as space flight units. The development kit provides all necessary reference to evaluate and adopt RTG4 technology quickly, without the need to build a test board and assemble the device onto the board.

“Our unique RTG4 FPGAs have brought new capabilities to the space market, and now the new development kit with RTG4 PROTO FPGAs provides customers the reference needed to evaluate and adopt RTG4 technology quickly,” said Ken O’Neill, director of marketing, space and aviation at Microsemi. “This provides customers with ease of design for space applications, which we expect to drive design activity. In addition to showcasing RTG4 capabilities, the new platform also highlights intellectual property (IP) performance, as well as interoperability with Microsemi’s comprehensive portfolio of space solutions.”

The RTG4 Development Kit board features a RT4G150 device offering more than 150,000 logic elements in a ceramic package with 1,657 pins. Its reprogrammable flash configuration is unique to the space industry, making prototyping faster and easier than other radiation-tolerant FPGAs. The kit also features Microsemi’s Libero SoC Design Suite, offering high productivity with its comprehensive, easy to learn, easy to adopt development tools for designing with Microsemi’s radiation-tolerant FPGAs. The suite integrates industry standard Synopsys SynplifyPro synthesis and Mentor Graphics ModelSim simulation with best-in-class constraints management, debug capabilities and secure production programming support.

“As an aerospace company focused on spacecraft on-board data handling and processing technology, STAR-Dundee was pleased to successfully demonstrate our SpaceWire and SpaceFibre intellectual property (IP) cores using Microsemi’s RTG4 Development Kit,” said Steve Parkes, managing director of U.K.-based STAR-Dundee. “Our SpaceWire IP is now approaching 400 megabits per second in RTG4, and our next-generation SpaceFibre IP is running at 3.125 gigabits per second on single lane, and at 6.25 gigabits per second on two lanes. These results clearly demonstrate the excellent communications capabilities of RTG4 which is an ideal platform for data-handling on-board spacecraft.”

According to Euroconsult’s 2015 report titled, “Satellites to Be Built and Launched by 2024,” 60 percent more satellites will be launched by 2024 versus the past decade. This increase is driven primarily by civilian government agencies as established space countries replace and expand their in-orbit satellite systems and more countries acquire their first operational satellite systems.

In addition to satellite applications, Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs are ideal for space launch vehicles, planetary orbiters and landers, and deep space probes. Target customers include designers, program managers, system architects and component engineers serving the space market.

Additional features for the new RTG4 Development Kit board include:

Two 1GB double data rate type three (DDR3) synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM)
2GB serial peripheral interface (SPI) flash memory
PCIe x4 edge connector
One pair surface mount assembly (SMA) connectors for testing of the full-duplex Serializer/Deserializer (SERDES) channel
Two FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) connectors with high pin count (HPC)/low pin count (LPC) pinout for expansion
RJ45 interface for 10/100/1000 Ethernet
USB micro-AB connector
Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) programming interface
RealView® interface (RVI) header for application programming and debug
Embedded Flashpro5 programmer and external programming header
Product Availability
Microsemi’s RTG4 development kit with PROTO FPGAs is available now. For more information, visit or contact

About Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs
RTG4 FPGAs bring new capabilities to the market and combine a wealth of features with the highest quality and reliability to meet the increasing demands of modern satellite payloads. The devices feature reprogrammable flash configuration, making prototyping easier for customers. RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers complete immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, without the configuration scrubbing required with SRAM FPGA technology. RTG4 supports space applications requiring up to 150,000 logic elements and up to 300 MHz of system performance. RTG4 is Microsemi’s latest development in a long history of radiation-tolerant FPGAs that are found in many NASA and international space programs. For more information, visit

Microsemi Leading Space Innovation for More than Half a Century
With one of the industry’s most comprehensive portfolios of space products, Microsemi provides radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), rad-hard mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), radiation-hardened DC-to-DC converters, precision time and frequency solutions, linear and POL hybrids, custom hybrid solutions, and rad-hard discretes including the broadest portfolio of JANS Class diodes and bipolar products. Microsemi is committed to supporting its products throughout the lifetime of its customer programs. The company continues to innovate and expand its portfolio, most recently adding its new LX7730 radiation-tolerant telemetry controller IC providing key functions for sensor monitoring, attitude and payload control, as well as its RTG4™ high-speed signal processing radiation-tolerant FPGA family. The RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers complete immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, requiring no configuration scrubbing, unlike SRAM FPGA technology. For more information about Microsemi’s space products, visit

About Microsemi
Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for aerospace & defense, communications, data center and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world’s standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at

Microsemi and the Microsemi logo are registered trademarks or service marks of Microsemi Corporation and/or its affiliates. Third-party trademarks and service marks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

SpaceRef staff editor.