NASA aims to accelerate 100 times with next space computer

    A $50 million contract for a next-generation processor for use in space has been awarded (opens in a new tab) for Microchip Technology Inc. by Chandler, Arizona. Arm-based 32bit system and embedded microcontroller company, will design and deliver HPSC (High Performance Space Light Computer) (opens in a new tab)) processor more than three years.

    This new processor is expected to provide at least 100 times the computing power of today’s space flight computers. While this may sound like a brag, the current state of space computing means it’s certainly not out of reach. NASA’s Orion reusable capsule uses a Honeywell aircraft that was originally built for use on Boeing 787s – a system that was 12 years old at the time of its launch in 2014. The point of computing spaceflight is not that they are particularly fast, but that they are reliable and fault tolerant.

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