SpaceWire Light Encoder-Decoder FIFO Interface

SpaceWire Light Encoder-Decoder FIFO Interface


Category: Communication Controller

Created: June 06, 2010

Updated: January 27, 2020

Language: VHDL

Other project properties

Development Status: Beta

Additional info: Design done

WishBone compliant: No

WishBone version: n/a

License: GPL


SpaceWire Light is a SpaceWire encoder-decoder with FIFO interface.
It is synthesizable for FPGA targets (up to 200 Mbit on Spartan-3).
An optional AMBA bus interface can be used to implement the core in
LEON3-based designs.



The goal is to provide a complete, reliable, fast implementation of a SpaceWire encoder-decoder according to ECSS-E-50-12C. The core is "light" in the sense that it does not provide additional features such as RMAP, routing etc.

SpaceWire Light supports two application interfaces. One interface provides FIFO-style access to RX/TX buffers in the core (spwstream). This interface can be easily integrated into most digital designs.

Alternatively, an AMBA bus interface (spwamba) may be used to integrate SpaceWire Light into a LEON3 embedded system. This interface supports DMA-based data transfers. The code for the AMBA interface depends on GRLIB, a VHDL library from Aeroflex Gaisler. The source of GRLIB must be downloaded separately from

See the manual for detailed information: Manual.pdf.



This core is complete and fully functional. It has been tested on Xilinx Spartan-3 and Virtex-5 FPGA boards, with a SpaceWire link connected to a commercial SpaceWire product.



SpaceWire Light is used for VIBANASS, an image-based navigation sensor system developed by Kayser-Threde, co-funded by the German Aerospace Center.