French electronics specialist NanoXplore forms unprecedented partnership with Thales Alenia Space

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Europe continues to establish its independence in electronic components for space applications

Since its launch in 2010, French company NanoXplore has logged exponential growth, driven by the performance of its advanced electronic components. NanoXplore is a global enterprise and has established European leadership in the design and development of SoC FPGA (System-on-Chip Field-Programmable Gate Array) semiconductor devices that integrate programmable logic with hard processor cores. It has now formed a partnership with Thales Alenia Space, bringing together their two areas of expertise to develop the state-of-the-art NG-ULTRA component, a key to European sovereignty in space and defense.

A family of components that defines the global state of the art

Since 2014, NanoXplore has focused on the development of a family of radiation-hardened FPGAs for space and avionics applications, with two component families now being marketed: NG-MEDIUM and NG-ULTRA. All NanoXplore technologies call on independent European supply chains. The NG-ULTRA component sets the global standard for this type of component, designed to operate in radiation environments, and has become a critical technology for today’s space industry.

“We are very proud of having developed this strategic component, which allows Europe to offer a competitive solution,” said Edouard Lepape, CEO of NanoXplore. “This development perfectly reflects Europe’s current reindustrialization drive, while also marking the successful partnership between a small business and a major prime contractor. Our NG-ULTRA component addresses Europe’s need to establish its sovereign electronics capabilities, through an industrial sector undergoing a strong renewal.”

An unprecedented partnership

Thales Alenia Space has opted for components designed by NanoXplore and “Made in Europe” for its Space Inspire line of flexible, reconfigurable platforms, developed with support of the European Commission and its Space programme, from the French and European space agencies, CNES and ESA. The unprecedented partnership between NanoXplore and Thales Alenia Space addresses the need for a sovereign approach to the development of these technologies and also reflects a commitment to French small businesses. Prime contractors in aerospace count on a dense network of reliable European companies to provide the components needed to build satellites, in particular. Thales Alenia Space has always been one of the engines behind these initiatives. By supporting NanoXplore’s development of NG-ULTRA, the satellite-maker proves its determination to bolster French and European leadership in these markets and to team up with the innovative small and medium-size enterprises that have often underpinned space new eras. The NG-ULTRA family of components will be marketed to the entire European space industry.

European non-dependence in space is vital

The marketing of these components demonstrates Europe’s ability to innovate and support European space sovereignty. High-performance electronics like those developed by NanoXplore is a key to European non-dependence, especially for satellite manufacture.

“The development of independent national and European supply chains is key to guaranteeing Europe’s sovereignty and industrial independence, given the current geopolitical situation,” said Christophe Valorge, Chief Technical Officer at Thales Alenia Space. “We’re delighted to have supported NanoXplore’s development of the NG-ULTRA electronic component, which will not only be used on our own Space Inspire telecom product line, but also in various European programs, starting with the iconic EU space missions such as Galileo Second Generation and Copernicus families. This initiative was naturally developed in conjunction with the R&D programs set up by the French and European space agencies, as well as the European Commission’s own Space programmes and specific focus on critical space technologies for European non-dependence.” This is perfectly in line with the position taken by the European Union where in the last Space Strategy for Security and Defence to enhance our strategic autonomy, one of the key points of this strategy is EU technological sovereignty. Specially to respond to the current and future security needs of EU space programmes and missions, the European Commission has reported the EU objective to unrestricted access to critical space technologies, provided by solid supply chains based in the EU.

About NanoXplore

NanoXplore is a fabless French company that has logged exponential growth in the design of FPGA reprogrammable electronic components. It was founded in 2010 with two facilities in Sèvres and

Montpellier. Historically, NanoXplore develops FPGA IP cores, designated eFPGA, using advanced 28nm and other technologies. Since 2014, the company has developed a family of radiation-hardened FPGAs for space and avionics applications. It is now in the process of marketing two component families, NG-MEDIUM and NG-ULTRA. Operating internationally, NanoXplore is the European leader in the design and development of SoC FPGA technology and a key partner to space industry leaders, including Thales Alenia Space and the French and European space agencies, CNES and ESA.