Parallel computing is the bane of many a computer science/engineering student, but from the perspective of the end user, the benefits of parallel computing are enormous. Having calculations/tasks performed simultaneously, instead of sequentially, makes everything much faster. There is, however, the problem of having cheap and easy access to parallel computing. That’s where the guys of Parallella come into the picture.
What is Parallella?
Parallella is a Kickstarter project that aims to make parallel computing more accessible to developers and programmers. The platform is best described with three phrases: open access, open source, and affordable.
If you think about it, Parallella can be likened to the Raspberry Pi, which was created to make computing more affordable and accessible to everyone.
The Parallella Computer Specs
At the foundation of the Parallella platform are Epiphany multicore chips. Developed by Adapteva, these chips have been field tested since May of 2011. Here are Parallella specs.
- Dual-core ARM A9 CPU
- Epiphany Multicore Accelerator (16 or 64 cores)
- 1GB RAM
- MicroSD Card
- USB 2.0 (two)
- Two general purpose 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”
How to Get Your Hands on Parallella
Since it is a Kickstarter project, Parallella still needs your support. The project has 17 days to go before the deadline, when they will have to have raised $750,000. They still have quite a long way to go, with only around $270,000 raised so far.
If you know anyone who is passionate about parallel computing and wants to make it more accessible to everyone concerned, why not point them to the Parallella Kickstarter page? I am assuming you’ve already thrown in your support one way or another.