[Beowulf] Fwd: Project Update #41: Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone by Adapteva

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Oct 13 23:03:19 PDT 2013

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From: Kickstarter <no-reply at kickstarter.com>
Date: Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 3:01 AM
Subject: Project Update #41: Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone by

       Project Update #41: Shipment Delays
by Adapteva ♥ Like

Dear Friends and Backers:

Not sure where to start… The last couple of months have been a disaster and
I am disappointed to report that we are still weeks away from being able to
ship the final Parallella products. What went wrong? Well, pretty much

   - *Finances:* The Parallella project has stretched our team and finances
   to the limit over the past year and many of the most difficult challenges
   we have faced have been due to a lack of resources. *Fortunately I can
   now state with more confidence than ever that both Adapteva and the
   Parallella project are going to be ok!!!*

   - *Team:* A key member of our three person engineering team left the
   company in August, causing parts of the Parallella project to grind to a
   halt. Unfortunately, because of our tight funding situation over the last
   year we have never had the luxury of building up knowledge redundancy
   anywhere in the project. The critical employee knowledge transfer is now
   complete and thanks to the addition of Antmicro to the project, Parallella
   is back on track and stronger than ever!

   - *Logistics:* Despite our strong objections, a key single source part
   on the Parallella board was abruptly end-of-life’ed by the vendor in
   August. We don’t want to name the vendor here, but the BOM and schematics
   are open source so I am sure you can figure it out. (a lack of availability
   of that part was the reason the Gen0 board only shipped in July) We should
   have enough parts available to ship all Kickstarter rewards and pre-order
   purchases, but we will need to stop taking more pre-orders until we can
   redesign the board to accommodate a replacement part.

*Parallella Board Updates: *

   - *Epiphany Chips: *One of the biggest risk items for the Parallella
   project was getting the Epiphany III chip into production status. This
   meant we had to completely redesign our chip package and do a full mask
   tapeout for the Parallella project. I am happy to report that 8,700+ chips
   came back in September and so far the raw yield is over 75%! Our goal is to
   get the Epiphany product into general distribution channels so that
   Parallella can qualify as a true open source hardware platform.
READ MORE<http://www.adapteva.com/announcements/epiphany-chips-ga/>

   - *Shipping: *The logistics of shipping 6,300 boards to backers is a
   huge challenge but thanks to our new team members, Graham and Diana, the
   fulfillment infrastructure is now in a great shape and we are ready to
   start shipping (as soon as the final boards arrive).

   - *Board Bringup:* Last week I traveled to our new friends at
Antmicro<http://www.antmicro.com/>in Poznan, Poland to finish the
bringup of the Parallella Gen1 boards.
   Peter, Karol, and Michael, and the rest of the team at Antmicro are true “
   *embedded rockstars*”! and we made quick work of getting all the final
   features tested out in a couple of days. The following rough video (sorry
   for the quality!) shows that the major power issue that we had on Gen0 has
   been solved!


*Other Parallella Updates:*(to show that the best is yet to come)

   - *Parallella Demo:* During the summer we put together a demo with our
   summer interns showing how easy it can be to make use of the Epiphany
   coprocessor. It took our interns two weeks to put together the demo
   software and have it running on the Parallella Gen0 boards! READ


   - *Secret Features: *Thanks to relentless testing from our interns, we
   were also able to finally disclose some nifty parallel Parallella
   programming features that had been hiding inside the Epiphany chips for
   years. Features like these will become very important as we scale up to
   1024 cores in coming years. READ
   - *Backer Survey: *There is no doubt that we have the best supporters,
   partners, and customers in the industry bar none! We recently sent out a
   marketing survey to find out what everyone wanted to do with the Parallella
   boards and Epiphany chips. Close to 50% of you responded, which is a mind
   boggling number! Knowing that there is so much enthusiasm out there drives
   us forward and keeps us committed to shipping these products regardless of
   cost. READ MORE<http://www.adapteva.com/announcements/parallella-survey-shows-that-the-era-of-parallel-processing-has-arrived/>
   - *New Logo: *A much overdue new project logo that we think fits the
   Parallella project perfectly! READ
   - *University Program: *The interest from Universities keeps building.
   We now have over 120 universities that have bought kits and/or signed up
   for the Parallella University Program. READ MORE

*What’s Next? *

1.) This week we will be sending out the “final” design files to
manufacturing and build 200 Parallella Gen1.1 boards. These final board
design files will incorporate the HDMI routing fix and a couple of minor
issues found during the recent bring-up work.

2.) Ship the first 200 Parallella product boards by November 15th.

3.) Ramp up to 6,300 units as quickly as we possible!

I am truly sorry that this project has not come together as planned, but I
hope the data presented here will convince you that we are doing everything
we possibly can to fulfill our commitments and to start shipping as soon as


Andreas Olofsson

[image: Kickstarter]

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