Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)
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Author:  BigEd [ Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

This board is interesting in part because it has an array of parallel CPUs on it, but also it has dual-core ARM and a 32-bit-wide DDR3 RAM, on a chip with FPGA capability (the Zynq7010) - so could be a suitable platform for tinkering with CPU designs.



Presently available to those who sponsored the kickstarter but intended to be $99 retail. Perhaps late this year?

Parallella Overview
Zynq-7020 Dual-core ARM A9 CPU
Epiphany Multicore Accelerator (16 or 64 cores)
MicroSD Card
USB 2.0 (two)
Four expansion connectors
Ethernet 10/100/1000
HDMI connection
Ships with Ubuntu OS
Ships with free open source Epiphany development tools that include C compiler, multicore debugger, Eclipse IDE, OpenCL SDK/compiler, and run time libraries.
Dimensions are 3.4” x 2.1”


Author:  MichaelM [ Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

I didn't examine the GitHUB repository extensively, but it appears Parallela's developers have released a set of Verilog FPGA interfaces.

Author:  ElEctric_EyE [ Sat May 04, 2013 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

I've been looking for prices of the newer Xilinx FPGA SoC offerings, like the Zynq series. Been difficult to find at distributors like Avnet. I assume that Xilinx is still trying to work out the bugs through a very limited release strategy. After all, the Zynq family has been around for at least 6 months now.

Author:  ElEctric_EyE [ Sat May 04, 2013 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

This is interesting stuff. A simple search led me to the explanation of a 64 core here. They geared it towards C/C++.

Author:  Chuckt [ Mon May 06, 2013 2:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

I've received a lot of criticism for posting about it on other forums and some of the Xmos users helped me to put it into perspective a little.

"If you think about it for a second, is not that fast. The Core i7-980 @4.5GHz get around 95 GFLOPs compared to Adapteva 16-core at 26 gigaflops. *(even PS3 can do 150GFLOPS, and it has PPC CPU)"

The question is whether you can devise algorithms that can make good use of the Epiphany architecture. ... order=&x=0

Author:  BigEd [ Mon May 06, 2013 9:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

Or the question is whether you could put together a Core i7 design nearly as small, cheap or low-power...

It's clear that the major idea here is to get to 64 cores or more. The 16-core device is an early iteration meant to get things going.


Author:  BigEd [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

I see they have recently taped-out a 1024-core version, called Epiphany-V.
    1024 64-bit RISC processors
    64-bit memory architecture
    64-bit and 32-bit IEEE floating point support
    64 MB of distributed on-chip SRAM
    1024 programmable I/O signals
    Three 136-bit wide 2D mesh NOCs
    TSMC 16FF process
    4.56 Billion transistors, 117mm^2 silicon area
Tape-out means the design is final and is sent to mask-making. Then the masks go to the fab, and eventually chips come out the other end. "Chips will come back from TSMC in 4-5 months."

Announcement page: ... processor/

HN discussion:

Technical report:
(Contains lots of info about the implementation, including the amount of effort it took.)

The Epiphany includes is an in-order dual-issue RISC processor with the following key features:
• Compressed 16/32-bit ISA
• IEEE-754 compatible floating-point instruction set (FPU)
• Integer arithmetic logic instruction set (IALU)
• Byte addressable load/store instructions with support for 64-bit single cycle access
• 64-word 6 read/3-write port register file

Epiphany-V-Implementation.png [ 99.73 KiB | Viewed 6753 times ]

Epiphany-V-Comparison.png [ 98.55 KiB | Viewed 6753 times ]

Author:  BigEd [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Parallella, $99 "Linux Supercomputer" (with FPGA)

From the HN discussion:

- the $99 board has sold around 10,000 units. Believed to be priced too high to get substantial volume.
- this new chip is going to be lower volume and much higher cost. Not for hobbyists
- Architecture reference at

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