Power Architecture Plays Key Role in Space Missions

Power.org, the organization that promotes and develops standards for Power Architecture® technology, announced that Power Architecture technology has played an integral role in more than a dozen United States’ space missions, most recently the Mars Phoenix Polar Lander. The use of Power Architecture embedded processors in the aerospace market exemplifies its diversity and underscores its continued, widespread market share leadership, as noted in a recent IDC webcast delivered to Power.org members.

“Power Architecture continues to demonstrate leadership in a variety of market segments, especially in gaming, networking, automotive, data communications, and wireless infrastructure,” said Mario Morales, IDC’s Vice President, Semiconductors, in his analysis of Power Architecture technology. “From the introduction of the first Power Architecture embedded processor in 1990 to the launch of POWER6 a few months ago, the architecture has developed a rich set of history, technology leadership, and value as well as a broad and growing supplier base.”

Power Architecture Space Applications
Like the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, 2008′s Phoenix relies on a Power Architecture-based processor as part of the spacecraft’s main on-board computer. The computer executes vital command and data-handling functions, including flight, landing, and on-Mars operations.

“Power Architecture technology’s versatility and reliability have earned it a central role in an enormous range of innovative products, including major United States’ exploratory missions,” said Ray Bryant, chairman of Power.org’s board of directors. “As an organization, we are proud to support America’s space program and committed to driving an ecosystem that meets the challenges of even the most demanding applications and environments.”

Power Architecture processors have performed under extreme conditions on almost every United States’ research spacecraft launched in the past decade, including:

  • DAWN mission to the asteroid belt
  • Deep Space 1 probe
  • Genesis and Stardust sample return missions
  • IMAGE/Explorer 78 MIDEX spacecraft
  • Mars Climate orbiter
  • Mars Odyssey orbiter
  • Mars Pathfinder Lander
  • Mars Polar Lander
  • MESSENGER probe to Mercury
  • Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers
  • Spitzer infrared telescope facility
  • STEREO spacecraft

In addition, Power Architecture processors helps the satellites in the United States’ Global Positioning System deliver accurate information across the world. The world’s next-generation GPS III satellites will also launch with Power Architecture computing systems on board.

This successful series of aerospace applications is one of many examples of how compelling and reliable solutions based on Power Architecture technology propel performance and innovation in many leading market segments. To maintain leadership and continue growing market penetration, Power.org members are collaboratively developing new standards for Power Architecture with significant investments in research and development. Efforts are underway to enhance the platform in the areas of multicore debugging, embedded hypervisor capabilities and virtual modeling and simulation. These technology standards have significant benefits for the Power Architecture processing platform, which provides the computing intelligence for a broad range of advanced electronics.

About Power.org
Power Architecture technology is behind millions of innovative products, including the world’s fastest supercomputers, leading video game consoles, and electronic systems in most of today’s car models. Every phone call, email and Web page touches hundreds of Power Architecture systems. The open Power.org community, formed in 2005, is the organization driving collaborative innovation around Power Architecture technology. Power.org’s mission is to optimize interoperability, accelerate innovation and drive increased adoption of this leading processor architecture.

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