BAE Systems supplies space electronics and computing products

Freescale’s Pow­er Archi­tec­ture® Tech­nol­o­gy Licensed for Space Mis­sions


BAE Sys­tems is devel­op­ing fourth gen­er­a­tion radi­a­tion hard­ened com­put­ers for space appli­ca­tions through a license announced today for Pow­er Archi­tec­ture® proces­sor cores from Freescale. 

Imple­men­ta­tion of Freescale’s Pow­er Archi­tec­ture tech­nol­o­gy will increase onboard satel­lite pro­cess­ing by 10 times the cur­rent rate, enabling pay­load and bus appli­ca­tions con­sid­ered impos­si­ble only a few years ago. 

The license agree­ment per­mits reli­able and par­al­lel mul­ti-core pro­cess­ing for space appli­ca­tions, shrink­ing the gap between pro­cess­ing capa­bil­i­ties com­mon­place in the com­mer­cial indus­try and those present­ly avail­able to the space com­mu­ni­ty. The need for high-per­for­mance com­put­ing appli­ca­tions onboard satel­lites is dri­ven by the large amounts of infor­ma­tion col­lect­ed dur­ing mod­ern space missions. 

“The licens­ing arrange­ment enables a mas­sive leap in our pro­cess­ing capa­bil­i­ty, pro­vid­ing our cus­tomers the abil­i­ty to max­i­mize appli­ca­tion per­for­mance while lever­ag­ing exist­ing infra­struc­ture and expe­ri­ence,” said Ian McDon­ald, direc­tor of space prod­ucts and sys­tems for BAE Sys­tems. “Freescale’s expe­ri­ence with high per­for­mance com­put­ing pro­vides BAE Sys­tems a tech­no­log­i­cal advan­tage to enable mis­sion appli­ca­tions that are unat­tain­able with cur­rent gen­er­a­tion hard­ware platforms.” 

The agree­ment with Freescale pro­vides a nat­ur­al exten­sion to the BAE Sys­tems’ fam­i­ly of space-qual­i­fied com­put­er prod­ucts and Appli­ca­tion Spe­cif­ic Inte­grat­ed Cir­cuits (ASICs), because it facil­i­tates reuse of exist­ing RAD750® appli­ca­tion soft­ware and infra­struc­ture. In addi­tion to the state-of-the-art e5500 64bit Pow­er Archi­tec­ture core, BAE Sys­tems has licensed the QorIQ® plat­form, which includes such fea­tures as CoreNet™ and OCeaN fab­rics, mem­o­ry con­troller, mem­o­ry ele­ments and high speed inter­faces. The licensed IP rep­re­sents Freescale’s lat­est offer­ing in a long suc­cess­ful line of Pow­er Archi­tec­ture prod­ucts, and pro­vides a high­ly inte­grat­ed and effi­cient mul­ti-core Sys­tem-On-Chip (SOC) solution. 

“Freescale has estab­lished a very strong lead­er­ship posi­tion in the demand­ing net­work­ing mar­ket based in large part on the pow­er, per­for­mance and cost advan­tages of its Pow­er Archi­tec­ture based prod­ucts,” stat­ed Brett But­ler, vice pres­i­dent and gen­er­al man­ag­er of Freescale’s Net­work­ing Proces­sor Divi­sion. “This tech­nol­o­gy also is ide­al­ly suit­ed for the rig­ors of aero­space require­ments, and Freescale is pleased that BAE Sys­tems has select­ed it for this purpose.” 

BAE Sys­tems has been an inte­gral sup­pli­er of space elec­tron­ics and space com­put­ing prod­ucts for sev­er­al decades. The com­pa­ny has broad expe­ri­ence across sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of tech­nol­o­gy in port­ing state-of-the-art com­mer­cial prod­ucts to radi­a­tion-hard­ened, space qual­i­fied solu­tions for demand­ing space appli­ca­tions. With more than 600 sys­tems placed in orbit, BAE Sys­tems is a pri­ma­ry provider of high reli­a­bil­i­ty com­put­ers capa­ble of with­stand­ing the radi­a­tion, tem­per­a­ture, vibra­tion, and oth­er extremes con­di­tions encoun­tered dur­ing space missions. 

Issued by:
Jeff Rose, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +1 603 885 4503

BAE Systems 

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