Industry leaders collaborate to provide ASIC design ecosystem for space applications
Sophia-Antipolis, France – May 26, 2020 – Menta today announced participation in the PROMISE Consortium, which is a group of industry leaders collaborating under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program to provide a flexible mixed-signal ASIC architecture and design ecosystem for use in space applications.
New trends in the space market are pushing towards satellite miniaturization and mass production for constellations, leading to a drastic drop in production costs and acceleration of development cycles. These trends, combined with initiatives for reducing launch costs, makes the space industry more accessible to the independent private sector, scientists, academia and population at large.
In this context, the PROMISE project is targeting the development of key enabling digital technologies by generating a new ecosystem fully based on European suppliers, to ensure European competitiveness and non-dependence to third parties. The project will provide the space community with a flexible mixed-signal ASIC architecture design, manufacturing and qualification ecosystem built on a library of space qualified radiation hardened building blocks, which will enable the development of complete mixed-signal System on Chip (SoC) solutions at a fraction of its current cost for the next generation of space data handling and data processing units. These units, in turn, will become the core of new space missions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation and space exploration.
The PROMISE consortium is led by Thales Alenia Space in Spain and, in addition to Menta, includes top level SME ISD (Greece), key technological institutes IMEC (Belgium), IT (Portugal) and VTT (Finland) and leading satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in France.
The new PROMISE-based circuits will position European space industry on the front line for the development of competitive cost-effective solutions and enable European space players to take a leading role in the new space era in the XXI century.
In this consortium Menta will provide a radiation hardened embedded FPGA (eFPGA) IP. Thales Alenia Space in Spain will provide final validation of the project results, performing a complete campaign of electrical and radiation tests on the first pilot circuit ASIC that will be manufactured following the PROMISE procedures.
As pursued by the H2020 work program, this project will generate a new ecosystem fully based on European suppliers and, as such, not bound by third-party export regulations. The PROMISE project will enable the development of complete mixed-signal system on chip solutions for the next generation of space data handling and data processing units. These units, in turn will become the core of new space missions for telecommunications, Earth observation or space exploration.
The PROMISE project was officially kicked off in Tres Cantos (Madrid) on January 24th 2020. Despite the current COVID-19 global situation, the activities are being executed by the partners through smart working, covering the initial stages of the project with a minimum delay. The final results of the PROMISE project will be presented to the end-user community and to the general public in a workshop to be held in the second half of 2022, as initially planned.
Menta is a privately held company based in Sophia-Antipolis, France. For ASIC and SoCs designers who need fast, right-the-first time design and fast time to volume, Menta is the proven eFPGA pioneer whose design-adaptive standard cells-based architecture and state-of-the-art tool set provides the highest degree of design customization, best-in-class testability and fastest time-to-volume for SoC design targeting any production node at any foundry. For more information, visit the company website at: www.menta-efpga.com