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Analog Module Architecture for Space-Qualified Field-Programmable Mixed-Signal Arrays

R. Timothy Edwards, Kim Strohbehn, Steven E. Jaskulek, and Richard Katz
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723-6099


Spacecraft require all manner of both digital and analog circuits. Onboard digital systems are constructed almost exclusively from field-programmable gate array (FPGA) circuits providing numerous advantages over discrete design including high integration density, high reliability, fast turn-around design cycle time, lower mass, volume, and power consumption, and lower parts acquisition and flight qualification costs. Analog and mixed-signal circuits perform tasks ranging from housekeeping to signal conditioning and processing. These circuits are painstakingly designed and built using discrete components due to a lack of options for field-programmability. FPAA (Field-Programmable Analog Array) and FPMA (Field-Programmable Mixed-signal Array) parts exist [1] but not in radiation-tolerant technology and not necessarily in an architecture optimal for the design of analog circuits for spaceflight applications.

This paper outlines an architecture proposed for an FPAA fabricated in an existing commercial digital CMOS process used to make radiation-tolerant antifuse-based FPGA devices. The primary concerns are the impact of the technology and the overall array architecture on the flexibility of programming, the bandwidth available for high-speed analog circuits, and the accuracy of the components for high-performance applications.

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Next: Introduction
R. Timothy Edwards

Last updated: October 13, 1999 at 3:11pm