16-core Adapteva Parallella for sale (basically a multi-core RPi)

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 01:58:58 MDT 2014


On Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM, AJ ONeal <coolaj86 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I just don't have time for more hobby projects right now. :'(
>
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=321390051726
>
> AJ ONeal

Looks like a pretty nifty gadget, though it bears almost no
resemblance whatsoever to a RPi.  RPi's silicon is almost entirely
GPU; it's got a wimpy previous-gen ARM and enough peripherals to get a
reasonable set-top box implemented.  This thing is... well, it's got
lots of computing power, but nothing particularly specialized for GPU
duties. It's got some integrated FPGA fabric, which is cool if you've
got a $200 Xilinx programmer already and the chip is supported by the
free version of their design tools and you have some idea of how to
write Verilog usefully. And it's got a 16-core weird thing that you'll
have to be a pretty decent programmer to do anything with, and looks
to be not terribly powerful in the 16-core incarnation.

RPi is a kind of crap chip with a just-powerful-enough GPU such that
you can watch videos on it, and it's got ready-made software that
handles doing pretty much everything it can do, plus a nice community
of people who have written a bunch of convenience software for it.

This Parallella thing is a FAR more capable chip, CPU-wise, but it's
not going to do more than, say, a BeagleBone for you unless you've got
a whole lot of time to devote to writing gateware and software for it.
 Plus, it's a lot more expensive and has no dedicated GPU or video
codecs.  I don't see the point of it as a hobbyist device outside of a
few of the most dedicated sort of hobbyists.  Don't get me wrong, I
think it's a cool gadget, but it's going to take a pretty dedicated
person to put it to real use.


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