Nebula Public Library

The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

Radiation Hardened (RH) Point of Load Converter chip in plastic package

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Start Date
End Date
To provide an existing Radiation Hardened (RH) point of load converter chip with a plastic package, for cost reduction and performance improvement
New space applications and present thoughts about use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components resulted in the massive use of non-hermetic packages for a number of active analogue, digital or mixed Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), to combine both performances and cost reduction. One extremely attractive option is to put in plastic package a radiation hardened component, for which full traceability can be demonstrated.
There are already examples of such an exercise in Europe (for example, for Digital Programmable Controllers), but not yet for power (analogue, mixed) ASIC.
The first application of a plastic package to a performing and modern Point of Load (pol) converter chip seems extremely relevant, due to the inherent challenges of the design (thermal aspects, criticality of connections - resistance, inductance - for the final ASIC performances) and the possibility to prove the concept on a very relevant vehicle (Point of Load converter) that is a typical bottleneck for power management and distribution of all modern digital applications.
It is expected that the adoption of the plastic package not only would improve the pol cost but that it would enhance the relevant performances (dissipation, efficiency) with respect to the hermetic option (which makes use of existing qualified packages that are not specifically developed for high power and high speed applications). On the other side, the activity will be very useful to evaluate such an approach for other key applications and identify how to reliably fit critical components in plastic packages for space applications.
This activity encompasses the following tasks:
- identify the pol converter chip;
- study the relevant plastic package options to obtain at the same time a reliable solution and a converter performance improvement (efficiency, dissipation, other) with respect to the existing hermetic option (plastic package should be preferably selected of extended temperature range and possibly already qualified for automotive/industrial applications);
- select and justify the most promising solution;
- manufacture and test the packaged component in a adequate number of pieces;
- perform a dedicated evaluation campaign according to the requirements set up in ECSS-Q-ST-60-13C, quot; Commercial electrical, electronic and electromechanical (EEE) components quot; or to a set of requirements commonly agreed with the Agency.
- prepare a qualification plan for achieving a final product.
Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
3 - Space Systems Electrical Power
Competence Domain
4-Electric Architecture, Power and Energy, EMC
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document