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NASA Is Dedicating USD $50 Million From Its Budget To The Making Of A New Processor For Deep Space Exploration

NASA is pledging a whopping USD 50 million to the development of a new processor chip which will help the organization in exploring the vast expanse of space.

The no doubt highly coveted 50 million grant was ultimately acquired by Microchip Technology Inc. which, other than being very well named for the task at hand, has an impressive track record spanning decades back to the late 1980s. The specific task that NASA had in mind for the tech firm was the development of a new High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) processor. It intends to make further lunar and planetary exploration missions easier on the team. Honestly, considering that NASA’s pledging a Mars landing within the next two decades, the pressure’s on NASA to get cracking. That is if it’s in the mood for not landing on the butt end of thousands of US citizens who would rather keep their taxes to themselves.

So, why does NASA need an entirely new processor to be made? Sure, space exploration isn’t easy on a computer, but what are previous processors lacking? Well, the answer to that is addressed by the organization’s expert technologist Wesley Powell, who revealed that NASA’s current spaceflight computers are outdated, with some dating back to thirty years ago. This, while sufficing for current exploration and allowing expenditure to be allocated elsewhere, are also quite inefficient. Chips from thirty years past aren’t sophisticated enough to manage energy consumption effectively. Newer processors could help in such regard, allowing a more effective division of energy.

Prior processors were built and integrated with computational processes in mind, where energy division wasn’t as important as going through a ton of algorithms at the same time was. However, older tech can prove inefficient at even this. Technology has been out-speeding itself at every turn, with each year bringing in a sweeping wave of changes. A new chip will not only allow for more energy efficiency; it will also help provide more efficient processing. Naturally, Microchip Technology’s rather optimistic about the task, and the opportunity to work with a name as massive as NASA, and are more than eager to deliver in time. Oh, and I’m sure USD 50 million is a very motivating incentive as well.


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