Project overview

OPERA is set up to validate and do the ESCC evaluation of advanced rad-hard FPGA with minimum risk execution and best product time to market. The project will give access to state of the art qualified rad-hard FPGA NG-LARGE and prepare future applications for the most advanced FPGA in the world NG-ULTRA. The project will also integrate new software features to offer additional competitive advantage and enhance technical capabilities of end users. With OPERA the two European largest satellite vendors Thales Alenia Space and Airbus DS will be able to evaluate the final products and provide relevant feedback to improve the product and associated tools performances.

OPERA is fully in line with ESA activities and will merge outcomes from different projects to reach a TRL 7.

OPERA will bring together a group of unique, highly relevant and qualified partners in Europe each of them already working within BRAVE, VEGAS (H2020), DAHLIA (H2020), DEMETER (ECSEL) or other ESA/CNES activities. OPERA timetable and work packages have been considered in coordination with BRAVE in order to reach a TRL of 7. OPERA will not design or develop any FPGA but focus in the validation by end users and final product evaluation. It will guarantee minimum execution risks to reach a TRL 7. For software CAD tools improvement, OPERA will again fully benefit from the BRAVE and STAR projects by adding to NanoXplore’s existing software new features for additional competitive advantages. At the end of OPERA end-users will have access to an ESCC evaluated rad-hard FPGA and advanced software tools.

Expected Impacts

OPERA will have a profound impact on the future of European FPGA, delivering a new generation of rad-hard FPGA that offer substantial benefits for end-users in many different harsh environment markets.

OPERA will have the following impacts :

Impact of OPERA on European strategic non dependence

OPERA will give the possibility for Europe to have free, unrestricted access to advanced rad-hard FPGA for space technology. OPERA FPGA will meet all technology requirements specified in the Excerpt from Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence List of Urgent Actions for 2012/2013 published in June 2014. Therefore, OPERA is fully compliant regarding rad-hard FPGA with the list of urgent actions for Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence for the time-frame of 2012-2013.

Impact of OPERA on European Space industry and SMEs

OPERA will give access to European space industry to the most advanced rad-hard FPGA devices without any exportation restriction. These new rad-hard FPGA will also offer unique SEE mitigation techniques and advanced features such as DPs or high-speed buses. As described in the chart below, rad-hard FPGA are commonly used in satellites and these new devices will have a significant impact on future space application performance. It is even more the case for European satellite vendors which are often limited with ITAR free technologies. OPERA is expected to have a clear impact on European space industry by improving European satellite vendors’ competitiveness. OPERA will also improve space technology dissemination to SMEs by offering a cheaper technology than advanced ASIC development.

OPERA project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°821969