Adapteva’s Parallella low cost open source hardware “supercomputer” is a board powered by Xilinx Zynq-7010/7020 dual core Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC and the company’s Ephipany epiphany coprocessor, that’s had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 as the 16-core version sold for just $99, and is capable of handling applications such as image and video processing, and ray-tracing, and also comes with an OpenCL SDK. The board was fairly difficult to source after the crowdfunding campaign, and one the common complain of backers was the board had to be actively cooled by a fan. The company has fixed both issues by increasing slightly the price, and redesigning the board so that it can be passively cooled by a larger heatsink.
There are now three versions of the parallela board:
- Parallella Microserver ($119) – Used as an Ethernet connected headless server
- Parallella Desktop ($149) – Used as a personal computer
- Parallella Embedded ($249) – Used for “leading edge” embedded system
Here are the simplified specs of the boards:
- Microserver and Desktop – Xilinx Zynq Z7010 dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache + Artix-7 FPGA with 28K logic cells
- Embedded – Xilinx Zynq Z7020 dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache + Artix-7 FPGA with 85K logic cells
- Coprocessor – 16-core Epiphany-III processor
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3
- Storage – micro SD slot + 128Mb quad SPI flash
- Connectivity – 10/100/100M Ethernet
- Video Output – 1x micro HDMI (Desktop and Embedded only)
- USB – 1x micro USB host port (Desktop and Embedded only)
- Expansion I/O
- Microserver – N/A
- Desktop – 2 eLinks (Ephiphany Links) + 24 GPIO pins
- Embedded – 2 eLinks + 48 GPIO pins
- Dimensions – 86.36mm x 53.34mm
The board will sell with the heatsink and a power adapter. If you have one of the boards from the Kickstarter campaign, or boards purchased before the 10th of July, you can’t go fanless by just replacing the fan by the new heatsink, as it won’t fit.
Parallella-16 Desktop computer is available now for $149 on Adapteva shop, and in a couple of days, it will be on Amazon US. The Microserver and Embedded versions will be available in a few weeks. You can read the announcement on the company website, where you’ll also find some interesting projects (videos) that have been done so far by the community of developers.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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