Space-rated ultra-low dropout regulators feature integrated single event effects filter

July 02, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Microsemi has added two ultra-low dropout linear point-of-load regulators for space, commercial aviation and defence applications to its radiation-hardened solutions portfolio.

The MHL8701 and MHL8705 regulators are the first devices of their kind to include an integrated single event effects (SEE) filter to protect against soft errors caused by heavy ions often found in air- and space-borne applications. The new regulators can also be used with the company’s radiation-tolerant SoC and FPGA solutions.
The hermetically sealed regulators are offered with space or military ratings. The new devices are in production and shipping to one of the world’s leading space technology companies for a new space bus architecture program.
Microsemi’s facility in Massachusetts has received Laboratory Suitability approval from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for total dose ionisation (TID), enhanced low dose radiation sensitivity (ELDRS) and SEE radiation testing in accordance with MIL-STD-883.
The MHL8701 and MHL8705 were assembled in a MIL-PRF-38534 certified facility and qualified through the Microsemi Hi-Rel Qualification Level (MHQLTM) program to meet space and military requirements. The devices have attained radiation-performance levels of 300 Krad TID as per Method 1019 and a 100 Krad rating for enhanced low dose rate sensitivity (ELDRS). Single event testing was performed according to ASTM 1192F.
The MHL8701 and MHL8705 are optimised for operation at +5 or +3.3V inputs with 3A and 5A current rating respectively, and provide an ultra-low dropout of 400 mV at 2A with an integrated SEE filter to protect against soft data errors that may occur from subatomic radiation particles commonly found in ground-level and airborne applications.
Microsemi’s new regulators are suited for use with the company’s space-rated, radiation-tolerant RTAX-S/SL/DSP, RTSX-SU and RT-ProASIC3 FPGAs.  All core and I/O voltages required by the FPGAs are typically provided by the new regulators, and the FPGAs are specifically designed for space applications using highly reliable and non- volatile antifuse and flash technologies. They are offered in densities of up to 4 million equivalent system gates and 840 user I/Os, providing designers with flexible programmable platforms.