Military & Aerospace Electronics recognizes Renesas as innovator awardee in space integrated circuits

Dec. 11, 2019
The plastic-packaged ISL7104xM for new-space small satellites are inherently radiation tolerant, and are for power supplies designed into satellites.

NASHUA, N.H. – Industry judges have named the ISL7104xM plastic-packaged, radiation-tolerant pulse-width modulator (PWM) controller and gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistor (FET) driver from Renesas Electronics America Inc. in Milpitas, Calif., as a platinum award recipient in the Military & Aerospace Electronics 2019 Technology Innovators Awards.

The ISL7104xM for new-space small satellites are for use in power supplies in satellites operating in low Earth orbit. These characteristics include inherent radiation tolerance, plastic packaging, small die size, no parasitic p-n diode and fast switching, increased efficiency, and small total size.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics and Intelligent Aerospace 2019 Technology Innovators Awards are in three tiers -- ranging from platinum, the highest, to the gold awards, and finally to the silver awards -- and are based on the recommendations of an independent panel of industry judges.

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The wide chasm between traditional satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) is fading with the advent of plans for larger constellations with higher LEO and greater satellite capability, Renesas officials say.

While relatively large constellations drive down bandwidth costs, they also require a greater amount of satellites with slightly longer mission lives, higher orbits, higher radiation level requirements, and more stringent reliability and quality requirements.

While the technical and radiation requirements are not as rigorous as traditional satellites, large constellation requirements still can bring considerable costs and risks. COTS components are one approach to support these larger constellations. However, these come with high costs, a steep learning curve, and high design risk.

Related: Plastic integrated circuits get hot in high-temp market

The ISL71043M PWM controller and ISL71040M GaN FET driver represent a new class of radiation-tolerant integrated circuits, company officials say. These plastic-package integrated circuits address the emerging SmallSat constellation needs in a small form factor solution that combines commercial-like performance, reliable packages, and the radiation performance needed for satellite constellation programs that are cost effective and can help minimize program risks.

Several characteristics of the ISL71043M PWM controller and ISL71040M GaN FET driver make them attractive for use in power supplies in satellites operating in low-Earth orbit, such as inherent radiation tolerance, plastic packaging, and small die size; no parasitic p-n diode and fast switching; and increased efficiency and smaller total size.

For more information contact Renesas Electronics America online at

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