Parallella, Raspberry Pi, FPGA & All That Stuff

Matt Giwer
Matt Giwer
Joined: 12 Dec 05
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Good to see someone willing

Good to see someone willing to take the plunge. I thought of simply making a cluster of Raspberries. Costs got out of hand. There is so much on the card not needed for a cluster such as video outs that they cost more than they need to the cables to match the fixed connectors become a significant cost. Seems to me the Raspberry folks could put a mess of chips on a larger card and have a cluster to sell rather easily.

But what has my caution is the assumed ease of programming. The issue of parallel processing has never been the language but how to make use of parallelism. Optimally a quad core computer should be four times faster minus 10% for overhead, 360% faster.

A simple example is POVRay which was ported to multithreaded a couple years ago. One a quad core the results are about 250% faster. However alternate software could divide resulting image into four quadrants, assign one per core and get 360% and then put it back together. Simply adding multithreading is much simpler and errors can be blamed on the chip. As I understand it dividing the image is what the CUDA cards are doing. And this is what one BOINC work unit per core is doing. It isn't parallel processing. It is being treated like for computers on one chip. It is also without all the superfluous stuff that comes with a Raspberry.

Which sort of says that if the problem being addressed is not naturally parallel like rendering an image it isn't really worth the effort to do more than multithreading. The language used hardly matters.

While multicores are great for BOINC projects at one WU per core for most computer users they cannot tell the difference between two and more than two cores there is so little extra improvement. Workload is like 60/30/10 with the fourth core for the OS if stuck with Windows.

So the best use I see for a cluster like this is for programmers to find a way to program them in a general way such that everything can get the 360% instead of the chip controlled 250%.

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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RE: ... has been a lack of

Quote:
... has been a lack of feedback in the past few days :-( .... so don't hold your breath ...

Yeah, it's been really quiet which means either all is well .... or all is not well. The latter I reckon. I think they may be afraid of how it will look if they slip a deadline. Not that I personally care much but others may. Well, as long as they don't go belly up that is .... :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) It's all good. Minor delay from the chip fabs, shipping will start by month's end.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

MarkJ
MarkJ
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Latest update (arrived today)

Latest update (arrived today) says:

- They have received gen1 boards and will commence fabricating tomorrow.

- They have missed shipping deadline and are now looking at between 31 September and 31 October.

- They will be doing a mail out to confirm shipping address on the 26th of August

Richard Haselgrove
Richard Haselgrove
Joined: 10 Dec 05
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And I've just received my

And I've just received my pre-shipping address and order detail check email.

:thumbsup:

MarkJ
MarkJ
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RE: And I've just received

Quote:

And I've just received my pre-shipping address and order detail check email.

:thumbsup:

I got mine too. While I'm getting 2 boards I am only getting 1 case so looks like I need to add a case to the order.

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Yeah! It looks like they're

Yeah! It looks like they're shipping in backer order beginning on September 7. I'm #90 so for me at least that won't be long now. Plus case and a T-shirt .... :-)

[ ASIDE : On the other upside, in expectation of the delay at Parallella, I went out and bought myself ( for Father's Day ... ahem ) an FPGA starter/learner's kit by the name of Nexys-3 to play with. So when I'm suitably practised I'll apply alleged 'expertise' to the Parallella board's FPGA ( on the Zynq chip ). Thus I've dug out all my old digital circuitry textbooks from a prior millennium. Repeat after me : AND, OR, XOR .... NAND, NOR, XNOR .... SR, JK, MUX .... duality, De Morgan, Carnaugh .... arrgh :-) ]

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Richard Haselgrove
Richard Haselgrove
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RE: RE: And I've just

Quote:
Quote:

And I've just received my pre-shipping address and order detail check email.

:thumbsup:


I got mine too. While I'm getting 2 boards I am only getting 1 case so looks like I need to add a case to the order.


I'm in the same position - only ordered one case, in the hope that the 64-core boards would be ready in time. But I couldn't find the cases in the online shop (not that I looked very hard last night) - nor any T-shirts, come to that.

MarkJ
MarkJ
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RE: RE: RE: And I've

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

And I've just received my pre-shipping address and order detail check email.

:thumbsup:


I got mine too. While I'm getting 2 boards I am only getting 1 case so looks like I need to add a case to the order.

I'm in the same position - only ordered one case, in the hope that the 64-core boards would be ready in time. But I couldn't find the cases in the online shop (not that I looked very hard last night) - nor any T-shirts, come to that.

You have to use the link in the email, the one that says "link to shop" and that will show the accessory kit. Scroll down and you will see related products which starts with the clear plastic case.

Seems a bit weird that they aren't showing the other things unless you use the link. I guess they want to limit it to backers only.

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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I'd got a T-shirt and case

I'd got a T-shirt and case because I ticked that with an earlier pre-shipping confirmation email ( but then I'd backed in the $199+ category to the tune $300 so it would cover that ).

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Claggy
Claggy
Joined: 29 Dec 06
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I had already added an extra

I had already added an extra case on, and ordered a pair of Parallella Accessory Bundles last month,
With the free shipping for addons for kickstarter backers i've sent them an email asking the orders to be combined, so they at least arrive together,
not sure what will happen with the extra $20 shipping i've already spent, maybe they'll leave it as credit for the next order. ;-)

Claggy

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