SpaceWire PCIe

The SpaceWire PCI Express (PCIe) board provides three SpaceWire interfaces with the optimised host software supporting high bandwidth transmission of SpaceWire packets directly to and from the host PC. The three SpaceWire interfaces of the SpaceWire PCIe are each fully compliant to the SpaceWire standard and operate at up to 300 Mbits/s. Not only an interface device, the SpaceWire PCIe also contains powerful routing capabilities and an RMAP Target.

The device can also be used as a router. The router facilitates packets from one SpaceWire port to be routed to another SpaceWire port or into the host PC via the PCIe interface. There are three independent channels from the SpaceWire router to the PCIe interface, so traffic flowing over one port cannot block traffic for another port. In addition there is a separate control channel, so that the host PC is always able to access the control, configuration and status space of the PCIe regardless of the data flow.

The RMAP target port is accessible through the SpaceWire router, and therefore from the SpaceWire links and host PC. The target responds to RMAP command packets and provides access to 128 Mbytes of DDR3 memory. The Target can be used to rapidly prototype a remote memory space using RMAP formatted packets.

The SpaceWire PCIe hardware is supported by STAR-Dundee’s software stack, STAR-System, providing a consistent programming interface for accessing all STAR-Dundee’s most recent, and future, router and interface devices.

Product Features

  • Dedicated interface device containing 3 x SpaceWire ports, and connected to the PC through any of x1, x4, x8 and x16 PCIe slots without performance loss

  • Powerful SpaceWire routing capabilities

  • RMAP target port

  • STAR System Software and accessories included:

    • Windows drivers (Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP)
    • Linux drivers (4.x, 3.x and 2.6 kernels)
    • STAR API for C, with example code and guidance
    • User manuals (including unit, software, and API)
    • 1 year’s technical support and maintenance
  • QNX and VxWorks available separately

Technical Specs

  • Part Number


  • Size
    • Standard PCIe X1 (half length) board. 167 mm long (approx. excluding front panel bracket)

  • Power
    • +3.3V DC, supplied via PCIe connector

  • SpaceWire Ports
    • Compliant to SpaceWire Standard ECSS-E-ST-50-12C (formerly ECSS-E50-12A) and provides support for RMAP (ECSS-E-ST-50-52C)

    • Number of SpaceWire Ports: 3

    • Maximum Speed: 300 Mbits/s

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

    • LVDS signalling: Using Xilinx LVDS

  • EMC
    • The SpaceWire PCIe board is sold as a component for inclusion in a computer unit. EMC certification is the responsibility of the user