NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S1.03-8314
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Passive Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-power Cross-Correlator ASIC

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pacific Microchip Corp.
3916 Sepulveda Blvd. #108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Denis Zelenin
3916 Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 108
Culver City, CA 90230 - 4650
(310) 683-2628 Extension :11

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Pacific MicroCHIP Corp. offers to design an ASIC that includes a cross-correlation unit together with the interfaces to be connected to the output of the GeoSTAR's receivers, multiplexer and output interface for the GeoSTAR's system-level integration. The proposed novel ASIC required by NASA's PATH mission will have a greatly reduced power consumption compared to a FPGA based or a classic ASIC based implementations, increased radiation hardness and extended operating temperature range. The proposed cross-correlation unit consists of cross-correlation cells which are based on novel architecture. The logic primitives are arranged to "work when must" rather than to "work when need" in these novel cross-correlation cells. The high speed interfaces the proposed ASIC will incorporate can minimize the power consumption and increase the reliability. Termination resistors, amplifiers, analog-to-digital-converters realized inside the ASIC will save power due to shorter interconnects compared to interconnects that are used in FPGAs. Moreover, the high-speed receivers-deserializers could further save the power due to reduced number of termination resistors compared to the high-speed interface with analog-to-digital converters. The deep submicron SOI CMOS technology selected for the ASIC's fabrication will increase its tolerance to total ionizing dose (TID) and reduce the probability of radiation induced latch-up. The ASIC will be designed following the design for testability (DFT) methods that will simplify characterization and testing of the fabricated ASIC thus will reduce the risk and lower the cost of the product.
Phase I of the project will provide a complete definition of the proposed ASIC, its design and in silico validation of critical circuits. Phase II will produce a fieldable product ready for commercialization in Phase III.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The main application for the proposed Low-power Cross-Correlator ASIC is to process the GeoSTAR instrument's microwave sounder signals. The proposed ASIC will cross-correlate the signals of 2X125 receivers located on two arms of the Y shaped antenna. A total of three ASICs will be employed to implement the complete cross-correlation function required for the instrument. Novel cross-correlator's architecture will permit to process these signals at greatly reduced power consumption compared to FPGAs or specialized cross-correlator ASICs.
The proposed cross-correlator ASIC can also find application in signal processing required for radio telescopes such as the SKA that may employ more than 2000 receivers. The cross-correlators installed on such telescopes are projected to consume tens of kilowatts of power. The ASIC proposed by us offers the reduction of power consumption by at least an order. The proposed ASIC's core will be available as an IP ready for implementation in other correlator ASICs employed in space born and Earth based NASA's instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High energy efficiency at high data processing speed, radiation hardness and wide operating temperature range of the proposed Cross-Correlator ASIC makes it applicable in many space based commercial and military systems such as radiometry, interferometry, polarimetry and spectrometry employed for remote sensing applications.
Cross correlators are also required for neural implants in medicine, for image sensor signal processing in military and homeland security and for synthetic aperture radars in both military and civil aviation. The proposed ASIC can be included into the signal processing path of artificial eyes, ears or other senses that are employing signal processing based on artificial neural networks. In order to ensure the highest outcome of the developed technology, the proposed ASIC's core will also be offered as an IP block which will be licensed to interested parties for variety of applications that require fast and high energy efficient parallel signal processing.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Processing
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43