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Renesas Electronics Launches Digital Isolators with Superior Radiation Performance for Small Satellites in Low Earth Orbit

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced two plastic packaged, radiation-tolerant digital isolators that provide the highest isolation protection (2,500VRMS) from high voltage spikes in power supply stages and serial communications interfaces used in low Earth orbit (LEO) Small Satellites (SmallSats). Private “New Space” companies plan to launch thousands of SmallSats forming large constellations that operate in multiple LEO planes. SmallSat mega-constellations provide ubiquitous broadband Internet of Things (IoT) communications anywhere across the globe, and Earth observation high-resolution imaging for sea, air, and land asset tracking.

The passive input ISL71610M and active input ISL71710M offer superior performance across key electrical specifications, including isolation voltage, data rate, common mode transient immunity, propagation delay, quiescent current, and dynamic current. Renesas’ Giant Magneto Resistive (GMR) digital isolators are ideal replacements for optocouplers that are susceptible to cloudy optics from total ionizing dose (TID) radiation. Both GMR isolators also out-perform transformer-based digital isolators that experience electromagnetic interference (EMI) due to radiated emissions from edge and dipole radiation. The Renesas GMR digital isolators are characterization tested at a total ionizing doze (TID) of up to 30krads(Si), and for single event effects (SEE) at a linear energy transfer (LET) of 43MeV•cm2/mg.

In isolation partitioned power supply designs, the ISL71610M and ISL71710M provide an instantaneous 2.5kVRMS of isolation and 600VRMS continuous working voltage at 85°C. In serial communications subsystems that need the transmitter and receiver electrically isolated from each other, the ISL71610M operates up to 100 Mbps, and the ISL71710M up to 150 Mbps. Both offer the New Space industry’s highest data rates–6x higher than competitive solutions–which make them ideal for serial communications links, such as RS-422, RS-485, and Controller Area Network (CAN). The ISL71610M and ISL71710M both have significantly lower quiescent current than the competition, and the ISL71710M has nearly 4x lower dynamic current than Class V isolators.

“The ISL71610M and ISL71710M use a GMR inductive structure that is inherently immune to radiation effects, and build on Renesas’ six decades of spaceflight experience,” said Philip Chesley, Vice President, Industrial Analog and Power Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “GMR makes our space-grade digital isolators more desirable than optical-based designs, and Renesas’ radiation-tolerant plastic flow provides the optimal cost versus radiation performance in comparison to Class V isolators.”

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