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Parallella: The $99 Linux supercomputer
ZDNet ^ | 15 April 2013 | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Posted on 04/16/2013 10:50:04 AM PDT by ShadowAce

Chip-company Adapteva announced on April 15th at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, California, that they've built their first Parallella parallel-processing board for Linux supercomputing, and that they'll be sending them to their 6,300 Kickstarter supporters and other customers by this summer.

parallella
Say hi to Parallella, the $99 Linux-powered supercomputer. (Image: The Linux Foundation)

Linux has long been the number one supercomputer operating system. But while you could build your own Linux supercomputer using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products, it wouldn't be terribly fast. You needed hardware that could support massively parallel computing — the cornerstone of modern supercomputing. 

What Adapteva has done is create a credit-card sized parallel-processing board. This comes with a dual-core ARM A9 processor and a 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator chip, along with 1GB of RAM, a microSD card, two USB 2.0 ports, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, and an HDMI connection. If all goes well, by itself, this board should deliver about 90 GFLOPS of performance, or — in terms PC users understand — about the same horse-power as a 45GHz CPU.

This board will use Ubuntu Linux 12.04 for its operating system. To put all this to work, the platform reference design and drivers are now available.

Why would you want a $99 supercomputer?

Well, besides the fact that it would be really cool, Adapteva CEO Andreas Olofsson explained:

Historically, serial processing [conventional computing] improved so quickly that in most applications, there was no need for massively parallel processing. Unfortunately, serial processing performance has now hit a brick wall, and the only practical path to scaling performance in the future is through parallel processing. To make parallel software applications ubiquitous, we will need to make parallel hardware accessible to all programmers, create much more productive parallel programming methods, and convert all serial programmers to parallel programmers.

And of course, Olofsson added, to "make parallel computing accessible to everyone so we can speed up the adoption of parallel processing in the industry", the Parallella had to be created. Olofsson admitted that his company couldn't have done it by itself. The project required, and got, the support of other hardware OEMs, including Xilinx, Analog Devices, Intersil, Micron, Microchip, and Samtec. The companies have enabled Adapteva to bring its first per-production boards to San Francisco, and soon, to its eager programmer customers.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: linux; supercomputer

1 posted on 04/16/2013 10:50:04 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

2 posted on 04/16/2013 10:50:30 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

And to us know-nothings, what does this mean ??


3 posted on 04/16/2013 10:53:04 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: ShadowAce

Parallel computing isn’t of much use to most ordinary folks. It’s great if you want so simulate a nuclear explosion or predict the weather 10 days from now or do finite element analysis of a new airplane wing design.


4 posted on 04/16/2013 10:55:05 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

I believe you’re wrong. With the advent of multi-core systems, GPUs and the software to take advantage of them (games, video editing, etc), parallel computing is here.


5 posted on 04/16/2013 11:00:15 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Anyone using C# “await()” functionality yet?

This is really cool...!


6 posted on 04/16/2013 11:00:51 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Might be fun to run Folding@Home on this little guy....


7 posted on 04/16/2013 11:18:58 AM PDT by colinhester
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To: knarf

To me it means things are interesting again and I’ll start playing around in the 1’s & 0’s world again


8 posted on 04/16/2013 11:19:22 AM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: ShadowAce

Bump for later


9 posted on 04/16/2013 11:21:09 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Obama is the Chicken Little of politics)
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To: knarf

Faster and cheaper computers. Without Windoze to slow it down.


10 posted on 04/16/2013 11:21:39 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
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To: ShadowAce
thxs, for the post.

11 posted on 04/16/2013 11:22:04 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income,tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
or do finite element analysis of a new airplane wing design.

Imagine Soldworks, (CAD) a Fast FEA ( Cosmo's is it still around?) and Virtual Gibbs CAM on a very cheap and fast box....

An inventor's or arm chair aero-engineers dream...

12 posted on 04/16/2013 11:29:11 AM PDT by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: Blood of Tyrants

In a world without walls, who needs windows?


13 posted on 04/16/2013 11:29:23 AM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression and Democrats use them. Gun confiscation enables tyranny.)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Can I predict global warming with this rig?


14 posted on 04/16/2013 11:30:26 AM PDT by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing - Joe Pine)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

It would be nice to run molecular binding energy computations in minutes instead of days.


15 posted on 04/16/2013 11:31:02 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: knarf
And to us know-nothings, what does this mean ??

Very fast Solitaire!

Mark

16 posted on 04/16/2013 11:36:19 AM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: ShadowAce

Thats an impressive piece of hardware for $99. I dig those Zynqs. They have some shortcomings, but they’re nice devices overall. It’s always nice to see an FPGA related post here on FR :)!


17 posted on 04/16/2013 11:39:41 AM PDT by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

It’s useful anywhere where you have a large number of generally independent calculations going on at the same time. Graphics (including image/video processing and editing) should really eat this up.

Or in geek speak, it turns O(n) calculations into O(1) calculations.


18 posted on 04/16/2013 11:46:46 AM PDT by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: FReepers
Tired Of FReepathons That Last Longer Than A Month?
We Are Too

Donate and End It In April

19 posted on 04/16/2013 11:50:21 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: ShadowAce

We’ve all had heavy duty parallel processing power in our PC’s for quite a while... they’re called GPU’s. Video processing does not require tons of speed, just lots of throughput - which is the perfect problem for parallel processing to solve. Modern GPUs have application programming interfaces which can be harnessed for parallel processing needs and for certain types of work a gaming class GPU can crunch numbers much more quickly than a x64 processor.


