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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.

The Build Starts This Week...

Posted by Adapteva (Creator)
28 likes

Dear Friends and Backers:

Since closing our funding round at the end of December we have been fighting major lead time battles. As many of you know distributors these days try to minimize the amount of inventory they carry and the standard lead time for many ICs can be as long as 10-14 weeks. Procuring a small number of parts at high prices is not that difficult, but getting thousands of single source ICs at reasonable prices is a different story. The end of December is a bad time to ramp up procurement from a standing start, but I am happy to report that we we are now through this hurdle and we will be starting major Parallella board builds this week!!

I am also happy to report that we were able to keep the board assembly local even with the  aggressive Parallella cost model. This wasn't a key goal of the project, but it does feel satisfying to defeat yet another myth that "there is no way to do low cost manufacturing in the US".

Build/Ship Status:

  • 1,500 PCB fabs received. Build starting Feb 4th, 15 day turn.
  • Build up all 64-core boards starting Feb 4th, 15 day turn.
  • Build of remaining Kickstarter units starting March 5th, 15 day turn. Getting the PCB fabs built up at a reasonable price was the gating item. (We paid a steep premium on the first 1,500 fabs to accelerate the build, but can't afford that for the whole lot)

Team Update:

As you know, Adapteva was struggling for much of the later half of 2013 (losing two key team members due to our financial situation), but but we are now making a comeback and starting to grow the team! Last week a very experienced hardware designer (Fred) joined the Adapteva team here in Lexington, increasing the size of the engineering team by 100%! Fred has 25 years of experience in board and FPGA design and will first of all make sure we get the FPGA build repositories and how-to guides into better shape (so that anyone interested in hacking the Parallella project can do so easily). We are also actively hiring in a number of AREAS in case you are interested in joining us.

A THANK YOU to our Partners:

A huge part of the credit for the getting the Parallella project this far goes to the technical partner companies who stayed with us through some very dark times! For those of you who may need hardware or software design services, we do hope you give these guys a chance,  they deserve it!! They are first rate on the technical front, fantastic to work with, and 100% transparent and honest.

  • Boston Design Solutions: Board layout/design. Many of you have made positive comments about how dense this 12 layer board is. This is thanks to the work of Mike, Mike,and Kevin at Boston Design Solutions.
  • Embecosm: GNU tool chain support from the UK. Fervent open hardware supporters and GDB/GCC gurus at the highest level.
  • Antmicro: Embedded software support, BSP, Linux. They got the HDMI to finally work back in August and have been supporting our Linux and board bring-up work for the last 6 months. More exciting things coming from these guys soon..
  • Brown Deer Technology: The latest OpenCL SDK for the Parallella is rock solid and will serve as a great baseline for parallel programming. They have also shown prototype implementations of MPI and OpenMP, showing the versatility of the Epiphany architecture as well as the COPRTHR SDK.

Events:

If you are interested in meeting the Adapteva team, these will be our coordinates this winter/spring.

  • Open Compute Project Summit (Jan 27th, San Jose): The Open Compute Project is a great initiative started by Facebook, centered around sharing information about server infrastructure design and collaborating openly. Last week I traveled to the conference to support our friends at Rex Computing and somehow found myself participating in a the 24 hour Open Compute hardware hackathon with the Parallella. Hopefully this will provide some more evidence that the Parallella board exists as a product and actually works pretty well. Needless to say, this was the most fun I have had in a long time! Check out this video at 11:08 in to see what happened. (That's Frank Frankovsky, the president of the Open Compute project closing the conference..)

Help Requests:

  • Early User Feedback: We have only received feedback from a very small number of the people who received their boards so far. Any feedback is good feedback, so please don't be shy!! Go to forums.parallella.org to share.
  • Linux Kernel Feedback: We have made a significant upgrade to the Linux kernel (now 3.12) and the results are very encouraging. The official fork can now be found HERE. For those of you that are Linux kernel experts, please do let us know if you have any feedback and submit pull requests!
  • Parallella Examples: @9600 has started an examples repository on github HERE. Given how easy it is to collaborate on github, we hope some of you who have started Parallella code projects already will consider submitting pull requests to make it easy for other backers to learn from your examples.
  • Backer Number Swap: If some of your are really anxious to get started programming using the Parallella, please put in a request in the comment section below describing your project and how it will help the rest of the community. We can't let you cut in line, but perhaps one of the backers with low numbers would be nice enough to trade spots.(we'll take care of the arrangements.

The next update will describe the results of the first massive build and will show pictures of large stacks of Parallella boards about to be shipped.

Sincerely,

Andreas

Kean, Brian Duhan, and 26 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Adapteva Creator on

      First of all..sorry for the slow response time!!

