[Beowulf] [FoRK] (Pimpin' for) Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone by Adapteva

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Thu Oct 25 10:01:58 PDT 2012

Provided that the fairy tale table is true at:


under "example configurations'.

Then secondly the cpu is supposed to be 28 nm.

How's he gonna produce that with just 750k dollar?

Having 75 million dollar maybe he can just start produce cpu's.

Compare with AMD. They're still producing at 32 nm. That's their  
latest bulldozer CPU ok.
Intel moved on to 22 nm now and hardly has production at it under  

This is billion dollar companies.

You know there is many things in life that with a more clever design  
and better software you can
do better. Yet producing CPU's is a very specialistic type of area  
where just to start a x-billion dollar
factory produce for you some CPU's.

CPU's tend to get cheap if you produce big masses of them.

Provided the fairy tale table is true - to get this entire board +  
connectors + CPU sold for under $100,
he needs to produce massive amounts of those CPU's.

Having 64 cores @ 800Mhz it's effectively from my viewpoint seen,  
assuming a 1 instruction a cycle.
That's like compared to the IPC of a core2 Xeon i have here:

Say he gets IPC 0.25 on the cpu's.

At the core2 i get nearly 1.7. Actually more like 1.5x at core2, yet  
i intend to improve that.
Even at 1.5 that's factor 6 difference in IPC.

Then it's 700Mhz, see the table, elsewhere he claims 800Mhz.

I don't see how he will get it to 700Mhz to be honest. Maybe he'll  
get it to 300Mhz in 28 nm.

If i speak to some hardware architects - they don't believe it'll run  
@ 700Mhz that easily. It requires a LOT of people
to optimize it to clock it to 700Mhz in those complicated nanometer  
technology. This is GPU architects ok.
Also simple manycores.

The only 'advantage' he has with his epiphany chip is that it isn't  
having complicated instructions like multiplication nor division.
That might make it a tad easier.

Let's say he manages. So the 2.5ghz core2 Xeons here.

That's factor 4 faster nearly.

So we're at already factor 24 difference in speed.

64 cores / 24 = 3

So 3 Xeon cores @ 2.5ghz is roughly equivalent for non-multiplying  
operations to a single 64 core chip of this @ 28 nm.

How is he gonna produce it with 750k dollar at 28 nm at an affordable  
price. Of  course the wattage claimed i don't believe.
No one does, but that's not so relevant for now.

Claiming x-gflops is not so interesting if you cannot multiply - and  
his chip cannot.

It can run chess software however in theory. Simulations that do not  
require multiplications. In theory.

Now suppose he gets there after all. A $100 board that's relative low  
power, say eating a watt or 25. With 64 cores
that effectively is same speed like 3 core Xeons i got here (L5420).

Of course that's useful hardware for in the living room.

Those Xeons are on ebay $15 now or so?
Entire node is under $150. If you buy in dirt cheap you might manage  
$100 maybe.

The problem of CPU's like this is to produce them dirt cheap actually.
Yet if we look to more useful ARM cpu's and MIPS cpu's that have many  
cores - no mobile phone is using them.
So mass producing this, which would get the price down - that's for  
now a pipe dream.

They wouldn't be able to use this chip of course as it can't multiply.

Now for me that's not an issue, yet price versus performance is.
The low power story no one believes of course.

You know if he would want to built a new stealth boat for $750k  
that's more real than produce a 64 core CPU cheap,
as just the production line of a cheap 64 core cpu means you gotta  
sell millions of them to get it to $100 a SOC.

