Etched together onto single silicon pieces are numerous integrated circuits (ICs) that are “destined to serve as the brains of Europe’s future space missions,” according to the European Space Agency (ESA).
Space-based data handling, communications processing, and attitude control are just a few examples where these designs play a pivotal role.
The wafers are 20 cm in diameter, with each consisting of 35 copies of five different space chips. Furthermore, each chip can contain more than 10 million transistors or basic circuit switches.
In an effort to save money, many chips designed by different companies and for various purposes are squeezed together onto a single silicon wafer. A semiconductor manufacturing plant etches them all into position.
“Subjected to various testing procedures the chips on the wafer are chopped up and packaged for use, then mounted on printed circuit boards for connection with other microelectronic components aboard a satellite,” according to the ESA.
You can see the space chips etched in silicon in the image below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense