In the realm of space technology, the challenges extend far beyond radiation hardening, and at the forefront of innovative solutions is highlighted in the article “Designing And Securing Chips For Outer Space” by SemiEngineering.

Space-grade hardware demands flawless performance for years, enduring extreme temperature variations, potential collisions with space debris, and exposure to particles in the void. Reliability in space introduces unique design considerations, addressing not only physical tampering but also potential disruptions in communication, data theft, and remote malware uploads. Component failures due to particle collisions or aging create new vulnerabilities, emphasizing the need for robust security measures.

Ian Land, senior director of aerospace and defense vertical solutions at Synopsys, emphasizes the challenge of off-gassing in space. To manage this, modern packaging allows controlled off-gassing, exposing the chip to the environment while mitigating its impact on internal components.

Limited volume and the need for maximum radiation tolerance drive custom-designed chips for high-performance space flight computers. Strict manufacturing processes and meticulous modeling are crucial to ensure consistent results, as devices in space are challenging and costly to replace.

Frank Schirrmeister, vice president of solutions and business development at Arteris IP, underscores the importance of designing platforms that adhere to specific safety and security requirements. The predictability and repeatability of processes become paramount, making model-based systems engineering a valuable approach in the complex space environment.

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