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1000mph Car to feature Intel Atom Processors

1000mph Car to feature Intel Atom Processors

SWINDON, JULY 20, 2010 –  Today Intel announced that Intel Atom processors will control the engine and in-car control systems of the 1,000mph Bloodhound supersonic car. The announcement, being made at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow today, is one of several disclosures that details Intel’s level of involvement as official IT Partner to the Bloodhound Project.

The processors, similar to those used in netbooks, have been specifically designed for use in industrial and automotive applications, and were chosen for their power-saving and performance prowess. Three Atom chips will manage the calculations behind the car’s “hybrid” propulsion systems – the largest hybrid rocket ever designed in Europe – included in which is a jet engine from Typhoon fighter aircraft. Given the speeds the car will be going, each processor will be checking the others’ calculations to guarantee there are no errors. Another processor will also be used to relay this and other status information, stored on an internal SSD chip, back to the driver on the cockpit displays.

The other processors, of which there will be up to four, are part of the control systems that will enable driver Wing Commander Andy Green to keep the car on a smooth trajectory during its record breaking attempts. During these attempts Green will be using winglets on the car to control both lift and downforce in real time. His inputs will be translated by the control systems, with the Atom processors at their heart to these stability controls so they can adjust accordingly.

 “This is an important engineering milestone, and yet another great example of the close collaboration between Intel and Bloodhound. The Atom processor has impressed us with its power-saving, performance and resilience and thanks to this we have managed to use fewer processors in the car – saving on vital weight and space” said Mark Chapman, Chief Engineer for the Bloodhound programme.

The Intel Atom processors run at speeds of 1.6 GHz, allowing for lightning fast response times during the mere seconds it will take for Bloodhound to travel each of the measured miles that are part of a landspeed record attempt.

Education Ambassadors
As part of the collaboration between Intel and Bloodhound, Intel is confirming that it is contributing 26 ambassadors from among its employees to the Bloodhound Ambassador programme. The programme aims to create a surge in the popularity of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects among young people of all ages, through the advocacy of the Bloodhound Engineering Adventure. The 26 ambassadors contributed by Intel will represent Intel, the IT industry and the Bloodhound project in schools and universities, and at public events across the UK.

As part of Intel’s fulfilment to the Bloodhound project as preferred IT partner, Intel will load and host the Bloodhound Educational content for Primary, Secondary, FE and University for global distribution and also manage the registration process for joining schools outside the UK. The initial Bloodhound site has already been developed within Intel SKOOOL which can be found here.

Another key part of Intel’s education program is the Intel Teach program, which is helping teachers worldwide to integrate technology into their lessons and promoting problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills to seven million teachers in over 60 countries. Intel will be working with the Bloodhound Education team to integrate Bloodhound into continuous professional development for teachers.

“Intel recognises that globally there is an increasing shortage of science and maths engineers to help drive the next generation of innovators for the 21st century. Core to the heart of Intel’s Education program are STEM subjects and the similarity to the aims of the Bloodhound education programme is one of the main reasons we formed this partnership,” said Tim Hatch, education spokesperson for Intel UK.   

Can you drive at 1000mph?
Also making its world début at Farnborough is the highly anticipated BLOODHOUND Driving Experience. The prototype cockpit offers test drivers the unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of this jet and rocket powered car and experience motoring at 15 times the national speed limit as they aim to set a new World Land Speed record.

This immersive experience was developed in collaboration with the University of Southampton, Cursive Simulation, The Race Centre, the University of the West of England Bristol (UWE) and Escape Studios. The BLOODHOUND Driving Experience is powered by an Intel® Core™i7 processor 940, enabling the system to deliver stunning graphics at 1,000 mph.

The state-of-the-art graphics are delivered by the Gamebryo Lightspeed game engine from Emergent Game Technologies, an award-winning platform most commonly used in chart-topping console games and ultra-realistic military training simulators.

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Stuart Davidson

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