New Low-power 1 GHz 3U SBC from Aitech Provides Improved Processing Performance and Better Data Throughput

Chatsworth, Calif. May 2009 – Aitech Defense Systems Inc., the world’s first and largest independent manufacturer of open architecture electronic boards and subsystem level products for harsh, environmentally-demanding defense and aerospace applications, now offers the S950-02, an enhanced, 1 GHz version of its space-flown S950 3U CompactPCI (cPCI) radiation-tolerant, single board computer (SBC) providing increased processing power and data throughput. 

Using the high-performance PowerPC 750GX running at 1 GHz, coupled with silicon on insulator (SOI) PowerPC technology, the new conduction-cooled S950-02 combines a significantly low overall board power consumption of less than 10 W with configurable processor speeds and better radiation tolerance to provide an effective unshielded total ionization dose (TID) greater than 15 krad (Si).

Designed for numerous space applications including low earth orbit (LEO), Mars terrestrial and geostationary earth orbit (GEO), the highly-reliable SBC provides a low single event upset (SEU) rate of less than one upset per 900 days of operation in LEO with considerations for the worst case solar flare and the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). 

This makes the board ideal for use in a variety of harsh, mission-critical systems including redundant mission computers, flight guidance and navigation computers, command and data handling computers as well as in solid state recorders, video controllers and manipulation controllers.

To protect on-board memory resources from radiation effects, the S950-02 incorporates 128 MB of triple-redundant SDRAM with three bits per cell.  On the rad-tolerant FPGA, a voting mechanism performed only on the read cycle allows for data correction before sending to the CPU or PowerPC bus.  1 MB of dual-redundant boot Flash stores the on-board Boot firmware and ensures full data integrity in the event of corruption during the boot-up sequence. 

Complementary memory resources consist of 64 MB of ECC-protected user flash with optional Flash FileSystem Driver (FFD) software to implement a file system.  The high-integrity internal L1 and L2 cache, 32 kB and 1 MB respectively, both feature parity checks on tags and data arrays, with an ECC check on data arrays in the L2 cache.

The board’s 32-bit/33 MHz PCI local bus that supports single and burst transfers provides connection to peripheral I/O via a 32-bit PMC slot to allow fast access between PCI I/O devices and the host processor.  The cPCI bus enables the S950-02 to be configured as a standard cPCI board or a Slot 1 system controller where it can support up to seven additional cPCI boards with built-in clock signals as well as distribution and bus arbitration control.

The additional I/O interfaces include an off-board 10 Mbps/100 Mbps Ethernet port for ground development, a PMC slot for board flexibility and expansion as well as two standard RS422 UART serial ports on the FPGA that provide a maximum asynchronous baud rate of 115.2 kbps.  Four independent 32-bit software-programmable counters/timers and an on-board hardware watchdog timer also reside on the FPGA.

The extensive firmware package includes startup (boot) firmware, an AIMon monitoring and debugging tool, an AIDiag diagnostic tool and burn-in testing (BIT), which can be executed during power-up or any time after the board has been booted.  A full board support package (BSP) for VxWorks RTOS v5.5.1 and v6.3.1 comes standard, with other real-time system support available upon request. 


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