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I strongly believe that IBM Power Systems are the most advanced, reliable and best performing [distributed] systems on the planet. 

Bruce Turgeon

Power Systems Technical Architect


(BSC - Applied Physics)

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IBM Power Systems Servers for your hybrid multicloud strategy


IBM Power in space

Background Image:  Summit - The worlds most powerful supercomputer cluster and it runs on IBM Power Systems with RedHat.

IBM POWER in Space

IBM Power in space

In the darkness of space beyond Earth's protective magnetic field, the importance of processor reliability and tolerance is paramount.  The difference between success or failure of a multi-billion dollar space mission can be dependent on the processor surviving the harshness of space itself.  That is why successful deep space missions have utilized a PowerPC-based processor chip, the RAD750 (and earlier variants).  From Mars Orbiters to Landers and Rovers, the successful missions have utilized these PowerPC-based processors.

Lost Signal
Failed missions that were not RAD750-based
“the decent module stopped transmission on both data channels after just 14.5 seconds for unknown reasons. It was only able to transmit one partial image.”
“[The lander] returned data for 224 seconds during its descent through the Martian atmosphere. However … with the spacecraft about to fire its retrorockets in preparation for landing, all contact was lost. Due to a design flaw, a chip aboard the spacecraft had degraded during the mission, and a large amount of the data which had been returned was unusable.
“With no signal from the Lander, NASA released a Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image showing what appears to be the lander crash site.”
A multi-billion dollar crater

The first successful Mars rover deployment was in 1996 with the Mars Pathfinder NASA mission. This was also the first deployment of the POWER-based RAD6000 system. NASA followed this up with two more successful rover deployments, with Spirit and Opportunity, in 2003. These utilized the RAD750 systems. Opportunity set a new record in mission duration of 5,449 days.  NASA lost connect with the rover on June 10 2018 during a planet-encircling dust storm.  Rescue efforts are still underway. The issue is with the Solar Panels not getting enough light to maintain rover power.


Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) was another NASA mission that launched Nov 26 2011 and successfully landed a fourth Mars rover, Curiosity, on the planet on Aug 6 2012. Curiosity, complete with a RAD750 system, continues its mission with 2837 sols logged so far (July 30th 2020).

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