- WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government and Intel Corp. have teamed up to
develop a radiation-proof computer chip that could help shield satellites
from nuclear blasts in space.
- The new computer microprocessor is the
result of work by Intel and the government's Sandia National Laboratories
in New Mexico.
- Intel, the largest manufacturer of microprocessors,
will provide the government with "existing technology that then allows
them to go off and build a radiation-hardened product," said a source
close to the deal, who spoke on condition of anonymity and would reveal
no details about the chip.
- Intel is scheduled to announce the new
technology Tuesday at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California, with
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and NASA Administrator Dan Goldin expected
to attend, the source said.
- The trade newsletter Defense Week, in
an edition being published Monday, said the new chip would one day enable
systems aboard satellites and other space vehicles to withstand the effects
of a nuclear detonation.
- The article said U.S. intelligence agencies
are increasingly worried about the possibility that a potential enemy could
disrupt satellite surveillance and communications simply by firing a nuclear
weapon straight up and detonating it in space.