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SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA ready for industrial, medical apps

Posted: 10 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:system-on-chip? FPGA? Cortex-M3 processor? PUF? SRAM?

Microsemi Corporation has recently unveiled its new SmartFusion2 system-on-chip (SoC) field programmable gate array (FPGA) family. The company's next-generation SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs are designed to address fundamental requirements for advanced security, high reliability and low power in critical industrial, defence, aviation, communications and medical applications.

SmartFusion2 integrates inherently reliable flash-based FPGA fabric, a 166MHz (MHz) ARMCortex-M3 processor, advanced security processing accelerators, DSP blocks, SRAM, eNVM and industry-required high-performance communication interfaces all on a single chip.

Microsemi has already engaged with lead customers who plan to use SmartFusion2 in a broad range of applications including flight data recorders, weapons systems, defibrillators, handheld radios, communications management systems and industrial motor control.

Design and Data Security

SmartFusion2 offers security capabilities that make it easy to protect classified and highly-valuable designs against tampering, cloning, overbuilding, reverse engineering and counterfeiting with state-of-the-art design protection based on non-volatile flash technology.

Microsemi's latest product provides the most advanced design and data security capabilities starting with a robust root-of-trust device with secure key storage capability using the SoC FPGA industry's only physically unclonable function (PUF) key enrolment and regeneration capability. SmartFusion2 is also the only SoC FPGA protected from differential power analysis (DPA) attacks using technology from the Cryptographic Research Incorporated (CRI) portfolio. Users may also leverage built-in cryptographic processing accelerators including: advanced encryption standard (AES) AES-256, secure hash algorithm (SHA) SHA-256, 384 bit elliptical curve cryptographic (ECC) engine and a non-deterministic random bit generator (NRBG).


Smartfusion2 devices have been designed to meet many industry standards including IEC 61508, DO254 and DO178B, and feature SEU immunity of zero failures in time (FIT). As an additional benefit, SmartFusion2 flash FPGA fabric does not require external configuration, which provides an added level of security since the SoC FPGA retains its configuration when powered off and enables device "instant-on" performance.

SmartFusion2 is the only SoC FPGA that protects all its SoC embedded SRAM memories from SEU errors. This is accomplished through the use of single error correction, double error detection (SECDED) protection on embedded memories such as the Cortex-M3 embedded scratch pad memory, Ethernet, CAN and USB buffers, and is optional on the DDR memory controllers.

These product attributes, as well as the flash-based device architecture, make SmartFusion2 the ideal solution for demanding applications such as aviation that require protection from damaging SEU occurrences.

Lowest Power

SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs offer designers 100x lower standby power compared to equivalent SRAM-based FPGAs without sacrificing performance. The Flash*Freeze standby power mode can be initiated with a simple command. In this mode all registers and SRAM retain state, I/O state can be set, the microprocessor sub-system (MSS) can be operational while low frequency clock and I/Os associated with MSS peripherals can be operational. The device can enter and exit Flash*Freeze mode in approximately 100 micro seconds. This is ideal for low duty cycle applications where short bursts of activity are required, such as defence radio where size, weight and power are critical.

Designing with SmartFusion2

System designers can leverage the newly released, easy-to-use LiberoSoC software toolset for designing SmartFusion2 devices. Libero SoC integrates industry leading synthesis, debug and DSP support from Synopsys, and simulation from Mentor Graphics with power analysis, timing analysis and push button design flow. Firmware development is fully integrated into Libero SoC with compile and debug available from GNU, IAR and Keil, and all device drivers and peripheral initialisation is auto generated based on System Builder selections. The ARM Cortex-M3 processor includes operating system support for embedded Linux from EmCraft Systems, FreeRTOS, SAFERTOS and uc/OS-III from Micrium.

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