VPT rad-hard point of load converters designed for digital processing in space environments
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A photograph of the Moon taken from the International Space Station. The photograph was taken by European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and posted as today's NASA Image of the Day. (Image source: NASA)

VPT rad-hard point of load converters designed for digital processing in space environments

VPT Inc. (VPT), a HEICO company (NYSE:HEI), in Blacksburg, Va., is introducing its SVPL series space-qualified, radiation-hardened (rad-hard) point of load DC-DC converters – covering an input voltage range of 3.1 volts to 13.2 volts and offered in 6-, 9-, and 12-amp output surface-mount options – designed specifically for space applications facing harsh radiation environments while requiring low voltages and tight regulation for high-performance processors.
 
“The SVPL point of load converters have a high radiation tolerance, particularly regarding single-event transients (SETs),” explains Brandon Witcher, senior design engineer for VPT. “The product designs minimize the external capacitance needed to limit SET magnitudes to the levels required by modern rad-hard digital electronics, which is especially important as digital power rail tolerances continue to shrink.”
 
VPT’s SVPL Series takes advantage of ISL7000x rad-hard synchronous buck regulators from Renesas Electronics Corp. in Tokyo to provide high power density, fast transient response, and up to 94 percent efficiency. ISL7000x bare-die integrate circuits (ICs) are characterized for 100krad(Si) Total Ionizing Dose (TID), including enhanced low dose rate sensitivity (ELDRS), and are immune to destructive single event effects (SEE) with linear energy transfer (LET) of 86.4 MeV-cm2/mg. SVPL Series converters are characterized for TID of 100krad(Si), including ELDRS, and SEE performance to 85 MeV-cm2/mg, per VPT’s DLA-approved Radiation Hardness Assurance (RHA) plan.
 
Intersil brand bare-die synchronous buck regulators used in the SVPL Series are highly integrated ISL7000x devices built on six decades of spaceflight product development and leadership, says Renesas Electronics Corp. Industrial Analog and Power Business Division Vice President Philip Chesley.  
 
Additional features of the SVPL Series include: high power density, output enable control, low output noise, overcurrent protection, and external synchronization to other converters or system clocks. Full power operation of the SVPL Series is rated for -55° C to +125° C.
 
VPT’s gull-wing SVPL 12 A output SVPL point of load converter. The SVPL Series products are available in a straight-lead option.
VPT’s gull-wing SVPL 12 A output SVPL point of load converter. The SVPL Series products are available in a straight-lead option.
 
Space systems have increased the use of rad-hard digital processing components that require low-voltage, tightly regulated point of load converters,” affirms VPT President John Hodock. “In an industry where tested, qualified, and proven products are the only viable option, we’re pleased to work with Renesas Electronics to incorporate its Intersil high-rel bare die ICs and extend our rad-hard space product line to address this market need.”
 
The availability of the SVPL Series is subject to all applicable U.S. export license restrictions and regulations.
  
VPT, Inc., part of the HEICO Electronic Technologies Group, is a global provider of DC-DC power converters, EMI filters, and custom engineering services for avionics, military, space, and industrial applications. Every day, organizations like NASA, ESA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Thales and many more depend on high-reliability solutions from VPT to power critical systems, officials say.
 
HEICO Corp. (NYSE:HEI.A) (NYSE:HEI) is engaged primarily in niche segments of the aviation, defense, space, and electronics industries through its Hollywood, Fla.-based HEICO Aerospace Holdings Corp. subsidiary and its Miami, Fla.-based HEICO Electronic Technologies Corp. subsidiary.

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Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at courtney.howard@sae.org
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