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Space Qualification and Validation of High Performance European Rad-Hard FPGA

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OPERA (Space Qualification and Validation of High Performance European Rad-Hard FPGA)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-12-31

The OPERA project sets clear and measurable main objectives to reach a TRL 7 as follows:
1. Validation and tradeoff by end users of NanoXplore rad-hard FPGA (NG-LARGE and NG-ULTRA) – TRL 6 achieved.
2. Development and testing of very complex ceramic hermetic package CGA 1752 – TRL 6 achieved
3. Space ESCC evaluation of NanoXplore's rad-hard FPGA (NG-LARGE) – TRL 7 achieved.
OPERA is set up to validate and do the ESCC evaluation of advanced rad-hard NG-LARGE FPGA with minimum risk execution and best product time to market. The project will give access to state of the art qualified rad-hard FPGA NG-LARGE and prepare future applications for the most advanced FPGA in the world NG-ULTRA.

The proposed activity is part of a jointly agreed space FPGA roadmap between EU, the European Space Agency, the CNES and the key European space equipment manufacturers. It is supporting the Strategic Research Agenda of the European Space Technology Platform through various objectives such as:
• Preparing and enabling future European space programmes,
• Supporting the industry competitiveness (short term/time to market),
• Guaranteeing European technology independence,
• Fostering technology transfer The proposed activities allow addressing applications beyond the space market such as avionic, energy and transport. These markets are close to the space market in terms of reliability and performance requirements and can be derived from the proposed development in a short time frame.

OPERA will offer European space agencies and major customers the state-of-the-art components they need without having to worry about exportation regulations. Additional markets beyond aerospace will also be addressed. The main goal of OPERA is indeed to validate and ESCC evaluate a rad-hard FPGA and associated CAD tools by integrating all the enabling design and manufacturing technologies needed to deliver high reliability, radiation-hardened integrated circuits.
OPERA has some delays on the activities and therefore on deliverables due to bugs
of NX tools and also due to COVID-19 situation.
WP1: Nxmap still progressing. ADS-G activities are refocused on a sustainable usecase in the context of Galileo 2nd Generation with NG-ULTRA FPGAs implementing
the Galileo Payload Application. Evaluation of NG-LARGE Mass Memory design by
TAS-I is on going. ADS-F has completed background activities: IP and FPGA
interconnect to run the 4 step sequence defined are coded and unitary validated. TASF is following Siemens activities in developing NG-Ultra technology support in
Precision/ Catapult tools
WP2: NG-LARGE radiation test vehicle done. Heavy ion radiation tests have been
done, NG-Large has proved to be radiation tolerant.
WP3: NG-LARGE LGA 1752 package design completed: lead NX (Package design
rules shared, Package design completed, Package substrate manufactured, Package
WP4: EWS and FT Boards available: EWS (Electrical Wafer Sort) Hardware
manufactured and FT (Final Test) Hardware designed. ATE solution defined. EWS on
going: put on hold after completion on NG-LARGE V1, ST is waiting for NG-LARGE V2
to continue.
WP5: Partners participated in many conferences / workshops in 2019, in 2020 the
pandemic has impacted the dissemination, some participations in 2021. For 2022
partners are planned to publish papers and participate to conferences.
OPERA will be an important step to go beyond current state of the art of rad-hard FPGA in Europe. The outcome of OPERA will be clear and measurable with the ESCC evaluation of rad-hard FPGA and first experimentation by the two largest European satellite vendors. The evaluated FPGA will be tested in operational environment to validate SEE and TID robustness. OPERA will reach a TRL 7.

OPERA will have a profound impact on the future of European FPGA, delivering a new generation of rad-hard FPGA that offer substantial benefits for end-users in many different harsh environment markets.

OPERA will have the following impacts:
• Reduce the dependence on critical technologies and capabilities from outside Europe for future space applications by providing an ITAR free advanced rad-hard FPGA
• Develop or regain in the mid-term the European capacity to operate independently in space with access to new generation of rad-hard FPGA beyond current state of the art
• Enhance the technical capabilities and overall competitiveness of European space industry satellite vendors on the worldwide market by giving prime access to exportation restriction free high performance technologies
• Work package dedicated to the development of a commercial evaluation of the technology with a full range of recurring products. The future rad-hard FPGA will be available in space qualified package and commercial package with a clear pricing strategy to maximise product dissemination outside space markets
• Improve the overall European space technology landscape and complement the activities of European and national space programmes. OPERA is clearly set up to complement the ongoing ESA/ CNES BRAVE project
• OPERA will have clear social and evironmental impacts by offering a very versatile technology able to meet multiple applications in various markets with the same device. It will also facilitate SMEs access to advance space applications OPERA will give the possibility for Europe to have free, unrestricted access to advanced rad-hard FPGA for space technology. OPERA FPGA will meet all technology requirements specified in the Excerpt from Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence List of Urgent Actions for 2012/2013 published in June 2014. Therefore OPERA is fully compliant regarding radhard FPGA with the list of urgent actions for Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic NonDependence for the time-frame of 2012-2013. OPERA will give access to European space industry to the most advanced rad-hard FPGA devices without any exportation restriction. These new rad-hard FPGA will also offer unique SEE mitigation techniques and advanced features such as DPS or high speed buses. As described in the chart below, rad-hard FPGA are commonly used in satellites and these new devices will have a significant impact on future space application performance. It is even more the case for European satellite vendors which are often limited with ITAR free technologies. OPERA is expected to have a clear impact on European space industry by improving European satellite vendors’ competiveness. OPERA will also improve space technology dissemination to SMEs by offering a cheaper technology than advanced ASIC development. Indeed, advanced FPGA like NG-FPGA-MEDIUM and NG-FPGA-LARGE can be used instead of many ASIC which significantly reduces NRE associated to new application development