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Development of SOI-SOC MPU

The evolution of information communications technology which realized the autonomous communication between “thing” and “thing” on a global network has enabled the world closely interconnected. It is considered that such a network will further extend into space in the future. Accordingly next-generation spacecrafts will demand even higher functionality and performance from space MPU (Micro processing Unit) which plays a core role of controlling information of the network under the harsh radiation environment of space.

JAXA are developing SOI-SOC MPU as the high-functionality/high-performance next-generation MPU, which adopts the SOI (Silicon on Insulator) semiconductor manufacturing technology and the SOC (System on Chip) design technology. Since the SOI technology is fundamentally superior in radiation tolerance and the SOC technology can load multiple functions on a single chip, SOI-SOC MPU will contribute to diverse and sophisticated space missions.


The Value of Our Development

Contributing to the realization of innovative space missions

With long life and scalable system, from formation flights in low earth orbit to interplanetary exploration, space missions are becoming ever more diversified and sophisticated. Therefore, space MPU is required to be equipped with extensibility for the scalable selection of functions, performance, and power consumption, and to be up to ten times the current processing speed. By developing the top-level space MPU in the world that satisfies these requirements, JAXA are contributing to the realization of innovative missions for all future spacecraft.

Increasing competitive strength of the Japanese space industry

From a standpoint of both independence and flexibility of Japanese space activity, it is necessary to stably supply domestic space MPU of world class at low cost. This is difficult to achieve when left to the closed space community. After surveying technical trend of world space development, JAXA started to develop a next-generation space MPU in collaboration with a partner who produces commercial MPU by utilizing leading edge of commercial semiconductor technology. JAXA intends not only to increase the competitiveness of the Japanese space industry, but also to allow the fruits of these endeavors to be used widely in society.


Development Goals

Developing high-functionality, high-performance, low-power consumption MPU

Through the use of leading edge of the SOI and the SOC technology as well as JAXA RHBD (Radiation Hardening By Design) technology which we obtained by previous space MPU developments, JAXA develops space MPU of a compact/low power consumption under a balance of radiation-hardness and performance.
SOI-SOC MPU implements a wide variety of I/O functionality too, including space wires that will be a future world standard, to improve network functionality.
Until 2017, JAXA performed both radiation irradiation tests to evaluate radiation tolerance of prototype circuits and simulations to evaluate processing performance of core circuits. In 2018, JAXA embarked on a chip prototype that combines elements circuits and planning to steadily develop it.

JAXA shall achieve low-cost MPU with stable quality and supply

There is a big problem of soft errors in consumer/industrial processors due to atmospheric neutrons on the ground level. SOI-SOC MPU will be delivered as high-reliability parts to users of those processors.
Using leading edge of commercial semiconductor technology, JAXA aims to supply SOI-SOC MPU having stable quality at low cost in parallel with supply of commercial products.