Alpha Data launches new space development kit

Posted on 25 May, 2021 by Advance 

Alpha Data, in collaboration with Xilinx and Texas Instruments, has launched a new Space Development Kit, the ADA-SDEV-KIT3, which will help users to rapidly test the hardware and software setups that look to incorporate the Xilinx Radiation Tolerant Kintex UltraScale XQRKU060 Space-Grade FPGA.

Image courtesy Alpha Data

Alpha Data’s new Space Development Kit, the ADA-SDEV-KIT3, is a development kit for the Xilinx Radiation Tolerant Kintex UltraScale XQRKU060 FPGA, the world's first 20nm space-grade FPGA. The Xilinx XQRKU060 offers a 5x improvement over the previous generation of Space-Grade FPGAs, allowing the deployment of far more advanced communications, signal processing, image processing and machine learning applications.

The ADA-SDEV-KIT3 supersedes Alpha Data’s ADA-SDEV-KIT2 by adding Ethernet I/O and more flexible configuration options for SelectMAP Scrubbing. The improved version, which was developed following space industry feedback, makes the new Space Development Kit more powerful for customers interested in deploying FPGA hardware in harsh environments.

Alpha Data’s ADA-SDEV-KIT3 board powers the FPGA with a reference Texas Instruments power supply design. The power efficiency and the increased processing capacity of the new Space Development Kit will allow customers to design more computationally intensive solutions, with a focus on space deployable systems and payloads.

“We expect machine learning to become vital in dealing with the huge amount of data produced by satellite remote sensing,” commented Andrew McCormick, Technical Director at Alpha Data. “The ability to use machine learning to pre-process and filter data will provide a competitive edge, and this new Space Development Kit – the ADA-SDEV-KIT3 – helps our customers develop spacecraft payloads incorporating AI solutions.”
Alpha Data’s Space Development Kit helps space companies gain this competitive edge by providing a cost-effective environment to rapidly test the hardware and software setups incorporating the Kintex UltraScale XQRKU060 FPGA. Alpha Data have already developed example applications for the Space Development Kit, enabling customers to build on proven designs and reduce their own development cycle to improve the time to market.

“As well as providing ongoing technical and design support, one of Alpha Data’s key strengths is quickly modifying our designs to meet customer requirements,” elaborated Andrew McCormick, “In terms of the space development kit, this allows customers to rapidly prototype and develop rugged aerospace products, helping them get their hardware into orbit faster.”

The launch of this Space Development Kit is part of Alpha Data’s ever growing product line in 'Extreme Environments', which also includes the ADM-VPX3-9Z5 board - an OpenVPX MPSoC FPGA System on Module (SoM) board - and builds on the company’s strong technical heritage and the experience of providing products to aerospace primes and research organizations. Alpha Data engineers are ready to support customers looking to quickly develop space-ready designs using the very best in reconfigurable computing.