A few posts ago I talked about crowdfunding, where people use sites like Kickstarter to find backers for projects or products. Most of the stuff on Kickstarter is consumer goods, artworks, even computer games like Project Eternity, of which I myself am a backer. I, like most people, have been assuming no major high-tech projects would come out of Kickstarter, because the resource and market requirements for meaningful products in that space are just too great. No one is going to crowd-fund a new enterprise data-warehouse tool, for example.
Adapteva, a semiconductor start-up company, today announced the Parallella Kickstarter project to build an open and affordable, credit card-sized supercomputing platform that offers a 50x performance boost over existing open hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi. The truly disruptive performance leap of the Parallella computer is enabled by Adapteva’s 16-core and 64-core Epiphany microprocessor chips that lead the world in processor energy efficiency.
I read about this in a piece by Hiawatha Bray at the Boston Globe. For $99 you get the Parallella add-in board and a C toolkit; the initial version works with Ubuntu.
I have to think about this. The idea is now anyone can create, test and run highly efficient parallel code, which should port smoothly to higher-scale platforms. If you had an 16-core, or 64-core add-on on your PC, what would you want to do? Analyze all your emails back to the 90s? Do facial recognition and auto-tagging on 1000s of photos? Play chess?
Hear about the Parallella first-hand here: