LONDON – Kalray SA, fabless chip company that developed the MPPA multicored processor family for embedded applications, has announced it is now providing samples of its 28-nm MPPA-256 chip, which includes 256 processor cores (see European startup attempts manycore revolution).
The processor is claimed to offer a processing capability of up to 500 billion operations per second at lower power consumption than other processors. The device is aimed at embedded applications in image processing, signal processing, control, communications and data security.
The MPPA-256 was designed by Kalray with Global Unichip Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan), a design services provider, and manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Kalray has announced that the first products to be ramped into volume will be processors for an imaging application. Product qualification is scheduled for completion in November 2012.
Kalray formed in 2008, is well backed by French investment funds, local funds, private investors, and OSEO, a French public-sector institution, and led by Joel Monnier, a former vice president of research at STMicroelectronics.
The Kalray processor cores implement a proprietary VLIW architecture with advanced low-power design techniques, and integrate a high-performance IEEE 754 floating-point unit. The 256 processors in the MPPA-256 are organized as 16 clusters of 16 processors and communicate with each other via a network-on-chip just as large clusters of computers do on the Internet. Multiple MPPA chips can be interconnected at the PCB level through Interlaken interfaces to increase the processor array size and performance capability.
Alongside the MPPA processor Kaleay provides customers with its software development environment called AccessCore. It also offers a GNU C/C++ development tools and libraries including primitives for task and data parallelism. The AccessCore development environment provides a C-based programming model including Linux support for legacy functions as well as a high-level dataflow environment. Standard GCC & GDB technologies are used for compilation & debug.
"Kalray's technology has been developed with many OEM partners across several vertical markets, as well as partnering with third-party software vendors," said CEO Monnier in a statement. "Our first processor achieves a global processing power of 500 billion operations per second, along with a much lower power consumption than competitive solutions."
Maria Marced, president of TSMC Europe, said in the same statement: "Innovation in Europe is clearly demonstrated by Kalray's 28-nm design. We are pleased to be part of this success story, and the release to production marks a major milestone in the collaboration between Kalray, GUC and TSMC."
Kalray was founded in July 2008 and has raised more than $20 million in venture capital and lists a design team of 50 engineers as well as access to 30 researchers working in joint laboratory with CEA-Leti in Grenoble. The company also claims to have amassed a portfolio of 45 patents.
"Our first processor achieves a global processing power of 500 billion operations per second, along with a much lower power consumption than competitive solutions."
How much less power? what is the cost of such units? How does this compare with the competition?