NASA SpaceCube 2.0 Sports Peregrine UltraCMOS® Power Management Solution

  NASA SpaceCube 2.0 Sports Peregrine UltraCMOS® Power Management Solution

Now on the International Space Station, initial experiments verify Peregrine’s
   rad-hard RFIC flawlessly regulates power and helps SpaceCube 2.0 deliver
                    unprecedented on-orbit computing power

Business Wire

SAN DIEGO -- September 30, 2013

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: PSMI), a fabless provider of
high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), is receiving
early reports from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center that its
UltraCMOS®-based power management solution is delivering uninterrupted high
performance while meeting the radiation-hardened and extreme-temperature
requirements at the International Space Station. Selected for NASA’s SpaceCube
2.0 Hybrid Science Data Processor, Peregrine’s Point-of-Load (POL) DC-DC Buck
Regulators with integrated switches helped the design team meet its goals of
delivering “order-of-magnitude improvements” in on-orbit computing performance
over traditional flight computing systems.

This illustration of NASA’s SpaceCube 2.0 Hybrid Science Data Processor
(Flight Model) shows the slo ...

This illustration of NASA’s SpaceCube 2.0 Hybrid Science Data Processor
(Flight Model) shows the slot for the processor card – featuring a Peregrine
UltraCMOS® power management solution – that helps achieve a reduction in size
and an order-of-magnitude increase in processing power over SpaceCube 1.0.
Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Goddard Space Flight Center’s SpaceCube systems are “next generation,”
on-board science-data processors for space missions. The SpaceCube provides
10-100 times the standard on-board computing power while lowering relative
power consumption and cost. The DoD Space Test Program-Houston 4-ISS SpaceCube
Experiment 2.0 (STP-H4-ISE 2.0) marks the maiden voyage of the SpaceCube 2.0
model, which achieved a design goal of reducing the PCB card size of the
previous model from 8” by 6” to 7” by 4” and increasing processing speed. The
extra performance and smaller size enable SpaceCube 2.0 to support four HD
cameras and the “FireStation” heliophysics instrumentation package, which
detects and measures terrestrial gamma-ray flashes from lightning and

“We’re building cutting-edge space computing systems at NASA’s Goddard Space
Flight Center, so every component within our design must represent the
smallest, most efficient, most innovative technology in its class while also
meeting harsh radiation- and temperature-durability standards with unfailing
reliability,” said Dave Petrick, embedded systems group leader at NASA
Goddard’s Science Data Processing Branch. “Capable of providing up to 10A of
clean power, Peregrine’s space-grade POL power management system was the
perfect fit for our system’s needs – literally – offering unmatched 85-90
percent power efficiency, configurable load sequencing, as well as a very
flexible, monolithic design within the smallest package we found on the

The SpaceCube 2.0 design uses four of Peregrine’s PE99155 point of load (POL)
power management chips to provide regulated power at multiple supply voltages
for the processing elements, memory and associated circuitry like oscillators
and gigabit transceivers. Peregrine’s flexible and small-form-factor design
allowed all of the regulation functions to be placed on a single PCB,
realizing area and overall power-consumption savings over the SpaceCube 1.0
power design, which previously required multiple PCBs using conventional
linear-regulator bricks. Peregrine’s design-configuration tool helped NASA to
improve power efficiency by 15 percent, allowing a simplified thermal design
and wider operating-temperature range for the system in orbit. In addition,
Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology is immune to latch-up due to cosmic ray
strikes (known as single-event latch-ups, or SELs) that are common even in
low-earth orbits.

“Peregrine has been supplying components to NASA for more than 12 years,” said
Dave Shepard, vice president of Peregrine’s high-performance solutions
business unit. “We are proud to be handling power regulation for NASA’s
SpaceCube 2.0 and applaud NASA for its innovative design and the early success
reported this week.”

About Peregrine Semiconductor

Peregrine Semiconductor (NASDAQ: PSMI) is a fabless provider of
high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs). Our solutions
leverage our proprietary UltraCMOS^® technology, an advanced RF
Silicon-On-Insulator process. Our products deliver what we believe is an
industry-leading combination of performance and monolithic integration, and
target a broad range of applications in the aerospace and defense, broadband,
industrial, mobile wireless device, test and measurement equipment, and
wireless infrastructure markets. Additional information is available at

     The Peregrine Semiconductor name, logo, and UltraCMOS are registered
  trademarks of Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation in the U.S.A., and other
  countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their
                              respective owners.

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Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation
Kimberly Stoddard
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