FPGAs fly with Airbus
More than 700 Actel FPGAs have been designed into the Airbus A380
Actel has supplied field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and intellectual property (IP) core modules for a number of applications onboard the Airbus A380 commercial airliner. More than 700 devices from the company's ProASIC Plus and SX-A FPGA families have been designed into the following applications: flight computers; engine control and monitoring; braking systems; safety warning systems; cabin air conditioning and pressurisation; and cockpit displays.
In addition, Actel's Core10/100 IP module, an Ethernet media access controller, and a ProASIC Plus FPGA were selected for use in an avionics full-duplex switched Ethernet (AFDX) communications link for the A380, which is being billed as the largest, most advanced and most efficient commercial airliner ever.
'Actel's proven track record of providing high-performance, reliable solutions to the aviation market was recognised by a number of design teams working on many of the subsystems for the Airbus A380, resulting in more than 700 of our FPGAs being used in each aircraft', stated Ken O'Neill, Director, Military and Aerospace Product Marketing at Actel.
'Not only did we provide the silicon and IP solutions necessary to meet the demanding performance and safety requirements of this world-class airliner, but our industry-leading support also played a key role in helping everyone involved stay on target for meeting the goal of starting passenger service by 2006'.
Actel's Flash-based ProASIC Plus devices are single-chip, live at power up solutions that combine high performance and low power with nonvolatility and in-system reprogrammability.
The SX-A family of antifuse-based FPGAs provides a combination of high speed and low power in highly secure single-chip solutions.
Unlike SRAM-based FPGAs, Actel's ProASIC Plus and SX-A devices are immune to neutron-induced, single-event functional interrupts ('firm errors') and require no radiation-mitigation techniques.
When high-energy neutrons penetrate the SRAM memory cells used for configuration of an SRAM FPGA, it is highly probable that functional failure will cause the device to operate in an unpredictable manner.
This can be particularly detrimental in aerospace applications.
The Core10/100 IP module supports 10/100Mbit/s full and half duplex operations.
For the Airbus A380, the IP core was selected for an AFDX communications link in a down-wing application for engine-control monitoring.
This challenging application required severe temperature capabilities and firm-error resistance.
Actel's ProASIC Plus FPGAs and the Core10/100 IP module provided a reliable, high-performance solution with guaranteed service. Request a free brochure from Actel Europe....
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