Mars Rovers use PowerPCs
That explains all the reboots! http://news.google.com.au/news?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&safe=off&q=mars+rovers+reboot&meta=&sa=N&tab=wn
The big advantage of PowerPC processors is that they use substantially less power than many alternatives, yet still generally faster than some other traditionally low-power-conumption CPUs, like the StrongARM.
"This is why it looks like the PowerPC is going to be the CPU in the next generation video games consoles from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft."
I don't think there's actually that much choice in processors anyway. It costs a lot of money to make any single chip long-lasting, rad-hardened, able to work in a vaccum without much cooling, etc. so they pretty much only have a few options.
Does a vacuum insulate from heat? I thought it just radiated off into the void. But I guess that's how the thermos works.
But on the other hand it got awfully cold on Apollo 13 when they turned off the heaters.
Whoa - hadn't thought about working in a vacuum - no convection to carry off the heat. Interesting...
They actualy had to worry about the CPU getting too cold so it is always heated. Night time temps can drop to -110C
Right, I understand that, but Mars has an atmosphere so it's different. I think the issue is about the functioning of the CPU during the trip to Mars, during which it's in a vacuum.
Cooling and heating are both problems in a vaccum. You can't cool the processor very well with no atmosphere to transfer the heat. Heating is a problem because, in the shade, space is very very cold. It needs to work equally well in earth atmosphere as it does in space and as well in space as it does on mars.
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