Radiation-Hardened ICs for Cost-Conscious ‘New Space’ Satellites

ST’s new Radiation-Hardened ICs help Low-Earth Orbit satellites shrink the digital divide, expanding communication & earth-observation services

STMicroelectronics is simplifying the design and volume production of the new generation of reliable small, low-cost satellites to deliver services like earth observation and broadband internet from low-earth orbits (LEOs).

ST’s new series of radiation-hardened power, analog, and logic ICs in low-cost plastic packages provide important functions for the satellites’ electronic circuitry. The first nine devices in this series have just been released and include a data converter, a voltage regulator, an LVDS transceiver, a line driver, and five logic gates that are used throughout systems like power generation and distribution, on-board computers, telemetry star trackers, and transceivers. ST will continue to grow the series adding more functions in the coming months to further expand designers’ choices.

We are in a new era of space commercialization and democratization, commonly called New Space, which radically changes the economics of conceiving, building, launching, and operating satellites. These formerly low-volume, specialized space vehicles are quickly becoming commoditized for deployment in large constellations sometimes comprising several thousands of units,” said Marcello San Biagio, General Purpose and RF Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. “Our new product series brings the know-how we have amassed supporting space missions for many decades, combined with our expertise in commercial IC production, to deliver competitively priced products robust enough to withstand the challenges of the LEO environment and, in particular, meeting the requirement for radiation hardness.”

Prices for ST’s new LEO series components range from $70 for logic ICs to $450 for the data converter for orders of 1000 pieces through ST distribution partners. Development Model prices are from $135 to $775 for 10 pieces. Please contact your local ST sales representative for specific pricing information.