A Fireside Chat with CEO Barry Kavanagh of O.C.E Technology Ltd

Interview with O.C.E Technology Ltd

This week we had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Barry Kavanagh, CEO of Irish company O.C.E Technology Ltd, and talk about O.C.E’s journey, their rad-hard products, and upcoming projects.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and about O.C.E. Technology Ltd?
Why did you choose to get into the development of debugging software tools and radiation-hardened chip-level components?

OCE was setup on the back of a personal relationship between the Chinese CEO of a public company and our CTO who was his Irish PhD mentor. The companies have worked together to provide a range of rad-hard SOCs, rad-tolerant memories, and software developed in cooperation with ESA. We offer the highest performance rad-hard multicore SPARC LEON4 SOC and an ECSS category B real-timer operating system and debug software.

Barry Kavanagh, CEO of Irish company O.C.E Technology Ltd
Barry Kavanagh, CEO of Irish company O.C.E Technology Ltd

In terms of radiation protection, how are your products shielded? What orbits are they designed for?

OCE’s rad-hard SOCs are rad-hard by both design and fabrication process. Our rad-hard design includes triple-multiple-redundancy (TMR) on all on-chip registers, error detection and correction (EDAC) on all on-chip and off-chip memories, and a triple delta clock tree. The product is flying on 15 satellites in LEO and GEO orbits.

Which project are you most proud of? Why is it important?

Our most recent development of a category B real-time operating system for ESA is a great addition to our software product set. It is very small, efficient with some unique characteristics critical to space software systems.

Application debugging using OCEOS real-time operating system
Application debugging using OCEOS real-time operating system

 

Could you shed some light on your most significant challenges when designing radiation-hardened components for small spacecraft? How did you manage to overcome them?

For rad-hard SOCs we relied on proven IP, usually not designed directly by ourselves. The uniqueness is to be found in the combination of functional units on out SOCs.

What is O.C.E. Technology Ltd planning for the future? Any exciting developments you would like to share?

We are shortly due to launch as high-performance, low power AI chip targeting real-time vision processing. The chip named hisaor from the Irish words for artificial intelligence contains 4 ARM A9 cores, and 8 neural network processors and 8 graphic processing units. This design offers processing power 64 GFLOPS and 12 TOPS at a typical power usage of 6W. The IP licensed from well-known third-parties is well proven with mature AI development tools.

hisaor edge AI chip OCE Technology

How can our readers support you?
We love to receive feedback on our products, good or bad so that we can continue to improve them.

Who else is on your team at O.C.E. Technology Ltd? Perhaps, you could share some information about your colleagues and investors.
Our CTO Prof Michael Ryan is the brains behind OCE’s technical developments. Michael was head of computing in Dublin City University for many years before joining us.

What advice would you give to new enthusiastic space entrepreneurs that want to join the space industry?
The rate of change in the space industry is accelerating and many opportunities are presenting themselves to entrepreneurs with new approaches to solving the well-known challenges of space technology.

If you want to learn more about  O.C.E. Technology Ltd, check out their website.

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