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Mixed-signal MCU

Radiation-tolerant chip with CAN

Cobham Gaisler presented at the CAN in Space workshop its GR716 micro-controller. It features on-chip A/D and D/A converters as well as other signal processing circuitry.

The GR716 is a fault-tolerant Sparc V8 processor with 31 register windows and a 192-KiB Edac-protected memory (Photo: Cobham Gaisler)

The Sparc-processor developed by Cobham Gaisler provides a double-precision FPU (floating-point unit). The chip comes with CAN, Mil-1553B, and Spacewire interfaces. Is has been designed for deterministic execution in the digital domain, therefore it provides two A/D converters and four D/A converters.

The supplier offers evaluation and development boards, too. On the CAN in Space workshop 2019, the company has released the TSIM3-GR716 instruction simulator. It can be used during software verification and validation development phases. The tools provide extended debugging and analysis facilities not available working with hardware, such as an indefinite number of watch-points, unlimited instruction and bus trace lengths, as well as non-intrusive profiling and code coverage.

The instruction simulator is targeted towards software applications developers and system engineers conducting performance evaluations and system level simulations of equipment utilizing the company’s GR716 radiation-hardened micro-controller. The GR716 micro-controller is currently available in prototype quality. The GR716 development has been funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

“We are very excited to bring this new instruction simulator product to the market. The TSIM3 combines the best of our existing TSIM2 and GRSIM simulators into a single product. As it has been with our previous instruction simulators, TSIM3 implements precise simulation of the radiation-hard devices that we develop. We have consciously chosen to prioritize accuracy over simulation speed,” said Daniel Hellstroem from Cobham Gaisler. "The first release of our TSIM3 has been focused on the support of the new GR716 micro-controller device. The GR716 has a new architecture with tightly coupled local memory and complex DMA transfers with built-in atomic operations, which were not possible to model with TSIM2. The mixed-signal GR716 is one of our most complex system-on-chip designs, which is why we chose it for the initial release of the TSIM3 simulator.”

The TSIM3 tool replaces the existing TSIM2 single-core and the GRSIM multi-core simulators. The initial release of TSIM3 only supports the single-core processor implemented in the GR716 fault-tolerant MCU as well as the two on-chip CAN modules. The release of the TSIM3 version for multi-core simulation is expected later this year, supporting the GR712RC dual-core and GR740 quad-core processors.


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Cobham Gaisler