After more than two decades, the space agency’s PowerPC love affair appears to be at an end.
Chip designer SiFive said Tuesday its RISC-V-compatible CPU cores will power NASA’s just-announced High-Performance Spaceflight Computer (HPSC).
The computer system will form the backbone for future manned and unmanned missions, including those to the Moon and Mars. Its microprocessor will be developed under a three-year $50 million contract with SiFive and Microchip, the system-on-chip designer and home to the PIC microcontroller family.
The HPSC’s processor replaces the aging PowerPC-based BAE RAD750, which was introduced more than two decades ago, and has flown in countless spacecraft, including the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and the James Web Space Telescope.