Computer/Embedded Technology

Industrial PC survives tough NASA tests well

27 July 2005 Computer/Embedded Technology

To talk about 'quality' when referring to one's product, and to be convincing, is not a simple matter, as the term 'quality' is misused daily.

It is better therefore, to provide testimonials. So says high-tech Swiss developer and manufacturer of industrial computer products, MPL.

To this end, the company has provided the following information:

"We received from NASA the test report that our MIP405 industrial PC passed radiation tests at the NASA test centre. The MIP405 that was used for the test was a standard off-the-shelf MIP405-3X, it was not specially treated or prepared by MPL.

"The goal for NASA was to have a complete system (combination of several boards) with a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 59 days or better, for any type of FI (functional interrupt) and no latch-up. The tests officially proved that the system can go 89 days without an FI with no latch-up."

Summary of the test report:

* MIP405 experienced no 'latch up' failures. No destructive latch-up or single-event burnout, although the MIP405 (at a certain beam position) did have an FI that required a power re-cycle to clear the fault.

* The MIP405 demonstrated a 132 day MTBF for FI based on worst-case test condition. In the best case, the MIP405 experienced a better than 10 year MTBF.

MPL reported that NASA tested two other products that failed immediately in the proton beam test. The MPL MIP405 was the only CPU board that passed their test.

The 'off-the-shelf' MIP405 industrial PC thus passed NASA testing and is now scheduled to be used on the International Space Station in 2006.


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