SkyLabs announces the official release of the PicoSkyFT processor

PicoSkyFT is a game-changing, fault-tolerant soft-core processor for aerospace and safety-critical applications.

PicoSkyFT processor core released
The technology-independent PicoSkyFT is the answer to the demands of the new-age space market. The small-scale processor finally allows offloading the complexity of current designs by replacing the increasingly more complex state machines in the overly loaded FPGAs. The design can be then reused easily, while modifying its functionalities does not present any major challenges (CAN, SPI, TWI, UART, Timer/PWM interfaces, etc.). Moreover, the PicoSkyFT addresses the rapidly changing needs on the space market by shortening the development process and minimizing the cost of verification efforts.

The ground-breaking technology of PicoSkyFT does not compromise when it comes to reliability as the integrated mitigation techniques provide a highly cost-efficient solution even when the IP core is integrated into commercial off-the-shelf FPGAs. Several radiation testing campaigns confirmed the processor is SEFI free and its 100% safe operation, thus ensuring outstanding operational robustness and computational integrity in high radiation environment. The maturity of the technology has been verified and confirmed with a series of activities together with the ESA.

The PicoSkyFT is a small footprint high-performance, 16/8-bit fault-tolerant, soft-core processor with a set of standard peripheral units and open interface for customized peripherals. A complete easy-to-use software development suite is provided including a seamless connection to a PicoSkyLINK programmer/debugger to write, build and debug your applications written in C/C++ or assembly code. Fast prototyping and optimization of development time are made easy with the use of PicoSkySIM, a cycle exact processor emulation software. The PicoSkyFT processor provides a highly scalable and adaptable SoC design approach to accommodate all specific needs, leveraging on the reuse of building blocks which are highly configurable and already validated.

The PicoSkyFT has been validated for use in dependable embedded space applications in cooperation with the ESA's Microelectronics and Data Systems Division. G. Furano and C. Monteleone, both Data Systems Engineers at ESA, recognized the need for small space rated microcontroller soft cores on the embedded IP market. According to ESA experts, future space avionics will see a shift from centralized intelligence to distributed autonomous functions, thanks to the availability of high capacity FPGAs and microcontrollers that offload tasks currently running on the on-board computer. This will allow higher reuse of building blocks and a lower SW footprint, while guaranteeing a similar (and even better) level of the system’s availability and reliability as the PicoSkyFT technology.

Target applications

The PicoSkyFT technology (r)evolutionizes the architectural satellite approach with a strong focus on distributed intelligence. Dispersed nodes, sensors, actuators, etc. can finally inherit the required local intelligence in a highly integrated manner and as a result enable the shift from the outdated architectural approach of centralized avionics to distributed intelligent systems. The PicoSkyFT is also a top-notch solution for a wide range of other applications, such as:

  • enabling cost efficient miniaturization of AOCS/GNC (gyros, IMUs and MTMs),
  • antenna and solar array positioning,
  • BLDC and stepper motors control,
  • robotics applications control,
  • increasing functionality in reaction wheels,
  • implementation of closed loop controls in propulsion units,
  • particle detector/radiation environment monitoring,
  • mass memory control,
  • RTU control,
  • I/O modules,
  • simple instrument control,
  • sensor bus control,
  • wireless networking, etc.

Tell me more about PicoSkyFT processor.

Quick hands-on experience

The PicoSkyFT processor and its complete ecosystem are now available for evaluation on the convenient PicoSky Evaluation Board. The Board has been designed to provide the PicoSkyFT users a quick and intuitive hands-on experience thanks to the already pre-programed FPGA SoC implementation powered by the PicoSkyFT processor, USB Plug-n-Play function and integrated PicoSkyLINK programmer/debugger. The Evaluation Board is solely powered by USB. It supports a variety of interfaces (CAN, SPI, TWI, GPIOs, ADCs, Timers/PWMs, UARTs, etc.), while the on-board mass storage and a rich set of local telemetry data collection with numerous C-code examples make PicoSky Evaluation Board, an ideal solution for fast prototyping and low-cost development in a variety of applications.

Tell me more about PicoSky Evaluation Board.

The PicoSky Evaluation Board [SKY-9213] is now available for pre-order at a promotional price.

For pre-order please send us email to