jbrodkin writes: "The same IBM processors in your Xbox 360, PS3, the car you drive and some of the world's fastest supercomputers are leaving for Mars today to support a NASA mission searching for extraterrestrial life. And this is no mere coincidence. Lessons learned from the incredible video throughput of the PlayStation 3 and the extreme scalability and reliability of mainframes factor into the processors being used on the Phoenix Mars Lander. Similarly, the experience building processors that make the most efficient use of energy on a spacecraft is helping IBM make data centers on Earth more efficient in a time when limitations of space and power are increasingly important. "This is the onboard machine that runs all of the functions that will have to be performed somewhat autonomously on Mars when it lands," explains Dave McQueeney, chief technology officer for IBM's federal contracting business. "These are the computers inside the spacecraft that are responsible for the navigation, control, scientific instruments, power management
... the things that are the brains of the Lander itself.""