SpaceWire Router ASIC for Space Applications

The Product

RUAG Space (RSA) has developed together with the University of Dundee (UoD), UK and Astrium Germany a SpaceWire Router ASIC for ESA.

The ASIC, named “SpW-10X” provides the possibility to route signals coming from one of the 8 SpaceWire ports or the 2 parallel ports to any other of these ports. Signals can be routed in both directions and operated up to a bit rate of 200 Mbps. The device is commanded by a command and control port according to the SpaceWire Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP).

RSA set up the definition of the ASIC together with UoD, verified the design of UoD, implemented the functionality into the ASIC and verified the implementation. Astrium Germany carried out the validation of the ASIC.

The ASIC is manufactured and commercialized by ATMEL.


  • 8 SpaceWire ports 200 Mbit/s
  • Full implemetation of ECSS-E-50-12A
  • 2 parallel ports
  • Wormhole routing with optional header deletion
  • Non-blocking crossbar switch
  • Priority based routing arbitration
  • Path and logical addressing
  • Group adaptive routing with programmable look-up tables
  • External time-code interface
  • Internal configuration port with RMAP protocol, accessible via the crossbar switch
  • Status info accessible via SpaceWire links, parallel ports and dedicated status pins
  • Cascadable


  • ASIC Implementation in Atmel MH1RT gate array (0.35 µm CMOS process)
  • Radiation tolerance 100 krad(Si)
  • SEU free cells up to 100 MeV cm2 / mg
  • Latch-up immunity up to 80 MeV cm2 / mg
  • SpaceWire interface baud-rate 200 Mbits/s
  • LVDS drivers/receivers with cold-sparing capability integrated on-chip
  • 3.5 W power with all links at maximum data rate
  • Operating temperature from –55ºC to +125ºC
  • Single 3.3 V supply voltage
  • Single 30 MHz clock needed
  • Internal PLL with configurable output frequency to generate the SpaceWire transmitter clocks
  • 196 pin ceramic Quad Flat Pack 25 mil pin spacing
Block Diagramm


  • Available directly from ATMEL as an Application Specific Standard Product in QML-Q and QML-V
  • Technical support from Star Dundee (UK)

RUAG Space SpaceWire Heritage:

  • Major Participation in the definition of the SpaceWire standard
  • Development of SpaceWire I/F VHDL IP core
  • Development of the first space qualified router ASIC for SpaceWire (DSM - Dynamic Switch Matrix)
  • Application of the SpaceWire I/F IP core in ASICs (Computer Core Support ASIC with SpaceWire I/Fs (COCOS), GALILEO Navigation signal generator ASIC with SpaceWire I/F for command & control)
  • Co-Development of the SpaceWire Conformance Tester