With the landing of the last mission on Mars, the vagabond Perseverance, therefore, has a piece of Apple’s history. The chip that is housed inside is a variant of the same one we saw in the iMac G3 from 1998: a PowerPC 750. Of course, with a series of peculiarities that adapt it to the extreme conditions of the Red Planet.
Destination Mars: the PowerPC that went from the iMac G3 to Perseverance twenty years later
Thanks to the technical specifications released by NASA a few months ago, we can get an idea of what this chip looks like. The PowerPC 750 which mounts on this vagabond It comes in duplicate, to have a substitute in case one of them fails. In addition to that, we have the following details:
- It works at a speed of 200Mh, about 10 times faster than the computers of the rovers Curiosity and opportunity.
- 2 GB of flash memory, approximately 8 times that of Curiosity and Opportunity.
- 256 MB of RAM.
- 256 KB of ROM.
- Designed by IBM and Motorola, manufactured by BAE Systems.
Seen like this, it seems that the most important mission of recent years was sent with cutting edge technology … twenty years ago. However, these chips have special anti-radiation treatment which is estimated at $ 300,000. That said, the power of this chip is more than enough to withstand the tasks this robot faces on the Red Planet.
Just as we wait for an iMac 2021 refresh, it’s curious to look back on its history. The color iMac was developed under the interim tenure of Steve Jobs and was released in August 1998. He was responsible for the start of Apple’s takeover, give the company financial oxygen think about the following: the iPod. Its PowerPC processor comes from the same family as the Perseverance, the 750. But it was renamed the G3 to have a more recognizable name.
Of course, none of those involved in its development then believed their chip would reach Mars.