The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced earlier today that it has big upgrade plans for its next generation processors. The space research body has hired chipmaker Microchip to design next-gen High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) processor which are "at least 100 times the computational capacity of current spaceflight computers". To make this possible, NASA is spending $50 million on this contract. The new system shall be deployed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.
Aside from being blazingly fast, compared to last-gen technology that is 30 years old now, NASA says that the overall fault tolerance and reliability of the system has also improved. The efficiency of the new HPSC will also be much greater since it will allow disabling of certain processing functions when they are not being used.
The press release explains:
Microchip’s processor architecture will significantly improve the overall computing efficiency for these missions by enabling computing power to be scalable, based on mission needs. The design also will be more reliable and have a higher fault tolerance. The processor will enable spacecraft computers to perform calculations up to 100 times faster than today’s state-of-the-art space computers.
NASA isn't the only space flight body looking to upgrade its aging computing equipment. Recently,the European Space Agency (ESA) also announced that it's going to upgrade its ancient Windows 98-based software.