20 posted on 04/16/2013 11:51:04 AM PDT by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumb@ss Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: knarf

MS one step closer to the grave or open source

Damn FAST!!!!


21 posted on 04/16/2013 12:02:16 PM PDT by BornToBeAmerican (Don't forget love)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
Parallel computing isn’t of much use to most ordinary folks.

Scene rendering uses parallel computing. You think the average person might like being able to create nice-looking animation? You think video game designers might like that capability?

22 posted on 04/16/2013 12:06:17 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: knarf

Holographic Computing.


23 posted on 04/16/2013 12:09:06 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Islam is the Whore of Babylon!)
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To: ShadowAce

Does this basically mean a virtually unlimited amount of RAM to run programs fast as lightning?


24 posted on 04/16/2013 1:01:30 PM PDT by Bullish (May the time soon come when Obamunism is only spoken of in hell.)
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To: Mr. K
> Anyone using C# “await()” functionality yet? > > This is really cool...! Na, I use Ada's TASK construct, which has been included in the language since it's inception in 1983... which means that it foresaw this situation (parallel computation) more than thirty years ago. Indeed, they've been adding features to the tasking-model to ease some multi-core issues (core preference, and such).
25 posted on 04/16/2013 1:18:39 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: ShadowAce

Very interesting for 3D graphics rendering and other engineering considerations.


26 posted on 04/16/2013 1:24:10 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: dennisw
You wrote: Can I predict global warming with this rig?

No, but you can probably debunk it with this rig.

FRegards,
PrairieDawg
27 posted on 04/16/2013 1:49:45 PM PDT by PrairieDawg
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To: knarf

Fun.


28 posted on 04/16/2013 5:54:15 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: ShadowAce
Among the many benefits: a couple of orders of magnitude in increased processing ability for the same amount of energy, at greatly reduced costs in hardware.
29 posted on 04/16/2013 6:42:13 PM PDT by Errant
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To: OneWingedShark

ADA? how quaint~!

(just kidding)


30 posted on 04/16/2013 7:22:26 PM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Mr. K
ADA?

No, Ada. It's a proper name, nor an acronym (I'd hate to program in the Americans with Disabilities Act) -- Ironically the one time that casing is important (well, besides string internals).

how quaint~!

quaint     [kweynt]
adjective

  1. having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
  2. strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
  3. skillfully or cleverly made.
  4. Obsolete. wise; skilled.

Hm, which definition do you mean? In the case of:
1. Yes, strong-typing with an aim towards static analysis is very old-fashioned compared to the newfangled web/scripting languages.
2. A language designed with tangible goals like maintainability, large-systems design, and early detection of errors is quite unusual.
3. I agree.
4. Again, I agree.

(just kidding)

Awww.. :(
;)

But seriously, the new 2012 standard is nice: we got some fine tuning of TASK-constructs, contracts (pre- & post-conditions, along w/ type invariants), quantified expressions (for all and for some), conditionals (if X in positive then 128.0 / X else 0.0) [same w/ case, definite plus for having CASE-coverage (since Ada83)], some new containers.

I can get you some links if you're interested.

31 posted on 04/16/2013 7:39:36 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

Nah, just call me when they want to reprogram it all in c#

:P


32 posted on 04/16/2013 8:06:48 PM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Mr. K
Nah, just call me when they want to reprogram it all in c#

I don't see that happening for things like Avionics, certainly not things like the Apache helicopter and the F-22.

33 posted on 04/16/2013 8:08:54 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

I am actually getting a lot of calls for c# conversions.

Is Ada still used that extensively? Is there a high demand for it (and high$$$)? Maybe I should look into it.

I have been joking with you a bit about this (my language is better than yours Ntah! nyah!) but it is all in good fun.

I love doing avionics and hardware control- most of the embedded systems work I get calls for are in c++


34 posted on 04/17/2013 8:25:04 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Mr. K
I love doing avionics and hardware control- most of the embedded systems work I get calls for are in c++

Yeah, it sounds like a great field -- I'd love to get in, but I'm stuck with the "entry-level catch-22" -- you know, the entry-level job "requires X years of experience in the industry"... which you can't get w/o an entry-level job.

I have been joking with you a bit about this (my language is better than yours Ntah! nyah!) but it is all in good fun.

I could tell that.

Is Ada still used that extensively? Is there a high demand for it (and high$$$)? Maybe I should look into it.

It seems to be; the life-cycles in aeronautics are LONG compared to elsewhere (the 747 started production in 1968) ~ given that the F-22 is [mostly] done in Ada (I heard there were things like cockpit-control were C++) and the 777 is entirely Ada there's going to be some demand for it. (Again, the only reason I can see I'm not getting the jobs is because companies [in general] want people "pre-packaged" for the position [i.e. no training required].)

I am actually getting a lot of calls for c# conversions.

I've been involved in some C# conversions myself, in user applications, the notable one being a conversion from Access to C#. I cam in on the tail and basically had to fix porting issues (they changed development environs from VS 2008 to 2010 and .NET 2.0 to 3.5 as well as moving the system to other machines) -- I initially got the job of "fix it so it compiles" [reference fix-up]... and then put on maintenance -- the thing is kind of a wreck in that it's more a transliteration than a conversion/translation, and you can tell it was mostly developed by intern sorts who had no experience maintaining a system. (You quickly learn to hate "cut and paste programming".)

35 posted on 04/17/2013 9:21:10 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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