TI Expands Its Space-Grade Products for Missions From New Space to Deep Space

TI, which has 60 years in the space market, said its space-grade plastic packages can help lower the cost required to launch an application into orbit.

Dallas-based global semiconductor company Texas Instruments is expanding its lineup of space-grade analog semiconductor products in plastic packages that can used for a variety of missions—from new space to deep space.

TI has more than 60 years in the space market, and it continues to develop radiation-hardened and radiation-tolerant products and packaging that helps engineers meet mission-critical requirements with increased power density, performance capabilities, and reliability.

The new products can help lower the cost required to launch an application into orbit, the company said.

TI said in a statement that it developed a new device screening specification called space high-grade in plastic, or SHP, for radiation-hardened products, and introduced new analog-to-digital converters that meet the SHP qualification. The company said it also introduced new product families to the radiation-tolerant Space Enhanced Plastic portfolio.

Plastic packages offer a smaller footprint that allows designers to reduce system-level size, weight, and power compared to traditional ceramic packages, and thus help reduce launch costs.

Previously space applications and programs used hermetically sealed, ceramic Qualified Manufacturers List Class V devices to ensure reliability, TI said.

A growing need for smaller components in new space

Applications in new space are helping expand communication and connectivity and are designed to increase commercial access to space programs through short-term missions in low Earth orbit. There’s a growing need for smaller components that help reduce system size and weight, TI said.

Plastic substrate ball-grid array and plastic-encapsulated devices offer an alternative to traditional space semiconductor packages, TI said.

TI said that its SHP specification indicates integrated circuits that meet the rigorous design requirements of deep space missions with extremely harsh environmental conditions. The SHP specification includes both PBGA and plastic-encapsulated packages for radiation-hardened semiconductors.

The company said that several of its analog-to-digital converters, or ADCs, in flip-chip BGA SHP packages are TI’s first products that meet the SHP specification.

These ADCs help enable designs as much as seven times smaller than those using equivalent ceramic-packaged devices, maximize data communication speeds with SerDes rates up to 17.1 Gbps, and reduce thermal resistance, TI said.

TI said its Space Enhanced Plastic portfolio, or Space EP,  is the industry’s largest plastic, radiation-tolerant power management, and signal-chain portfolio, with devices specifically designed for smaller, high-volume low Earth orbit satellite applications.

The Space EP devices can help save as much as 50 percent of board space compared to traditional ceramic packages and deliver high-performance power supplies with rail-to-rail input/output operation, TI said.

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