COTS-to-Radiation-Tolerant and Radiation-Hardened Arm Core MCUs for Space Applications

COTS-to-Radiation-Tolerant and Radiation-Hardened Arm Core MCUs for Space Applications


ByAbhiemanyu Pandit 0

COTS-to-Radiation-Tolerant and Radiation-Hardened Arm Core MCUs for Space Applications

Microchip Technology launched the Arm Microcontrollers (MCUs) for Space Applications with tolerant to high level of Radiations during the deep space applications. The SAM71 series MCUs are based on automotive-qualified MCUs that combine low-cost and large ecosystem benefits of COTS (Commercially Off-The-Shelf) Technology with all space-qualified versions and have high level of radiation performance. The SAM71 series have two versions SAMV71Q21RT and SAMRH71 where the SAMV71Q21RT is radiation-tolerant and SAMRH71 is radiation-hardened MCU with Arm Cortex-M7 core System on Chip (SoC) enabling more integration, cost optimization and scalable level of performance in deep space applications.


The devices come with the support of SAMV71’s full software development tool-chain since both share the same ecosystem including software libraries, Board Support Package(BSP) and Operating System(OS) which allow software developers to begin implementation with device before the actual space grade component. The radiation performance of SAMV71Q21RT is ideal for New Space Applications such as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations and robotics, whereas SAMRH71 is ideal for applications such as gyroscopes and start tracker equipment. Both devices are tolerant to Single Event Latchup (SEL) up to 62 MeV.cm2/mg.


While SAMV71Q21RT rad-tolerant ensures an accumulated TID of 30Krad (Si) with latch up immunity and is non-destructive against heavy ions, The SAMRH71 radiation-hardened MCU is designed specifically for deep space applications with the following targeted radiation performances:

  • Accumulated TID of more than 100 Krad (Si)
  • No Single Event Upset (SEU) Linear Energy Transfer (LET) up to 20 MeV.cm²/mg, without system mitigation
  • Designed for No Single-Event Functional Interrupts (SEFI), which secures all memories’ integrity


Development Tools:

Developers can use existing ATSAMV71-XULT evaluation board and for developing, debugging and software libraries, they can use Atmel Studio IDE. The devices are supposed to support the MPLAB Harmony version 3.0 by mid-2019.

The devices will come in ceramic packages. The package descriptions are as follow:

  • SAMRH71 in CQFP256 ceramic package
  • SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-E in ceramic prototype QFP144 package
  • SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-MQ in ceramic space-grade QFP144 package, QMLQ equivalent
  • SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-SV in ceramic space-grade QFP144 package, QMLV equivalent
  • SAMV71Q21RT-DHB-MQ in plastic QFP144 package, AQEC high reliability qualified


Samples and production quantities of SAMRH71 and SAMV71Q21RT are available.

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