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SMi Global MilSatCom 2019  Satellite Communications Technology

Mercury Systems introduces second generation of space-qualified solid state drives in 6U SpaceVPX form factor

(4 April 2019 - Mercury Systems) Mercury Systems has announced the start of customer engagements for its second generation of the TRRUST-Stor VPX RT family of radiation-tolerant solid state drives (SSD) featuring up to 940GB user capacity in a 6U SpaceVPX form factor.

The new device delivers enhanced versatility with improved error correction code (ECC) and both Serial RapidIO and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) host interfaces. As the first space-qualified storage devices leveraging the SpaceVPX standard for agile interoperability, the TRRUST-Stor VPX RT family enables accelerated system design directly addressing the growing demand for low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and mission critical systems operating in radiation-intense environments.

In terrestrial environments, the NAND flash memory devices used in a traditional SSD device are prone to data corruption without the use of ECC. In radiation-exposed environments, data corruption is vastly accelerated due to the occurrence of single-event effects (SEE) and total ionizing dose (TID) degradation which negatively impact the functionality of the NAND flash memory used in the device.

To counter these damaging effects, Mercury has improved the ECC performance of the original 3U TRRUST-Stor VPX RT device. With 30% more error corrections built-in, the Company’s new 6U device integrates high-reliability defect mitigation thereby enabling normal read and write operations in the presence of harmful ionizing radiation. Additionally, the new SSD features redundant NAND flash to further improve long-term reliability and data integrity.

Recognizing that no two missions have identical requirements, Mercury’s new device is built on a platform to readily enable cost versus performance customization. New product variants can be quickly realized where the ECC, spare device count, user capacity and power consumption are optimized for specific programs. The scalable manufacturing and test resources of the Company’s Advanced Microelectronics Centers assure a seamless transition of custom product variants through volume production.

"With the successful adoption of our 3U TRRUST-Stor VPX RT SSD for multiple LEO satellite applications, we are proud to introduce the next generation of commercial SSD technology optimized for space and other radiation-intense environments while sustaining greater than 1 GB/s data transfer rates,” said Iain Mackie, Vice President and General Manager of Mercury’s Microelectronics Secure Solutions group. “Whether our valued customers are designing a single satellite, a constellation of satellites or a terrestrial computing system exposed to radiation, Mercury is committed to reducing our customers’ program risk by leveraging the scalable manufacturing and test capabilities of our Advanced Microelectronics Centers."

Today’s product announcement exemplifies Mercury’s commitment to expanding the breadth of its space-qualified product portfolio for defense prime contractors and commercial satellite manufacturers. As a further testament to this commitment, the Company is also developing new architectures to provide feature-rich space-grade SSD devices of up to 32TB user capacity for space radar applications. Mercury also offers a comprehensive portfolio of space-qualified RF and microwave solutions that have been trusted on every mission to Mars without device failure.

Mercury designs and manufactures its entire portfolio of space-qualified SSD devices in a Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA)-accredited facility for design, packaging, test and broker services. The Company’s dedication to excellence in all aspects of industrial security has been recognized by the Defense Security Service (DSS) with Superior ratings of several of its sites, including this DMEA-accredited facility.

Mercury is now accepting orders for TRRUST-Stor VPX RT 6U flight units for delivery in the last quarter of calendar year 2019. Additionally, Mercury welcomes inquiries from customers whose system designs may benefit from a 3U form factor variant of the second generation product, which is currently under development.

Mercury Systems

Mercury Systems is a leading commercial provider of secure sensor and safety-critical processing subsystems. Optimized for customer and mission success, Mercury's solutions power a wide variety of critical defense and intelligence programs. Headquartered in Andover, Mass., Mercury is pioneering a next-generation defense electronics business model specifically designed to meet the industry's current and emerging technology needs.