Teledyne e2v
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Four-Channel ADC Makes the Grade for Space

June 28, 2021
Teledyne e2v's EV12AQ600 is the first space-qualified four-channel ADC. It's capable of 12-bit resolution and high-speed sampling rate and the four channels can be interleaved for even higher sampling rates.

The industry’s first four-channel analog-to-digital converter (ADC) qualified for space applications has been confirmed by Teledyne e2v. The company’s model EV12AQ600 ADC is a radiation-hardened device that can withstand a total ionizing dose (TID) of 150 kRad and provides the exceptional reliability needed to survive long-term missions in satellites and other space vehicles. It meets NASA and ESA requirements according to MIL-PRF-38535 (ML-Y) and ESCC 9000 standards.

The model EV12AQ600 ADC (see the figure) features 12-bit resolution and 1.6 GS/s maximum sampling rate across each channel or a maximum rate of 6.4 GS/s for one channel when the four channels are interleaved. The space-qualified ADC can be programmed remotely, such as when the device is in orbit, thanks to a cross-point switch following the input ports and an accompanying Xilinx model XQRKU060 field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Programming of such parameters as the number of channels, the bit rate, and the dynamic range can be changed while the FPGA is in space. In addition, a collection of FPGA libraries is available to support different applications using the FPGA ecosystem.

“Through our space-qualified EV12AQ600 devices, we are able to offer customers high-performance data converter solutions that are ready to integrate directly into their systems,” explains Nicolas Chantier, marketing director at Teledyne e2v. He adds: “It means that they can benefit from flight-proven TRL9 technology, without the need for any further qualification effort. Also, with inventory now available, there are much shorter lead times associated with these ADCs than competing solutions currently on the market. Customers can therefore get access to samples straight away.” Measurement data related to the space qualification of the four-channel ADC, including extensive shock, vibration, and electrostatic-discharge (ESD) testing, can be found at the company's website.

To aid designers faced with digitizing high-frequency analog signal chains in avionics, military, and space systems, Teledyne e2v offers its EV12AQ600-FMC-EVM development kit (Figure 1) for the EV12AQ600 and EV12AQ605 ADCs. The kit enables engineers to quickly assemble prototype circuits with the ADCs and verify its performance. Each kit contains one of the ADCs mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) with four single-ended signal inputs to the ADC and an FMC connection for interconnection to a programmable logic device (PLD).

The prototype PCBs also include a high-speed internal reference clock for 6.4-GHz operation, a +12-V DC power supply, and an ESIstream serial interface. The prototyping circuit boards can also be connected to an external reference clock and temperature monitor for experimentation. The new development kits provide additional options to earlier kits based on the company’s EV12AQ60x series of ADCs, with prototype boards containing field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The ADCs incorporate a cross-point switch that allows the EV12AQ600 and EV12AQ605 ADCs to sample at rates to 1.6 GS/s in four-channel mode, to 3.2 GS/s in two-channel mode, and to 6.4 GS/s when using a single channel.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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