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Parallella: Low-Cost Linux Multi-Core Computing

Hardware

Published on 26 October 2012 07:11 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
22 Comments

Parallella is an attempt to make Linux parallel computing easier and is advertised as a "supercomputer for everyone", but will it come to fruition?

Parallella is designed to be "a truly open, high-performance computing platform that will close the knowledge gap in parallel programing." The Parallella computing board is built around Epiphany multi-core chips out of the Cambridge-based Adapteva semiconductor company.

Parallella is designed to be fully open access to the architecture, open-source development tools and libraries, open board designs, and the goal is to make these multi-core boards at $100 USD or less. "The Parallella platform is based on the Epiphany multicore chips developed by Adapteva over the last 4 years and field tested since May 2011. The Epiphany chips consists of a scalable array of simple RISC processors programmable in C/C++ connected together with a fast on chip network within a single shared memory architecture."

Expected to be on the Parallella computer is a Zynq-7010 Dual-core ARM A9 CPU, an Epiphany Multi-core Accelerator, 1GB of RAM, USB 2.0 support, Gigabit Ethernet, and will be loaded with Ubuntu OS. "Once completed, the 64-core version of the Parallella computer would deliver over 90 GFLOPS of performance and would have the the horse power comparable to a theoretical 45 GHz CPU [64 CPU cores * 700MHz] on a board the size of a credit card while consuming only 5 Watts under typical work loads. For certain applications, this would provide raw performance than a high end server costing thousands of dollars and consuming 400W."

Parallella is being pushed right now on Kickstarter and there's just 34 hours to go at the time of publishing while they are just at $596,192 of their $750,000 goal.


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