Xilinx Launches 20nm Space-Grade FPGA for Satellite and Space Applications

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), the provider of adaptive and intelligent computing, has announced the industry´s first 20-nanometer (nm) space-grade FPGA, delivering full radiation tolerance and ultra-high throughput and bandwidth performance for satellite and space applications, the company said.

The new 20nm Radiation Tolerant (RT) Kintex® UltraScale™ XQRKU060 FPGA provides true unlimited on-orbit reconfiguration, over a 10x increase in digital signal processing (DSP) performance — ideal for payload applications — and full radiation tolerance across all orbits.

The XQRKU060 also brings high performance machine learning (ML) to space for the first time. A diverse portfolio of ML development tools supporting industry standard frameworks, including TensorFlow and PyTorch, enable neural network inference acceleration for real-time on-board processing in space with a complete “process and analyze” solution.

The XQRKU060´s dense, power-efficient compute with scalable precision and large on-chip memory, provides 5.7 tera operations per second (TOPs) of peak INT8 performance optimized for deep learning, a nearly 25X increase compared to the prior generation.

Building on Xilinx´s space heritage and highly successful 65nm space-grade devices, the launch of the first 20nm part for space applications advances the space industry by three process node generations. It delivers a significant reduction in size, weight and power, and is engineered with robust radiation tolerant features. The XQRKU060 provides customers with a space-resilient device equipped to handle both short and long duration missions in harsh space environments.

The XQRKU060 is the industry´s only true unlimited on-orbit reconfigurable solution. The on-orbit reconfiguration capabilities, together with real-time on-board processing and ML acceleration, allows satellites to update in real-time, deliver video-on-demand, and perform compute “on-the-fly” to process complex algorithms.

The ML capabilities are suitable to a variety of problems spanning scientific analysis, object detection, and image classification — such as cloud detection — enabling improved processing efficiency and reduced decision latency both in space and on the ground. As protocols and applications progressively change, the adaptive compute architecture of the XQRKU060 allows unlimited on-orbit reconfiguration to enable customers to perform last-minute product updates prior to launch, as well as after it has been deployed in orbit.

Xilinx develops highly flexible and adaptive processing platforms that enable rapid innovation across a variety of technologies — from the endpoint to the edge to the cloud. Xilinx is the inventor of the FPGA, hardware programmable SoCs, and the ACAP, designed to deliver the most dynamic processor technology in the industry and enable the adaptable, intelligent, and connected world of the future. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.