NASA has officially launched its Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing, an organization comprising the US space agency and six US colleges that aims to produce tiny computers to run autonomous spacecraft.

Future spacecraft will utilize miniature supercomputers, allowing them to make decisions without relying on Earth-based mission control. Such supercomputers will have to be both more powerful and far smaller than any in existence.

Scientists and engineers from Purdue, Northwestern, Cornell and Yale universities, the University of Florida and the University of California at San Diego will work on making nanometer-scale electronics that could make them a reality.
More here.