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Bloodhound SSC has Intel Inside


Bloodhound SSC has Intel Inside

Intel has said that its atom processors will be used in the control systems of the 1,000mph Bloodhound Supersonic car.

The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air show, where a simulator has been unveiled to demonstrate what it’s like to travel over land at 1,000mph.

The Bloodhound project, which TrustedReviews reported on last November, is an attempt at beating the world land speed record, which currently stands at 763mph.

The 1.6GHz Atom chips will be similar to those used in your average netbook but will be specifically designed for use for industrial and automotive use, which makes sense considering the extreme forces they will need to endure.


Three chips will be used to manage the hybrid engine, (essentially a typhoon Fighter jet engine), with each chip checking on the calculations of the other and a fourth used to transmit the data back to the cockpit.

Other Atom chips will be used in the control systems to maintain the cars lift and downforce, as Wing Commander Andy Green makes his record breaking attempt.

Marc Chapman, chief engineer of the Bloodhound programme said the Atom chips were selected due to their power-saving and performance capabilities.

“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 Chapman.

Link: Intel and Bloodhound


July 20, 2010, 6:19 pm

can they overclock it ?

Hmm, not sure if I'm referring to the vehicle or chip !


July 20, 2010, 6:38 pm



July 20, 2010, 7:52 pm

Atom processors? Really? Like the one in my netbook?

Given its performance with things like iTunes and multitasking im not sure I would even trust it to run my 1.4TDI polo, let alone a car that goes 1,000mph! Shows how much I know I guess!


July 20, 2010, 8:21 pm

@Stelph: even trust it to run my 1.4TDI polo

Depending on how old your Polo is, chances are it's using a much less powerful CPU than an Atom :)


July 20, 2010, 8:39 pm

@Stelph: It's not like a single processor powers the whole car, just individual components of the car, and crucially they're not running Windows :).

Imagine if your Polo had an active spoiler managed by 3 Atom processors, another couple of chips for your engine management, another for your instrument display, you get the idea.

Pretty cool use of off-the-shelf tech.

Jay Pain

July 20, 2010, 8:44 pm

Why are they placing such weak CPU on a supersonic car?


July 20, 2010, 8:56 pm

Bet it's more likely some lowly 8-bit, or 16-bit micro-processor stuck on the Super Roadrunner Rocket sled. Only tops out at 9,465 fps (6,453 mph, 10430 km/h, 2885 m/s, Mach 8.5), so not too fast. Seeing as the payload was highly classified, we're not likely to find out though :(


July 20, 2010, 9:09 pm

Oh, and it has two thrust propulsion engines (plus the V12 internal combustion engine used as a fuel pump). One is the Eurofighter Thypoon EJ2000 turbofan engine (which has two itself) and the other is the hybrid, a throttleable rocket engine using HTP (high test peroxide, 86% hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) and HDPB rubber giving upto 122 kN (27,500 lbs) of thrust. Slightly safer than that used in the Me163 Komet.

Paul 7

July 20, 2010, 10:44 pm

How's about a Motorola 68000 or two ??? (yup, state of the art!)


July 21, 2010, 2:58 pm

Jay Pain,

Because it's proven and reliable.


July 21, 2010, 4:52 pm

@Jay Pain, and because the Atom is very powerfull compared to other SoCs. Just because its 'slow' to run an entire multitasking OS like Windows, doesn't mean its slow overall.

The Space Shuttle only uses a intel 8086 (or a 80386 for the 'new' ones), giving about 1.2MIPS...The Atom is around 3000MIPS!

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