Mars Curiosity Rover Only Has a Quarter of iPhone 4S Processing Power
Processor power may not be a big priority in space exploration and the NASA’s Curiosity Rover that landed recently actually has a quarter of processing power of the iPhone 4S. Recent reports reveal that the processing module of the Curiosity Rover looks rather weak when stacked with common smartphones we find in the market today. Curiosity uses a 200MHz chip compared to iPhone 4S’ 800 MHz, which equals to four times the processing performance. The overwhelmingly expensive exploration vehicle only has 256MB of RAM and 2GB of onboard storage, which is comparable to low-end devices released a few years ago.
But of course, so much money spent still give the rover some distinct advantages. The nuclear reactor is adequate for two years of continuous exploration and scientific tasks. Although the 200MHz chip may not seem impressive, it is just enough to handle Curiosity Rover’s instruments, sensors and communication devices. Obviously, this is not a fair comparison; a lowly 150hp V4 engine on pickup truck could simply get the job done, while the 650hp V8 turbocharged engine on sports car is only intended to satisfy the need for speed.