      @all Unfortuately we only have a very small number of 64 core boards (and these are all tied up by Kickstarter backers) and we won't have any more until we can do a re-tapeout of the 64-core 28nm chip.

      @simon Looks like a great project. We'll definitely try to support you to get you a board quickly if someone wants to swap.

      @Beau Sorry that we don't have a simple mechanical drawing for you. The exact drawings are up on github. Getting the models and mechanical drawings right is on our list, but we just haven't gotten to it yet.

      @Jean Thank you for your support and patience! We can't tell if everyone will like the board, but it's now in a state where we are proud to put our name on it.

      @ian Thanks for the article. Certainly very relevant to what we are doing now!

    2. Ryan Moore on

      +1 to Ivan's comment - how can I get a 64 core board? For the KS campaign most of the 64s were stretch goals, but if it's going to ship - http://bit.ly/1fJNCfP

      I'm also willing to swap spots, but I'm 3689 / 4965 so odds are your # is lower. =)

    3. Missing avatar

      Victor Suarez on

      @safl (Simon Lund) I'm interested in your project Bohrium.
      Perhaps I can also collaborate with some programming. Let's estimate with an swap how much my board will get later since I would need to start my personal project.

    4. Ivan Fedorov on

      Hmm, 64-core boards... is it possible to get one?

    5. Missing avatar

      Rolf Andersson on

      @Brad and others

      I found my backer number in the "Parallella Pre-shippi​ng Confirmati​on" mail from support@adapteva.com. I received it in August last year.

      If you look in your mailbox you might find it as well.
      Regards
      Rolf

    6. Missing avatar

      Henry Boisvert on

      As a way of promoting the advancement of women in the computer science field I would like to volunteer to swap spots with anyone but with a preference for a female student.

    7. Kent Williams-King on

      Sounds good! Good to see some hard numbers on production times and turnarounds.

      And though it pains me to admit it, I won't have any time to play with my Parallella for a couple of months. I'm backer number 3671 and am willing to swap if anyone with a higher number wants theirs quickly.

      Thank you for all your hard work, and this also goes to the others at Adapteva, new and old. Best of luck with everything else that you have left with the project!

    8. Missing avatar

      Daniele Tesema on

      Hi Andreas and the team, If my backer number is lower than Simon A. F. Lund, I would not mind to swap (but I doubt if I am lower).
      And to Simon, hope you see great results.

    9. David Harris on

      Backer number: Install KS app onto iPad or iPhone and look at your pledge details.

    10. Brad Devlin
      Superbacker
      on

      I have no idea how to determine my backer number. If I see some compelling project I could give mine up, but I don't know if I am high or low on the list to make it relevant. How do we determine our backer number?

    11. Jonathan G Cannon on

      I'm sure my number isn't low, but I'll gladly swap it if it helps someone with a project start sooner.

    12. Missing avatar

      Franco on

      Thanks guys for your perseverance. I'm sure the wait is worth it!

      It will be interesting how this runs using Python code...

    13. Simon A. F. Lund on

      I am a PhD student working on mapping of high-level language constructs to parallel hardware. For the Python programmers out there: imagine your pure Python/NumPy program running on multi-cores, clusters, Xeon Phi, GPUs, and the Epiphany without changing a single line of code.

      I am very anxious to integrate the Epiphany as a hardware target in my work so if anybody out there would be interested in a "Backer Number Swap" I hope you will consider my project (www.bh107.org).

    14. Beau Webber on

      Great news - and 64core boards ! Did not realise they were in the pipeline !
      May I ask for a very simple PDF sketch of the reverse of the board :
      Board outline, mounting holes, four connectors, plus relative dimensions.
      Thanks ! Dr. Beau Webber

    15. Missing avatar

      Daniele Tesema on

      Good things come to those who wait. My only regret in in this project is not getting the MINI-CLOUD. The future is bright for Adapteva.

    16. Thomas Graf on

      Good news. I know those lead times... We have some parts in our products which have 26 week lead time.
      Just to know if I'd be able to swap: Where do I find my backer number?

    17. Missing avatar

      Jean on

      For the type of work that you guys have undertaken to bring to the masses, I am totally comfortable with the delay. The entire project seems like a great venture, though seeing the PCB boards change, the rocky road encountered along the way, manufacturing redesigns... it just builds up momentum for when it is finally released... the cauldron brews... by all means, I prefer the Adapteva team take longer to ensure they are happy with the board's features and functions than getting something half-ass that even the original team doesn't like. Quality control today is in the trash and it shouldn't be, especially with such an iconoclastic idea such as the Parallella. Thanks for your efforts guys... I await until you are ready for me to have a board.

    18. ian deal on

      This is excellent news.

      Over at the Raspberry Pi blog, there is an interesting article on the design and building of simple programmable test rigs. link :- http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/5880