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Cobham awarded ESA contract for GR740 SBC reference design

Posted 28 November 2019 · Add Comment

Cobham Gaisler, a space design centre of advanced electronic solutions, announced today that it is leading a consortium for a new development contract from the European Space Agency (ESA).


Courtesy Cobham


Cobham Gaisler and RUAG Space, both located in Gothenburg, Sweden, with specification input from Airbus Defense and Space, Thales Alenia Space and OHB Systems, will together design a reference design and basic software for a single board computer (SBC) based on the GR740 Quad-Core LEON4FT Microprocessor.

Cobham Awarded Contract from European Space Agency for GR740 SBC Reference DesignSponsored by the ESA, this single board computer reference design and software will be available for all European space users. It will be based on Cobham’s GR740, a radiation hardened system-on-chip that has been designed as the European Space Agency's Next Generation Microprocessor (NGMP) and is part of the ESA roadmap for standard microprocessor components. The development will include breadboard and basic software to be verified on a functional and performance level, as well as a test plan for future space qualification. The availability of the reference design will shorten the development time and reduce the risk for space users when designing their custom single board computers and flight software based on the GR740 processor.

"The project is a perfect fit for Cobham, with the highest level of expertise in the GR740 processor, a suitable basic software library, successful experience of previous reference design projects and in-depth knowledge of potential backplane standards. Through the collaboration with RUAG Space, who brings an unparalleled amount of relevant design experience, we ensure high quality output of the board development, test environment and environmental analyses”, said Arne Samuelsson, Proposal & Project Manager, Cobham Gaisler.

“We at RUAG Space have a long experience in developing boards for internal use, also using LEON technology, and see this activity as an opportunity to bring our knowledge and experience to the single board processor market”, said Lars-Göran Green, Project Manager, RUAG Space.

“After the effort and investment undertaken by ESA and European industry to develop and qualify the GR740 Quad-Core LEON4FT Microprocessor, this is the next step to bring this new space component into real space computers. While large system integrators usually know how to develop their own computer units, the reference design, to be made available under ESA community licence, will be of particular interest also for small companies and institutes, developing instruments for science and other missions, enabling them to offer a high performance and high quality on-board computer at reasonable incremental development effort. A common reference design for a frequently used building block such as a computer, while still allowing application specific tailoring, also improves the standardisation of interfaces and form factors, hereby reducing the effort to make things fit at unit- and system integration”, said Roland Weigand, Technical Officer, European Space Agency.
 

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