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Powering LEO and MEO satellite networking ASICs

Powering LEO and MEO satellite networking ASICs

A satellite constellation with advanced communications technology has comparable latency to fiber and is capable of transporting multiple gigabits of network traffic to virtually any location. Bandwidth-intensive applications and the number of smart connected devices are rapidly increasing requiring high-performance connectivity, for businesses, ships, airplanes, autonomous vehicles and broadband internet users, anytime and anywhere around the world. 

New LEO and MEO satellites are equipped with breakthrough digital payload electronics and require, low noise, high density power delivery networks (PDNs) particularly for their advanced networking ASICs. These power delivery solutions must also be radiation tolerant and immune to single event upsets to power delivery.   

Vicor radiation-tolerant power solutions enable today’s LEO/MEO satellites

Vicor radiation-tolerant power solutions enable today’s LEO/MEO satellites

Vicor radiation tolerant power modules enable the ideal Power Delivery Network (PDN) for today’s LEO and MEO satellites, providing high efficiency, high density, low-noise voltage conversion to power advanced network communication ASICs and processors. Power delivery performance and reliability are enhanced with a dual power train fault-tolerant topology and qualification testing that meets MEO and LEO satellite environmental requirements (TID, SEE, etc.).  Providing complete source to point-of-load COTS solutions allows developers to reduce time to market and cost while maximizing board space utilization. Vicor power modules enable innovation in defense, avionics and supercomputing applications powering advanced communication arrays and the most advanced processors used for AI today.

Vicor Factorized Power Architecture, the ideal point-of-load power system

Factorized Power Architecture (FPA) factorizes power from the traditional single-function DC-DC converter into two distinct functions and power modules: a pre-regulation module, a PRM and a voltage transformation module, a VTM. The power switching topologies and control systems of each module are optimized for low noise and power losses, with zero current and zero voltage switching. The PRM and VTM components have high density, high efficiency, low noise operation and factorization allows the VTM to be placed close to the load minimizing board losses in high current applications.


Example Power Delivery Network for LEO and MEO satellites



Modular icon

Factorized modular power architecture

Low noise icon





High power and current density

Dual power train, fault-tolerant design

Fault-tolerant modules are designed using a redundant system topology where two identical and parallel powertrains with fault-tolerant control are housed in a single package, the Vicor SM-ChiP package. To protect the modules during an SEE event, each powertrain is capable of producing full power and each module has its own resetting control circuitry.

Dual Powertrain Diagram

Phasor delivers robust mobile broadband connectivity using Factorized Power

Powering innovation
Phasor delivers robust mobile broadband connectivity using Factorized Power

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Rad-tolerant power modules


BCM3423 Bus Converter Module

Input: 100V (94 – 105V, 120V transient)

Output: 33V (31 – 35V)

Power: 300W 

Bus converter ratio: K = 1/3

Typical full load efficiency: 94%

33.5 x 23.1 x 8.0mm



PRM2919 regulator module

Input: 33V (30 – 36V)

Output: 32V (13.4 – 35V)

Power: 200W

Current: IOUT 8A max

Typical full load efficiency: 96%

29.2 x 19.0 x 8.0mm



VTM2919 0.8V, 150A voltage transformation module

Input: 13.4 – 35V

Output: 0.42 – 1.1V

Power: 150A

Converter ratio:  K = 1/32

Typical full load efficiency: 89%

29.2 x 19.0 x 5.5mm



VTM2919 3.3V, 50A voltage transformation module

Input: 16 – 32V

Output: 2 – 3.8V

Power: 50A

Converter ratio: K = 1/8

Typical full load efficiency: 91%

29.2 x 19.0 x 5.5mm



Power-on-Package diagram