SpaceWire Brick Mk4

The SpaceWire Brick Mk4 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 and integration support.

The SpaceWire Brick Mk4 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 15 years of knowledge and experience gained with the original SpaceWire-USB Brick, the Brick Mk2 and the Brick Mk3, the SpaceWire Brick Mk4 has enhanced FMECA protection. The use of STAR-Dundee’s powerful software stack, STAR-System, makes it simple to migrate from the Brick Mk2 or Brick Mk3 to the Brick Mk4. The Brick Mk4 is backwards compatible with the Brick Mk3, including all the features present in the Brick Mk3 and adding the following:

  • Enhancements to FMECA protection.
  • Grounding stud on the rear panel.
  • New power status LED.

NOTE: The SpaceWire Brick Mk4 supersedes the SpaceWire Brick Mk3 and is backwards compatible, providing the same software interface.

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

  • Enhanced FMECA protection with FMECA report available on request

  • Improved case design with grounding stud and power status LED on the rear panel

  • 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)
    • Linux drivers (5.x, 4.x and 3.x 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, ECSS-E-ST-50-12C, ECSS-E-ST-50-12C Rev.1, and provides support for RMAP (ECSS-E-ST-50-52C)

    • Number of SpaceWire Ports: 2

    • Maximum Speed: 300 Mbit/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 Mbit/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