Advancing the use of FPGA-based OBCs in space – with Xiphos

Podcast

Episode 15 of the Space Industry podcast is a discussion with Xiphos about the uses of FPGA-based multiprocessors, OBCs, System on Chip (SoC) technology, and related systems in satellites.

In this episode we speak with Edwin Faier, President & Director of Business Development at Xiphos Systems Corporation.

Xiphos is a Canadian manufacturer of on-board computers and processors, and a satsearch member, and in this episode we discuss advancing the use of FPGA-based OBCs in space applications, covering the following topics:

  • How FPGA-based On-board Computers (OBCs) and Systems on Chips (SoCs) compare to standard microprocessor- and microcontroller-based architectures.
  • The sort of missions and applications that are suitable for FPGA-based SoCs.
  • How the design, testing, integration, and qualification of such systems can differ from computing resources that don’t require logic configuration.
  • The emerging opportunities that FPGA-based OBCs and SoCs can offer satellite integrators.

The product portfolio of Xiphos

A 32g (with RJ45 connector) system, with typical power of 1W, based on a hybrid environment of CPUs and reprogrammable logic. The Q7 is a flight-proven processor board based on the Xilinx Zynq-7020, including ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processors supported by programmable logic resources.

A 24g (without RJ45 connector) system, with typical power of 1W. The Q7S consists of a Q7 card equipped with space-ready software and firmware based on a hybrid environment of CPUs and reprogrammable logic. The library of logic and software functions is augmented by onboard analog and digital I/O.

Daughterboard for Xiphos’ Q7 hybrid processor card, enabling the Q7 to be inserted into existing systems with high-bandwidth video or imagery streams. Featuring 2x Camera Link (2x Base, or 1x Medium, or 1x Full) interfaces, 4x SpaceWire interfaces, and 4x USB 2.0 Master ports, serial and GPIOs.

A 64g (with power barrel & RJ45) system based on a hybrid environment of multi-core CPUs and reprogrammable logic. The Q8 includes a Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ Multi-Processor System-on-Chip (MPSoC) Processing FPGA & memory resources such as LPDDR4 RAM (with EDAC), 2x QSPI Flash (NOR), and 2x eMMC.

A 56g (without power barrel & RJ45) system with > 25 krad radiation tolerance. The Q8S consists of a Q8 card equipped with space-ready software and firmware based on a hybrid environment of CPUs and reprogrammable logic. The library of logic and software functions is augmented by onboard digital I/O.

The Q8J extends the capability of the Xiphos Q8 processor, adding support for high speed JESD204B interfaces and access to external DDR3 or DDR4 memory. Suitable for SDR applications, the Q8J is delivered with a detachable PIM with standard interfaces, debug LEDs & other lab development features.

The Q8JS extends the capability of the Xiphos Q8 card with support for high speed JESD204B interfaces and access to external DDR3 or DDR4 memory. Suitable for SDR applications, the Q8JS consists of a Q8J card equipped with space-ready software and firmware plus a library of logic functions.

The Q8 SDR (Software-Defined Radio) Dock is a daughterboard for Xiphos’ Q8 hybrid processor card enabling integration of a GOMspace NanoCom TR-600 SDR module, based on Analog Devices’ AD9361 wideband transceiver RF System on a Chip (RFSoC). Featuring PPS, CANBUS, serial, UART, & USB interfaces.

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