SpaceWire Brick Mk3

The SpaceWire Brick Mk3 is a USB 3.0 (also works with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1) to SpaceWire interface device that is suitable for use in all stages of SpaceWire equipment development: initial SpaceWire evaluation, instrument simulation, control system simulation, unit testing, integration support, and EGSE.

The SpaceWire Brick Mk3 provides two SpaceWire interfaces, support for high speed data transfer, the capability to inject various types of errors on demand, the ability to transmit and receive time-codes and act as a time-code master, and comes complete with highly optimised host software for low latency transmission of SpaceWire packets directly to and from the host PC.

Expanding on the 10 years of knowledge and experience gained with the original SpaceWire-USB Brick and the Brick Mk2, the SpaceWire Brick Mk3 has new features to enhance its capability and supports STAR-Dundee’s powerful software stack; STAR-System. This makes it simple to migrate from the Brick Mk2, which also supports STAR-System, to the Brick Mk3.

NOTE: The SpaceWire Brick Mk3 supersedes the SpaceWire Brick Mk2. As both the SpaceWire Brick Mk2 and SpaceWire Brick Mk3 use the same STAR-System software stack, migrating software written for the SpaceWire Brick Mk2 to the SpaceWire Brick Mk3 is quite straightforward. The software API is not compatible with the original SpaceWire Brick but adapting existing software should not be too difficult. If you are an existing user of the Brick or Brick Mk2 and do require more of these devices for backwards compatibility, please contact STAR-Dundee.

Product Features

  • USB 3.0, offering far higher throughput with the capability to transmit and receive on all links concurrently at the maximum rate

  • Additional independent channels allowing full data transfer on both links and configuration in parallel

  • Reduced latency and CPU usage

  • Full interface mode

  • FMECA report available on request

  • Improved case design making it easier to view LEDs

  • New software tools for time-code control and scripting of RMAP operations

  • Provides a host PC with two SpaceWire ports

  • Simple connection to PC via USB 3.0 interface (also works with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1), no need for additional power

  • Contains 2 x SpaceWire ports, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x internal configuration port

  • High performance driver maintains high data rates from SpaceWire links directly into main memory of host PC

  • Can act as router or as interface device (all packets received pass up USB port to PC)

  • Software and accessories included:

    • Windows drivers (Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP)
    • Linux drivers (4.x, 3.x and 2.6 kernels)
    • API with example code and guidance
    • User manuals (including hardware, software, and API)
    • USB cable
    • 1 year’s technical support and maintenance

Technical Specs

  • Part Number


  • Power
    • +5V DC, supplied via USB cable

  • Size
    • 85 x 66 x 19 mm (approx., excluding feet)

  • SpaceWire Ports
    • Compliant to ECSS-E50-12A and ECSS-E-ST-50-12C

    • Number of SpaceWire Ports: 2

    • Maximum Speed: 300 Mbits/s tested using a 2 metre STAR-Dundee lab cable loopback between ports 1 and 2.

    • Data-Strobe skew tolerance: tested on all units to ±2 ns at a data rate of 200 Mbits/s

    • Connectors: 9-pin micro-miniature D-type

    • Signalling: LVDS

  • USB Port
    • USB 3.0

    • Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1

  • EMC
    • CE/FCC certified