“A First Sergeant duties are endless. He is usually the first one in the office and the last one to leave. Almost all the unit duties and operations begin with the first sergeant. They hold formations, instruct platoon sergeants, and advise the commander of all unit capabilities. They must keep the entire unit motivated and ready at a moment’s notice. The first sergeant is the backbone of the unit”
Does your high Reliability printed circuit board need a First Sergeant?
High Reliability electronic applications in markets like Space, Military, Medical, Avionics or HiRel Industrial over the last decades always have been designed by using special designed, tested, qualified but highly expensive components. Challenges depending on the scope of operation may be mechanical stress, high or low temperatures, power limitations and thresholds, radiation, upsets or latch-ups.
Today more and more of these HiRel applications are produced not only as single unit but really have moved to series or mass production, with enormous cost pressure. CubeSATs and constellations are one good example. But also in transportation many widely spread applications rely on GPS and radar.
Now manufactures moving away from highly expensive components designed for all space conditions and are designing electronic components with Cots devices.
Components of the shelf – standard electronic grades often seem to fulfill the requirements e.g. for time constraint highly commercial LEO based space applications and they are available in thousands different variations and flavors. But Space is the most challenging environment for an electronic circuit.
Beside all environmental stress electronic components already see here on ground – for space use these parts must withstand acceleration, radiation, single event effects and sometimes high temperatures or cycles. But in Cots there is no latch-up protection / detection, no hermetic package, no redundancy and no reset or reboot since all operation is now remote.
Similar case now is also for the HiRel applications on ground where these are connected to a data network by cable or wireless and provide telemetry or health data to their supervisor or commander.
Even some of the effects that apply to the use of components in orbit can’t rationalized for safety critical ground or industrial applications certified to standards like DO-254 (avionic), IEC61508 (industrial), ISO26262 (transportation) and others. Solar activity e.g. is causing headache to electronic engineers by generating memory upsets.
With the first sketches of your next safety application or HiRel board, you should go with one component where you can 100% count on. A cost effective device you can rely on, that is always available, is as simple as possible and helps to manage all the other complex parts in your design – a First Sergeant.
How can VORAGO VA416x0 make your application more reliable and be the Sergeant you are looking for?
VORAGO Technologies VA416x0 ARM Cortex-M4 Microcontroller family offers a HiRel designer a lot of transferred qualities of a First Sergeant:
- The industrial proven ARM Cortex-M microcontroller core with FP unit
- Including the architecture with a solid set of peripherals and features
- Manufactured with VORAGO’s patented HARDSIL additions on 130nm TSMC CMOS process
- Makes it highly robust to radiation, latch up effects and high temperatures
- EDAC memories and memory scrubbing engine
- More than 100 General Purpose IO’s
- External Bus Interface EBI
- Random Number Generator
- Digital to Analog Converter
- Analog to Digital Converter
- Temperature sensor
- 3,3V single voltage power supply
- -55°C to 125°C operational temperature
- Ceramic, plastic package plus bare die option
With this set of features and functions the VORAGO VA416x0 device can be the first one up when the board is switched to operation. It just needs the 3,3V rail and now with flexible GPIO can manage all the power sequencing, reset handling, boot and initialization. Internal timers can be used to move devices to different modes of operation etc.
The ADC / DAC can do even more housekeeping with controlling voltages, currents and temperature.
The VA416x0 for space applications in ceramic and plastic package is available for order. Hardware development boards are also ready and on stock. The standard commercial ARM software development tools as well as the open source GNU toolchain can be used for code generation and debugging. More device options targeting high temperature, avionic and industrial safety critical applications are planned to be released in future.
Sergeant VORAGO VA416x0 is ready to be on duty!