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The METASAT Hardware Platform v1.1: Identifying the Challenges for its RISC-V CPU and GPU Update

Marc Solé i Bonet, Aridane Alvarez Suarez and Leonidas Kosmidis


The Horizon Europe project METASAT is a European Commission-funded endeavor which started in January 2023 and it is focused on advancing model-based design methodologies for high-performance on-board processing in space systems.

The project's high-performance prototype platform is a multi-core SoC deployed on an FPGA and incorporates an AI SIMD accelerator tightly integrated with the CPU, along with a GPU. All hardware components are open-source and based on the RISC-V open ISA.

Subsequent developments in the project revealed an issue with the L2-cache controller and identified a virtualisation extension bug in the baseline processor. This, along the opportunity to update the GPU and optimize its integration for critical systems, resulted in the implementation of a comprehensive system upgrade. This paper provides the details on the motivation for the changes as well as the considerations taken into account.