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The Parallella project will make parallel computing accessible to everyone.
The Parallella project will make parallel computing accessible to everyone.
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4,965 backers pledged $898,921 to help bring this project to life.

New "SuperTV" video is NOW up at our Kickstarter page

Here's a summary of what can be seen in the new video:

  • Running a proper Ubuntu 12.04 desktop O/S on the dual core ARM A9 Zynq device
  • Kinect sensor connected to the platform
  • Streaming a YouTube video
  • Streaming mp4 video from the SD card
  • (all using standard Ubuntu deb packages, no mods or trickery)

Things that were tested, but weren't shown in video:

  • "Good enough" Firefox browser performance
  • Email and "working", PDF reading, working on documents, etc
  • Web cam recording
  • Connecting to Ubuntu One for cloud storage and sharing

We have been using this platform successfully as a regular desktop for a week now and can tell you that the out of the box experience is REALLY good.(which wasn't obvious to us before we started)  Our conclusion is that a dual core A9 with 1GB of SDRAM is enough to give a good user experience with Ubuntu 12.04. It doesn't have a GPU, so let's forget about hard core gaming but for users who are more interested in good overall speed than fancy graphics it's a great little machine.

Why we think this is exciting:

  • Price: At $100, we think it's a good deal for everyone.
  • Size: The Parallella will be small and light enough, you could just tape it up behind your flat screen TV and forget about it.
  • Power: At 5 Watts, the Parallella is much cheaper and greener compared to putting a regular PC in the living room.
  • Open: If you don't like Ubuntu or our setup, no problem..bring your own software stack.
  • Upside: In this video we didn't even use the Epiphany yet. It should be easy to imagine how someone could port libraries like ffmpeg over to the Epiphany to speed up video playback.
  • Kinect: We would love to hear how people could accelerate Kinect based applications with the Epiphany.

Comments

    1. Creator Brad Devlin on October 26, 2012

      Yay! Now we need another 2.25 million...

    2. Creator Adapteva on October 25, 2012

      @Niall Cool link!!

      @Elvis We did try to install BOINC, but had an issue with the package for ARM. We will try again soon. The machine runs Linux and has a Gigabit ethernet connection, so it's hard to imagine why it wouldn't. The second step will be to accelerate things like FFTs within the BOINC.

      @Niall We have demonstrated quite a few scalable parallel programs running on the Epiphany in previous posts. Check them out and tell us what you think. The next step will be to run a "killer app" with our Epiphany doing something graphical that nobody has ever seen before.(at least not within a credit card sized 5 Watt computer). We will get there, that we can guarantee you, but it takes time.

      @Fedor Did you see the original video and look at the rest of the project?

      @stevem Thank You!!!

      @notzed Thank you for pointing out the project being OPEN. It's a key component. There are lots of cheap alternatives.

    3. Creator Niall Tracey on October 25, 2012

      On the subject of Kinect, though, one of yesterday's articles on The Register seems rather timely....

      http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/24/review_diy_3d_scanning_how_to_get_your_bust_in_good_shape/

    4. Creator Wolf Halton on October 25, 2012

      I want to use the epiphany chip for massive parallel programming. a 5 Watt server is vastly more cost-effective than a 1400 Watt Server to do the same work.

    5. Creator Elvis on October 25, 2012

      Would it be possible to port BOINC to Parallella? I know it wouldn't beat the GPU crunching numbers but when you take energy consumption into account performance per watt should be much better, right?

    6. Creator Niall Tracey on October 25, 2012

      Sorry, but I'm a bit underwhelmed.

      This is a parallel computing project, and yet you've given us a demonstration of ARM on Linux on a single-processor system, a single-processor system that happens to have a parallel processor on it... but isn't using it.

      I was considering upping to a 64-core pledge, but this isn't really that inspiring.

    7. Creator Fedor Rusak on October 25, 2012

      Helo guys.

      I have just watched your video. And I have strange feelings about it.

      After two minutes I have an impression that all you want to do - make something cheap to run ubuntu. Technically it can be done by new smartphone with Android ICS. HDMI, bluetooth, now explanation of benefits of parallel computing.

      I think you are great engineers and I would love to try do progamming on 64-core processor.

      But really. Where is vision? Where is an image of improvemenets that world would take after your project arrive? Someone would do something and that all?

      When you will find this vision you will find you money.

      Thank you,
      Fedor

    8. Creator stevem on October 25, 2012

      Just moved from 495 to 975. What's better than 4 nifty little computers? 8 nifty little computers of course. Good job with the videos guys.

    9. Creator notzed on October 25, 2012

      Open is the key here.

      You can get some cheap chinese android tv box, but you're lucky if you can even replace the kernel or boot linux, let alone get documentation. And forget any programmability of the onboard video or gpu accelerators - if they even come with drivers outside of android.

      Look at how many got burned and upset with the allwinner a10 + xbmc.

    10. Creator Thomas Hegarty on October 24, 2012

      This is a much better way to position this device for the masses ... as i never intended to be a programmer and always intended to use your product as a media server, I think your latest video really hit the nail on the head. I just hope that you haven't left it to late as time is really ticking.

    11. Creator Ammar Mirza on October 24, 2012

      Cant you guys try again if your kickstarter does not reach its target. I really think with this new view if you had the days you could have easily hit 3 million and then I would have pledged $199 to get the 64-core! Please try again, don't give up!!!!

    12. Creator alxxG on October 24, 2012

      This is frustrating ,you guys are a study in how not to run a kickstarter.
      This should have been there from day 1 and there wouldn't have been a problem in hitting the targets.

    13. Creator Brooks Moses on October 24, 2012

      @Tracy Reed: My local computer-surplus shop has a bunch of decade-old routers and modems -- some of which are in cases that look like miniature SGI workstations and such from about the same era. One of those would make a pretty nice little case for a Parallela!

    14. Creator David S. on October 24, 2012

      did you try Lubuntu on it? it's optimised for low memory! :)
      man i really hope this gets funded!!!

    15. Creator Tracy Reed on October 24, 2012

      3 times the price of Raspberry Pi but MANY times more capable = great value. There's an important niche to be filled by this project.

      Rather than "taping" it up behind your monitor a cleaner/more professional solution would be to attach it to a VESA mount which a lot of monitors support these days.

    16. Creator NotZippy on October 24, 2012

      Would this be powerful enough to power a network attached storage ? Can it run a sata drive ? Could it do a software raid ? That could appeal to lot of people as well...