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March 29, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

The SD consultancy arm of SD-Scicon has been selected by the European Space Technology Centre, ESTEC, as lead contracter for an 18-month research project, combining the Inmos International Transputer and the Ada programming technologies. The centre is in the process of examining a range of RISC-type architectures and 32-bit processors for their viability in space applications. The aim of the UKP210,000 project is to evaluate the performance of an Ada compiler running under Unix, on a number of space applications. The compiler will be supplied by Alsys Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the Ada product suppliers Alsys SA, La Celle Saint Cloud, France. According to SD’s Bill Thomas, Ada on Transputers is a particularly suitable combination for use in space, where radiation, cramped vehicle conditions, and the need to transmit data back to the earth create a number of technological hurdles. Thomas cited Ada’s ability to generate re-useable and portable code, together with the simple architecture, falult-tolerance, and high performance features of Transputers, as the chief reasons for their inclusion in the project.

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