TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, and Ramon Chips Ltd., a fabless company that specializes in the development of space components, announced today the successful completion of a second generation radiation-hardened (rad-hard) processor for space applications (GR712RC). The part is being fabricated exclusively in TowerJazz’s Fab2 in Migdal Haemek, Israel utilizing its internal 0.18-micron CMOS process technology. According to King Research, the Rad-hard-by design (RHBD) foundry market for aerospace and defense is estimated between $400-$500 million worldwide.

The processor was mutually developed by Ramon Chips and Aeroflex Gaisler, and is marketed exclusively by Aeroflex Gaisler. This next-generation graphics processor is resistant to cosmic radiation and harsh environmental conditions and is intended for use on space missions in earth-orbiting satellites and for high reliability avionic applications. The processor has been designed using Ramon Chips’ proprietary RadSafe™ methodology and standard cell library which were developed on the TowerJazz process to assure radiation hardness of parts fabricated in TowerJazz’s Israeli facility.

The GR712RC is a dual-core LEON3FT SPARC V8 processor. It can be clocked up to 125 MHz over the full military temperature range. This provides up to 300 DMIPS and 250 MFLOPS peak performance. It integrates advanced interface protocols, including SpaceWire, CAN, SatCAN, UART, 1553B, Ethernet, SPI, I2C, GPIO, and more. It has high speed interface busses to external SDRAM/SRAM/PROM/EEROM/NOR-FLASH memories. It employs rad-hard-by-design methods, with proven radiation hardness up to 300Krad, which exceeds the requirements for all space environments, together with excellent low-power performance.

“We are once again pleased with the results we have achieved with our rad-hard high performance product on TowerJazz's 0.18-micron CMOS technology platform," said Prof. Ran Ginosar, CEO of Ramon Chips. “The team at TowerJazz here in Israel has closely collaborated with our team for several years to achieve such an advanced product to improve the quality and performance of space exploration.”

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