The Imaging Processing Unit (IPU) under development for ESA aims to be used to control imagers or other sensors and to perform data processing as well as processing for the control and setting up of the instrument in support of the autonomy of the system. Its significant processing capability allows reducing the
main processor's activity for instrument related tasks. Its lightness and compactness are valuable assets for tight payload mass & volume requirements. The IPU is designed to operate in harsh environment and especially at very low temperature without active thermal control, which is an advantage for various space missions, like Mars missions were operation at very low temperature is likely to occur.