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BAE Systems Taps Freescale's Power Architecture Technology to Produce Processors for Space Missions [Professional Services Close - Up]
[March 17, 2012]

BAE Systems Taps Freescale's Power Architecture Technology to Produce Processors for Space Missions [Professional Services Close - Up]

(Professional Services Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BAE Systems announced that it is developing fourth generation radiation hardened computers for space applications through a license for Power Architecture processor cores from Freescale.

According to a release, implementation of Freescale's Power Architecture technology will increase onboard satellite processing by 10 times the current rate, enabling payload and bus applications considered impossible only a few years ago.

The license agreement permits parallel multi-core processing for space applications, shrinking the gap between processing capabilities commonplace in the commercial industry and those presently available to the space community. The need for high- performance computing applications onboard satellites is driven by the amounts of information collected during modern space missions.

"The licensing arrangement enables a massive leap in our processing capability, providing our customers the ability to maximize application performance while leveraging existing infrastructure and experience," said Ian McDonald, director of space products and systems for BAE Systems. "Freescale's experience with high performance computing provides BAE Systems a technological advantage to enable mission applications that are unattainable with current generation hardware platforms." The company noted that the agreement with Freescale provides a natural extension to the BAE Systems' family of space-qualified computer products and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), because it facilitates reuse of existing RAD750 application software and infrastructure. In addition to the e5500 64bit Power Architecture core, BAE Systems has licensed the QorIQ platform, which includes such features as CoreNet and OCeaN fabrics, memory controller, memory elements and high speed interfaces.

"Freescale has established a very strong leadership position in the demanding networking market based in large part on the power, performance and cost advantages of its Power Architecture based products," stated Brett Butler, VP and general manager of Freescale's Networking Processor Division. "This technology also is ideally suited for the rigors of aerospace requirements, and Freescale is pleased that BAE Systems has selected it for this purpose." BAE Systems is a supplier of space electronics and space computing products. The company has experience across generations of technology in porting commercial products to radiation-hardened, space qualified solutions for demanding space applications.

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