Publication date 21.05.2020
hiSky UK Ltd. is developing Smartellite™ ASIC MODEM-on-chip for mass production based on proven design
The new ASIC will integrate both the transmit and receive processing of hiSky’s core MODEM technology within a compact CSP single-chip solution.
London UK, May 21, 2020 – hiSky UK Ltd, are pleased to announce the commencement of a project to develop and manufacture its own MODEM-on-chip using ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) technology, which will allow for the mass production and cost-reduction of the Smartellite™ satellite terminals.
The firmware and software of the ASIC are based upon hiSky’s established MODEM designs and will eventually be used to provide customers with satellite IoT and satellite voice capabilities anywhere on the planet, via all versions of the Smartellite™ terminal family.
Developing and producing an ASIC based MODEM marks a major milestone for hiSky UK Ltd. along the path of the highly successful Satellite Virtual Network Operator (SVNO) program supported by the ARTES Competitiveness & Growth program with the European Space Agency (ESA); for which the company received funding in June 2019. The ESA ARTES Competitiveness & Growth Component of the ARTES Core Competitive program supports industry in developing technology and products for the Satcom market.
The new ASIC will integrate both the transmit and receive processing of hiSky’s core MODEM technology within a compact CSP single-chip solution. This will enable substantially higher volumes of Smartellite™ terminals to be manufactured with unprecedented commercial applicability. Using a proven 55 nm wafer technology process, the new ASIC MODEM-on-chip is capable of delivering a throughput of between 6kbps and 20kbps for voice and IoT use-cases as per the ESA SVNO program.
Looking further than the ESA funded SVNO program, hiSky will develop inside this ASIC the capabilities that allow up to 10Mbps for more data-hungry applications; over both geostationary satellites or low-earth-orbit satellites, such is its versatility.
The MODEM-on-chip ASIC shall have a very low power consumption of less than 1.5W and low cost to meet the price for the mass market needs.
hiSky expect the first ASIC tape-out to be completed by mid-December 2020. The first sample chips will be available by February 2021. This is in line with ESA milestone commitments and allows hiSky to stay on-track for program completion in 2022.
Mr. Philip Meyers, General Manager hiSky UK said, “We are delighted to be progressing to the development of our ASIC MODEM-on-chip. Taking hiSky’s cutting edge terminal designs and combining them with an ASIC MODEM-on-chip will allow us to produce the highest quality products at high volumes, all while maintaining a price-point that provides access to satellite communications and remote IoT for the mass market.
The ASIC MODEM is a hugely important element in our ARTES SVNO project with the European Space Agency, and I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank ESA for their support, guidance and experience in this process.”
hiSky provides an innovative satellite communication network system that enables robust, low-cost satellite services for many users that are spread all over the globe. The network comprises of satellite terminals and hub base stations, a mobile application, IoT/M2M interface and application servers, the network is operating using GEO and LEO satellites.
hiSky products are suited for both commercial IoT and Voice/Data. The system architecture enables a flexible business model to either provide the full service or to provide terminals and hub equipment depending on the customer requirements. The technology integrated in hiSky products is developed in-house, this allows us to adopt specific customer requirements and respond quickly to market demands.