Your smartphone could power the Curiosity rover

The latest wheeled explorer on the surface of Mars is a technological wonder that boasts Canadian wizardry and cutting edge science. But it runs on single-core processors. That’s because the rover had to be designed several years ago and couldn’t be updated with the latest CPUs.

As a NASA official points out in this piece, the Sparc and PowerPC-based computers don’t have to be highly powerful, but they do have be hardened to survive and work in the harsh conditions in space and on Mars.
 
How much of Canada is in Curiosity? This article from the Globe and Mail details the two companies involved and how they might benefit.
 
For the latest from NASA on Curiosity’s progress, click here.