POCKET ROCKET

Ever since the advent of Raspberry Pi, cheap, tiny, underpowered computers have become all the rage. With its $99 parallel-processing board for Linux, christened the Parallella, Adapteva wants a larger slice of the single-board computer pie. It may be almost four times the price of the Pi, but the concept of a supercomputer for the average consumer, at under a hundred dollars deserves to be lauded.

Parallel computing is a form of computation in which many calculations are carried out simultaneously, operating on the principle that large problems can often be divided into smaller ones, which are then solved concurrently, i.e. in parallel. Supercomputers such as the IBM Blue Gene/P employ parallel computing.

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Based on the Epiphany multicore chips from Adapteva, the Parallella platform is an open source, energy efficient, high performance, pocket-sized computer with an ARM A9 processor. The 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator allows the board to achieve 90 gigaflops (that’s the GFLOPs equivalent to a 45 GHz processor) while consuming only 5 watts under average workloads.

Specifications:

  • Zynq-7000 Series Dual-core ARM A9 CPU (Z-7010 or Z-7020)
  • 16 or 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator
  • 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD Card
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 4 general purpose expansion connectors
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • HDMI port
  • Linux Operating System
  • 3.4″ x 2.15″ form factor
 

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