NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old.
The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the version of the processor shipped in a consumer computer and the one exploring space. The processor in the rover is built to withstand temperatures between -67 and 257 degrees Fahrenheit (−55 and 125 degrees Celsius) and comes with an added $200,000 price tag.
The PowerPC 750 processor was ahead of the game for its time, featuring a single-core, 233MHz processor, 6 million transistors (compared to today's 16 billion in a single chip), and based on 32-bit architecture.
Apple used PowerPC chips in Mac computers until it transitioned to Intel in 2005. Right now, Apple's going through a similar change, moving away from Intel to deploy its own custom Apple silicon in Macs.