Starfleet Command > Technical Manuals > Starfleet > Computer Systems

Computer Cores


The main computer acts as the central processor for the whole ship or starbase. It controls all aspects of operations including propulsion, weapons, shields, inertial damping field and structural integrity system. Starfleet computer cores are equipped with a low-level subspace field generator which generates a non-propulsive field slightly greater than the equivalent for warp 1; this allows signals within each core to travel at faster-than-light velocities, speeding up response time. The Main Computer is connected to the rest of the ship via the ODN, an optical network which allows almost instantaneous transmission of data.

Computer Core Policy

In the 23rd century, all vessels were equipped with a single computer processor. This provided no redundancy at all, which meant disruption of vessel functions if the computer core was rendered inoperable. Starfleet now installs three processing cores in most larger vessels (for example, Galaxy and Sovereign class vessels) and two in smaller vessels (for example, Intrepid class vessels).

Computer Core Operations

In larger vessels, two of the processing cores provide 100% redundancy for all ship operations. If one is rendered inoperable, the other can take over with no interruption to ship operations. However, nonessential functions such as holodecks may be suspended to give priority to critical systems (propulsion and tactical systems). The third computer is usually located far away from the two main cores, and is intended for use if the vessel has the ability to separate. This has been further extended by the prototype U.S.S. Prometheus, which has the ability to split into three, and utilise multi-vector assault mode. In smaller vessels, the two cores function with 100% redundancy. All Starfleet Computer Cores utilise a low-level non-propulsive warp field (< 1000 millicochranes) to enable transmission of data within the computer cores at speeds significantly exceeding lightspeed. This allows significant improvements in response time.

Data Storage

Memory storage for main core usage is provided by 2 048 dedicated modules of 144 isolinear storage chips. Under LCARS (Library Computer Access and Retrieval System), these provide an average memory access rate of 4 600 kQ/sec. Total available storage capacity of each module is about 630 000 kQ, depending on software configuration, giving a total storage capacity of about 1.29 TQ (1 TQ = 1 000 000 000 kQ).

Isolinear Storage Systems

Personal Access Display Devices (PADDs)

PADD Overview

In its primary role aboard a starship, a PADD is a handheld control and display terminal. They are in daily use throughout Starfleet, as a natural response to crew members' needs to execute hardware functions in several different places, and to manipulate visual information and communicate to others abord the ship.

Starfleet PADDs

Starfleet PADD variants include three basic sizes:
10.16 x 15.24 x 0.95 cm
20.32 x 25.41 x 0.95 cm
22.86 x 30.48 x 1.27 cm
All are manufactured from micromilled duranium and mass between 113. 39 grams and 340.19 grams. All models include a subspace transceiver assembly (STA) for direct communication with computer systems. Storage capacity varies from 15.3 kQuads to 96.5 kQ, depending on the model.


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