"Mixed-Signal Microelectronics for Space Applications: Future Challenges"

Rajan Bedi, Mark Walker and Lewis Farrugia
EADS Astrium


The performance being demanded by future digital telecommunications payloads will not be achieved without major advances in mixed-signal space microelectronics. Significant progress is required to deliver qualified, wideband ADCs, DACs and SERDES to enable the next generation of broadband telecommunications satellite.

Increasing amounts of analog circuitry is now being included on die and flown. Low-power, high-performing BiCMOS technologies, the tolerance of the SiGe HJT to total-dose radiation, the use of integrated EDA tools and common design & verification flows, all offer the potential to advance mixed-signal space microelectronics.

The benefits of integrating analog circuitry with digital logic include: higher performance, lower power consumption, less mass, reduced costs, improved reliability, greater levels of reusability, and enhanced system testing and quality – all of which contribute to the spirit of “Faster, Better, Cheaper”!

This work reports on the mixed-signal microelectronic requirements being demanded by the next generation of mobile and broadband telecommunications satellites and how these will be met. This paper will also discuss the mixed-signal requirements of future space-science payloads.


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