Atmel, CNES, and ESA developing ICs for space applications

Nantes, France–Atmel Corp. announced today a 3-year agreement with the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the next generation of ICs dedicated to space applications.

The availability of state-of-the-art IC technology and products able to withstand space radiation and qualified at the level of reliability is of strategic importance for the European space industry to ensure its competitiveness in the next generation of communication, navigation, and earth observation satellites.

The two space agencies have asked Atmel to develop a complete system-level integrated solution for data and signal processing in space conditions. Such applications require significant processing power (more than 100 MIPS), fast memory, and specialized libraries and intellectual property (IP), according to Atmel. Proven 0.25-micron complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology will be used to manufacture the product in Atmel’s Rousset facility and adapted to attain the radiation hardening imposed by the space environment.

“All of the ingredients, technology, IPs, design methodology, and users’ involvement in validation are in this program to ensure full system-on-chip solutions from Atmel by end 2002,” says Alain Dantec, CEO of Atmel Nantes S.A.


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