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Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 247

No boot ROM means that a hardware device constructed from discrete logic and analog chips directly demodulates digital data from the radio, addresses the memory, and writes the data. Once this process is completed, it de-asserts the RESET line of the CPU and the CPU starts executing from an address in memory. Really no ROM!

Comment Re:@Intel: Why no ECC for consumer-grade processor (Score 1) 247

You hit a LSB and something is off by one. You hit a MSB and you're potentially off by trillions.

That's a good argument for Gray code.

I have to take issue with the assumption that nothing clears errors better than a hard reset. There are very many known strategies for dealing with errors on a running system, and a reset only clears persistent and cumulative error, rather than transient ones. Since we can assume that your computer doesn't keep the same data in memory all of the time, most will be transient.

Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 247

The situation for AMSAT is still pretty bad, as far as I've heard. As a radio amateur group (and one that has launched quite a few satellites as space hitch-hikers) they can't afford the good stuff, but they get some donated by NASA and some of the commercial satellite companies. Only a few years ago they were still using the 1802 as their main vehicle controller, as that was their main choice in silicon-on-sapphire CPUs. They get some donations of space-qualified solar cells. They scrub their memory continuously, They use no boot ROMS. The program is loaded entirely by hardware, and then the CPU is started.

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