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NASA JPL Selects Microchip for Game-Changing Spaceflight Computing Processor

Our HPSC processor will redefine what’s possible for the future of space exploration.

The Next-Generation, Space-Qualified Computing Processor

We are pleased that NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has selected Microchip to develop its next-generation, space-qualified compute processor platform, High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC). As part of the contract award, we will architect, develop and supply the HPSC processor and the necessary software development environment that will enable spacecraft computers with at least 100 times the computational capacity of current solutions. With HPSC, a new generation of more capable and robust autonomous space missions and systems for NASA, the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry and mass markets will be made entirely possible for Earth, multi-orbit and deep space applications.

This effort will develop a new trusted and transformative compute platform that will deliver comprehensive Ethernet networking, advanced AI/ML processing and connectivity support while delivering unprecedented performance gain, fault-tolerance and security architecture at low power consumption. As the #1 semiconductor supplier to the A&D industry, we will foster an industry-wide ecosystem of single-board computer partners based on the HPSC processor and the complementary portfolio of our space-qualified total system solutions so NASA and the broader industry can benefit from a new generation of mission-critical edge compute designs optimized for Size, Weight and Power (SWaP).

The HPSC processor marks the latest milestone in our 60+ years of history in space innovation and heritage. From the first Microchip product used on the first Atlas space rocket to the most recent flight models on NASA’s Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter, our processing solutions have powered tens of thousands of different space missions from around the world. As the largest A&D semiconductor supplier globally, our extensive portfolio of radiation-hardened and radiation-tolerant solutions includes high-performance microcontollers (MCUs), microprocessors (MPUs), Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), memory products, communication interfaces, frequency and timing solutions, mixed-signal ICs, custom power supplies, diodes, transistors and RF components.

Besides enabling NASA’s missions, our HPSC processor will be commercialized as part of our standard A&D product portfolio, available to other government agencies or system manufacturers. In addition, it could also be used for commercial terrestrial systems that require similar mission-critical edge computing needs where workloads could benefit from a high-degree fault tolerance. Examples of potential commercial market applications include:

  • Industrial automation and robotics

  • Edge computing

  • Industrial Time Sensitive Networking (TSN)

  • Edge AI/ML

  • Internet of Things (IoT) Gateways

Our HPSC processor is currently under development—more information will be made available in the future. If you are interested in participating in our early access program, please contact your local Microchip Client Engagement Manager (CEM).

To read the entire NASA announcement, please visit their website.

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