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.