NASA Picks $MCHP for Computing Processor

ZDNet headline: NASA enters contract for computing processor that will change space exploration

Subheadline: The High Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC)?processor will provide at least 100 times the computational capacity of current spaceflight computers, says NASA.

Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Associate Editor on Aug. 16, 2022…

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California selected Microchip Technology of Chandler, Arizona, to develop a High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC)?processor that will advance all types of future space missions, from planetary exploration to lunar and Mars surface missions, NASA said in a release Monday.

The processor architecture will allow computing power to be scalable based on mission needs, which will significantly improve overall computing efficiency for exploration missions. The design will also make the processor more reliable, enabling spacecraft computers to perform calculations up to 100 times faster than today’s state-of-the-art space computers, according to NASA.

“Our current spaceflight computers were developed almost 30 years ago,” said Wesley Powell, NASA’s principal technologist for advanced avionics. "While they have served past missions well, future NASA missions demand significantly increased onboard computing capabilities and reliability. The new computing processor will provide the advances required in performance, fault tolerance, and flexibility to meet these future mission needs.

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