Rad tolerant megaAVR MCU for space & avionics applications

October 23, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Atmel ATmegaS128 AVR microcontrollers are now produced in space-grade quality, including latch-up immunity, ceramic packaging and extended temperature range for next-generation of space applications.

AtmegaS128 – the first µC Rad Tolerant device for Atmel – delivers full wafer lot traceability, 64-lead ceramic package (CQFP), space screening, space qualification according to QML and ESCC flow and total ionising dose up to 30 krad (300 Gy Si) for space applications. The ATMegaS128 is “latch up” immune thanks to a dedicated silicon process: SEL LET > 62.5Mev at 125°C, 8 MHz/3.3V. SEU to heavy ions is estimated to 10 -3 error/device/day for Low Earth Orbit applications.

The space-grade AVR family continues to use the Atmel Studio ecosystem and allows aerospace developers to use the industrial-version of the ATmega AVR to prototype their applications for a fraction of the cost. The ATmegaS128 is available in a ceramic hermetic packaging and is pin-to-pin and drop-in compatible with existing ATmega128 MCUs, allowing flexibility between commercial and qualified devices, enabling faster-time-to-market and minimising development costs. With this cost-effective approach and a plastic Hirel-qualified version, the ATmegaS128 can be also considered in more general aerospace applications including class A and B avionic critical cases where radiation tolerance is also a key requirement.

Atmel adds, “By improving radiation performance with our proven Atmel AVR cores and ecosystem, the new ATmegaS128 provides developers targeting space applications a smaller footprint, lower power and full analogue integration such as motor and sensor control along with data handling functions for payload and platform. We look forward to putting more Atmel solutions into space.”

There is a a complete STK600 starter kit and development system for the ATmegaS128 AVR MCU giving designers a quick start to develop code on the AVR with advanced features for prototyping and testing new designs. Users can also start their designs with an industrial version of the ATmega128—with the exact pin-out of the ATmegaS128—to save costs. The new AVRs are supported by the Atmel Studio IDP for developing and debugging Atmel | SMART ARM processor-based MCUs and Atmel AVR MCU applications, along with