NASA has selected Microchip Technology, a Chandler, Arizona-headquartered semiconductor manufacturer, to develop a high-performance spaceflight computing processor for the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a $50 million firm-fixed-price contract.
Microchip Technology will design and build the HPSC processor over three years to boost the computational capacity of existing spaceflight computers in support of future lunar and planetary exploration missions, NASA said Tuesday.
The agency expects the HPSC processor to enable spacecraft computers to perform calculations up to 100 times faster to meet future missions’ operational and computing requirements.
Babak Samimi, corporate vice president for Microchip’s communications business unit, said the platform will provide comprehensive Ethernet networking, advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning processing and connectivity support.
The contract is part of NASA’s High-Performance Space Computing project managed by JPL in Pasadena, California.