e2v has been awarded a major contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of an analogue to digital converter for next-generation broadband satellite payloads. The contract covers the development of a high performance, low power, 10-bits 1.5 Gsps ADC that will meet the future needs of aerospace industries. It will be designed to offer superior linearity, flat spectral response, wide analogue input bandwidth and a demultiplexed output, all within a total power budget of around 1 W.

Digital processing in satellite payloads optimises the use of expensive and scarce frequency spectrum. This maximises operational flexibility and provides the opportunity to broaden satellite system functionality to include, for example, high-speed multimedia Internet, cellular telephone and HDTV services. Satellite manufacturers need to secure state-of-the-art electronic component technologies to make this possible and e2v’s new ADC will be a key enabling component in this regard.

The ADC to be designed under this contract will benefit from e2v’s design expertise and the European high speed bipolar SiGe technology used to deliver key advantages to the aerospace market including high performance and low power consumption. The ADC will achieve a high, spurious free, dynamic range and a technology leading gain flatness over the useful bandwidth, combined with a power consumption that is claimed to offer a factor of three saving when compared to existing devices. The device will also be radiation hardened to ensure operation under extreme conditions.

Commenting on the contract win, Thierry Gouvernel, e2v’s business unit general manager, said, “ESA’s award of this strategic development contract is a great recognition of our successful track record in complex and leading edge projects.” He added, “This win underscores 15 years of work supporting the aerospace marketplace, and other demanding industries, with state-of-the-art data converters.”