On Oct 25, 2012, at 5:23 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> ----- Forwarded message from Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> -----
> From: Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org>
> Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:09:55 -0500
> To: fork at xent.com
> Subject: [FoRK] (Pimpin' for) Parallella: A Supercomputer For  
> Everyone by
> 	Adapteva
> X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (10A403)
> Reply-To: Friends of Rohit Khare <fork at xent.com>
> Ok folks.  This looks to be the Arduino or RaspPi for parallel  
> computing.  I'm psyched about it and I'm one of the unclosed  
> "potential big backers" mentioned.  This isn't going to replace  
> G*PU in the data center but this gets cheap exposure to the  
> masses.  I think this thing has some real potential in the  
> hobbyist / maker / hardware hacker / pedagogical space.
> Be nice to have a much more open (like this) solution here, in this  
> space.
> Final push here.  If they get within striking distance I'll  
> probably step in to close it out.
> $0.02 (well, really, a whole lot more.)
> jb
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Kickstarter <no-reply at kickstarter.com>
>> Date: October 25, 2012, 10:00:08 CDT
>> To: jbone at mgrep.com
>> Subject: Project Update #18: Parallella: A Supercomputer For  
>> Everyone by Adapteva
>> Reply-To: No Reply <no-reply at kickstarter.com>
>> Project Update #18: We REALLY need your help in spreading the word!
>> Posted by Adapteva
>> We really wish we could have been this ready from day one of the  
>> Kickstarter, but we couldn’t wait with the launch. Time has been  
>> our enemy from day one at Adapteva. After the project is funded we  
>> will tell you about all the details. It’s kind of an interesting  
>> story.
>> We are now working the press hard from our end and have some  
>> potential big backers that we are will try very hard to close with  
>> today and tomorrow.
>> There is still hope, but we REALLY could everyone’s help in  
>> blanketing the earth with Parallella news over the next two days.  
>> We will try to make it as easy as possible, so here are some ideas/ 
>> tweets/posts suggestions to start with. (most of them inspired by  
>> backers!)
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> -----------------------
>> Email/Facebook/Ideas:
>> The project is STILL fundamentally about parallel programming but  
>> we have now shown that we have a ready prototype of a REAL working  
>> computer. At $100, maybe some of your non-techie friends would  
>> line one, so anyone who feels comfortable spreading the word  
>> through facebook/email, please do.
>> Maybe it would be a great computer for your kids to hack around  
>> with? Who knows, maybe it would even inspire a life-long passion  
>> for programming and electronics? Maybe get one for a non-techie  
>> brother, sister, parent and help them set it up in their living  
>> room? I am sure they would love you even more.:-)
>> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adapteva/parallella-a- 
>> supercomputer-for-everyone
>> Thank you!!
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> ----------------------------------------------
>> Tweet Suggestions:
>> A $100 Zynq based computer, are you kidding me? http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> An ARM based 5 Watt computer that runs Ubuntu Desktop for under  
>> $100. http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella a smart(er)TV for $100? http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella: The first truly open OpenCL hardware platform. http:// 
>> kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella: 18 CPUs at 800MHz, 25 GFLOPS, 1GB DRAM, $100. Sweet!  
>> http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella a hackable platform. http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> The $100 credit card sized Parallella combines FPGA, ARM, and  
>> DSPs. http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella runs OpenCV: http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella will be great for SDR: http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> At $100 wouldn’t the open Parallella be a great education  
>> platform? http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> What could Parallella do for DIY drones? http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> What could Parallella do for robotics? http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella, the ultimate “thin client”. http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> Parallella, a computer your kids can carry around in an Altoid tin  
>> can. http://kck.st/UGQjG3
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> --------------------------------------
>> News Site submission suggestions:
>> (Pick any of the tag lines from the Tweet section or make up your  
>> own)
>> http://hackaday.com/contact-hack-a-day/
>> http://news.ycombinator.com/submit
>> http://www.reddit.com/
>> tipbox at gizmodo.com
>> tips at techcrunch.com
>> www.engadget.com (tip us link at the bottom right corner)
>> www.drdobbs.com
>> www.stackoverflow.com
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> ------------------------
>> Forum/Community Posts:
>> If you are an active member of a forum, please consider posting a  
>> question that would start interesting dialogue about Parallella.  
>> Please do NOT spam, but if you think your community would  
>> genuinely benefit from the Parallella platform, the please post.  
>> We are REALLY interested in finding out what these communities  
>> think about the project. If you are a developer and you can speak  
>> with confidence that you will be able to complete a project on the  
>> Parallella, even better!
>> http://xbmc.org/
>> http://slashdot.org/
>> http://opencv.org/
>> http://www.khronos.org/opencl/
>> https://bitcointalk.org/
>> http://www.minecraftforum.net/
>> http://www.emulator-zone.com/
>> https://meego.com/
>> http://www.raspberrypi.org/ (note: suggestion for collaboration  
>> only, not competition!)
>> http://beagleboard.org/discuss (note: suggestion for collaboration  
>> only, not competition!)
>> http://www.adafruit.com/contact/
>> http://123kinect.com/kinect-forums/
>> http://forum.xda-developers.com/
>> http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_index.php
>> http://foldingforum.org/
>> Care to comment? View this update on Kickstarter →
>> Unsubscribe from this project's updates with one click KICKSTARTER
> _______________________________________________
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> ----- End forwarded message -----
> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
> ______________________________________________________________
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