A close-up of the next-generation microprocessor that will serve a wide variety of future space missions.
Standard terrestrial chips wouldn’t last very long in orbit under the harsh blast of space radiation. So ESA has had a long history of working with industry on specially ‘rad-hardened’ designs for space.
This GR740 microprocessor, developed by Cobham Gaisler in Sweden and manufactured by France-based STMicroelectronics, is a quadcore design combining four embedded LEON4 cores. The LEON4 is the latest member of a series of chips that began with the LEON2-FT, developed at ESA from the second half of the 1990s.
For more information on the device and ESA’s role in microprocessor development, watch our video interview with ESA microelectronics engineer Roland Weigand.