Industry-leading reliability

SemStar5 is our ultra-reliable, fifth-generation subsea electronics module for control systems. It has industry-leading reliability, with a mean time between failures of more than 150 years—10 times the Offshore and Onshore Reliability Data project (OREDA) average.

Drawing on the design heritage and learning from over 40 years of subsea controls experience, SemStar5 is modular in construction and highly configurable in order to meet your needs—from the control and monitoring of trees and manifolds, to SIL2 and SIL3 safety systems, such as process shut-down, and high-integrity pipeline protection system (HIPPS) systems.

The design includes significant obsolescence-management features for electronic components, as well as ruggedization features extensively qualified over and above the requirements of ISO13628 Part 6.


Qualified and field-proven

SemStar5 has been extensively qualified and proven in the field, with orders for more than 600 and 225 units already deployed since 2011. It is technology readiness level 7 and can be delivered with a typical lead time of seven months.


Robust design

Reliability extends to our product design, in which we specify the use of industrial-grade components, and all electronic components are de-rated accordingly. Because we know that heat is the greatest threat to the reliability of electronics, SemStar5 has been designed for effective heat-dissipation through careful choice of materials and thermal modeling. The robustness of the design has also been demonstrated by both accelerated life testing (ALT) and highly accelerated life testing (HALT)—testing the unit in extreme temperatures and vibration conditions to truly understand its performance boundaries, and modify design and component selection accordingly.


High-end networking capability

The SemStar5 employs our high-end networking capability to connect using dynamic, layer 3 networks. Its software comprises a set of layered components deployed as a single package that executes on each printed circuit board in the unit. This common firmware and hardware, used on each functional card, facilitates obsolescence management, as the brain on each SemStar5 card can be separated and upgraded without redesigning the cards themselves. We use a cross-industry, real-time operating system, QNX, for the unit’s TCP/IP Ethernet backplane and external connection to Ethernet-enabled devices.


Backwards compatible

SemStar5 has been designed to be backwards-compatible with Baker Hughes's legacy SEMs. Our ‘SEMulation’ software allows SemStar5 to emulate legacy SEMs without disruption to existing topside hardware or operator interfaces, as demonstrated on many successfully upgraded projects. This provides an upgrade path to maintain or expand older systems without the need for costly infrastructure changes.

System redundancy continues into the SemStar5 itself, using a redundant 100 Mbit/s Ethernet backplane and interbay-comms, and a redundant DC power bus for each plug-in module—reducing wiring by 50% and further improving availability of the control system. In situ downloading of software is also permitted to ensure the unit is future-proof.


Flexible communications options
  • Fiber-optic modems (up to 1 Gbit/s and up to 300 km)
  • DSL modem (up to 5 Mbit/s and over 30 km)
  • RS-422 (high-speed up to 800 m)
  • Variable-speed, multi-drop copper modems (9.6 to 115.2 Kbit/s)
  • Low-speed copper modem (1.2 Kbit/s)
  • Direct Ethernet (100 Mbit/s)


Enhanced reliability features
  • Redundant DC power supply to internal modules and Ethernet for backplane and inter-bay communications
  • Single-board computer based on 32-bit microcontroller
  • Robust internal electrical harness design
  • Fewer internal wiring interconnections
  • Simplified motherboards
  • Built-in circuit-board diagnostics
  • Fault-tolerant input/output interfaces


Typical lead time of seven months

SemStar5 make-to-order variants can be delivered in seven months.

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