UK based EnSilica, a fabless ASIC and mixed signal chip maker, has announced a contract to develop a new chip to address the next generation of mass market satellite broadband user terminals.
The contract has been awarded through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Core Competitiveness program (“ARTES CC”), through the support of the UK Space Agency.
The chip in development will enable a new generation of lower-cost, low-power satellite broadband user terminals, which track the relative movement of low-earth orbit satellites and allow users to access high bandwidth connectivity when out of reach of terrestrial networks.
Use cases include satellite communication-on-the-move (SOTM) for automotive, maritime, and aerospace connectivity as well as extending broadband access to users without internet access.
Dietmar Schmitt, Head of Technologies & Products Division at ESA, said “ESA is pleased to continue our collaboration with EnSilica through the ARTES Core Competitiveness programme and to support this important technology development, which will facilitate the provision of high capacity connectivity across a wide range of use cases.”
Henny Sands, Head of Telecoms at the UK Space Agency, described EnSilica’s satellite broadband user terminals chip as “a brilliant example of the diversity of expertise in the UK’s leading satellite communications sector.”
Henny added: “Through the ARTES CC programme the UK Space Agency aims to champion UK companies that have the right expertise and ambition to become global players in this market and lead on ground-breaking technologies that will enhance the wider UK space sector, create jobs and generate further investment. That’s why we recently announced £50 million of funding for ambitious and innovative projects that will supercharge the UK’s satellite communications industry.”
Paul Morris, VP RF and Communications BU, commented: “We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnerships with both UKSA and ESA to further develop innovative semiconductor solutions for the next generation of satellite broadband user terminals.”
EnSilica is a leading fabless design house focused on custom ASIC design and supply for OEMs and system houses, as well as IC design services for companies with their own design teams. The company has world-class expertise in supplying custom RF, mmWave, mixed signal and digital ICs to its international customers in the automotive, industrial, healthcare and communications markets. The company also offers a broad portfolio of core IP covering cryptography, radar, and communications systems. EnSilica has a track record in delivering high quality solutions to demanding industry standards. The company is headquartered near Oxford, UK and has design centres across the UK and in India and Brazil.
Recent ASICs and Case Studies:
- 40nm Ka-band transceiver and beamformer for satellite terminals
- 180nm BCD H-bridge controller for automotive chassis control
- 55nm low-power mobile phone sensor interface
- 180nm BCD industrial MCU for safety critical applications
- 180nm BCD multi-channel 2GHz phase controller 600nm gyro sensor amplifier
- 28nm audio processor for smart microphone
- 28nm multi-standard GNSS receiver
- 40nm multi-standard analog and digital broadcast receiver
- 40nm 60GHz Radar sensor 65nm medical vital signs sensor with 2.4GHz radio
- 40nm NFC energy harvesting processor
About ESA’S ARTES Core Competitiveness Program:
ESA’s ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems)
program is unique in Europe and aims to support the competitiveness of European and Canadian industry on the world market. Core Competitiveness is dedicated to the development, qualification and demonstration of products (“Competitiveness and Growth”), or long-term technology development (“Advanced Technology”). Products in this context can be equipment for the platform or payload of a satellite, a user terminal, or a full telecom system integrating a network with its space segment.