Cobham Gaisler AB provides IP cores and supporting development tools for embedded processors based on the SPARC architecture. We specialize in digital hardware design for both commercial and aerospace applications

Suitability of reprogrammable FPGAs in space applications

"Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices have been used in space for more than a decade with a mixed level of success. Until now, few reprogrammable devices have been used on European spacecraft due to their sensitivity to involuntary reconfiguration due to Single Event Upsets (SEU) induced by radiation. But with the advent of reprogrammable devices featuring a million systemgates or more, it is not longer feasible to disregard these technologies."
This document concentrates on SRAM based FPGA devices from Xilinx. Through a comprehensive bibliography, it illustrates SEU failure mechanisms and susceptibility, SEU mitigation approaches and summarises (radiation) test results. Author: Sandi Habinc.