MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Actel Corp. announced that its low-power ProASIC 3 and ProASICPLUS FPGA families have been designed into flight-critical applications on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner commercial airliner.
Flight computers, cockpit displays, engine control and monitoring systems, braking systems, safety warning systems, cabin pressurization and air conditioning systems, and power control and distribution systems all make use of Actel's highly-reliable flash-based FPGAs. The commercial aircraft successfully completed its maiden test flight on December 15, 2009.
"Actel's history and proven track record of providing low-power, high-reliability FPGAs to the aviation market was leveraged by a number of design teams working on the safety-critical subsystems for the Boeing 787, resulting in many of our FPGAs being used in each aircraft," stated Ken O'Neill, director, military and aerospace product marketing at Actel.
"We are proud to be part of this innovation, offering not only high-reliability digital logic for multiple systems on the new airliner, but also delivering the quality support demanded by Boeing and its subcontractors. Actel was the first FPGA supplier to achieve certification of its quality system to the aerospace industry AS9100 standard."
Actel's flash-based ProASIC3 and ProASICPLUS devices are low-power, single-chip, live-at-power-up solutions that combine high-performance and high-reliability with nonvolatility and in-system reprogrammability. Unlike SRAM-based FPGAs, Actel's flash-based FPGAs are immune to neutron-induced configuration upsets.
For an avionic system designer, this immunity is essential because the occurrence of troublesome neutron radiation is approximately 150 times higher at commercial aviation altitudes than at sea level. Particularly detrimental in safety-critical aerospace applications, radiation-induced configuration upsets can cause SRAM-based FPGAs to lose vital configuration data and consequently behave unpredictably.