NASA’s Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old.
Image Credit: NASA
As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998.
The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the version of the processor shipped in a consumer computer and the one exploring space. The processor in the rover is built to withstand temperatures between -67 and 257 degrees Fahrenheit (−55 and 125 degrees Celsius) and comes with an added $200,000 price tag.
The PowerPC 750 processor was ahead of the game for its time, featuring a single-core, 233MHz processor, 6 million transistors (compared to today’s 16 billion in a single chip), and based on 32-bit architecture.
Apple used PowerPC chips in Mac computers until it transitioned to Intel in 2005. Right now, Apple’s going through a similar change, moving away from Intel to deploy its own custom Apple silicon in Macs. Tags: NASA, Apple Silicon
This article, “NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac” first appeared on MacRumors.com
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