A "general purpose" 5 watt 256 VLIW flow processor for "embedded applications" in the fields of "image processing, signal processing, control (??), communications and data security"?
Doesn't sound too general purpose to me. Am I missing something here?
In the least, the application needs to be amenable to flow processing. That's why there aren't any "general purpose" many-core flow-processors out there.
So what's the angle here?
"startup attempts many-core revolution"
i have to agree jayson, infact its already been done before a long time ago now April 4, 2006 in the so called Rapport Inc's "kilocore"
"Kilocore, from Rapport Inc. and IBM, is a high-performance, low-power multi-core microprocessor that has 1,025 cores. It contains a single PowerPC processing core, and 1,024 eight-bit Processing Elements running at 125 MHz each, which can be dynamically reconfigured, connected by a shared interconnect. It allows high performance parallel processing."
and OC lets not forget to give other credit wher eits due too, that being dave may (not related :) of XMOS many multicore fame.....
sure this France pretenders version is using more modern process and adds current busses etc but lets not forget the past and still living broard shoulders Joel Monnier is standing on...
Riddle: What do you call a beast configured like a kilocore only it's a MEGAcore?
A single Power PC processing core hooked up to an FPGA.
Which requires the hapless software programmer to also be a logic designer. Which degenerates to a situation where you have no software traction, and therefore no apps, and therefore no customers, and therefore no real product. Just a really cool idea that doesn't quite fly.
on a side note i really think its the right time for "kilocore" Michael O'Brien, tranputer/XMOS pioneer dave may, and ARM Inc to get together with some VC and make a mass produced ARM A15/ Mali T600 based Achronix FPGA on the 22nm or lower Intel Process ASAP ;)
Don't forget Martin Marietta with their Geometric Arithmetic Parallel Processor (GAPP) in 1988. A large circuit board held 32,000 processors as I recall. It supported a Single Instruction Multiple Processor (SIMP) approach. Great for working on images after the initial overhead of clocking in the data from an edge.
Plurality's HyperCore developed a many-core design not only for wireless inftastructure.
Although not successful yet in producing a maketable product, it proposed a holistic solution for programming model and hardware that programmers liked and silicon could handle.
I believe message passing for massively parallel machines is not usefull. Here is another one who tries.
Ultimately surely the general purpose model has to be similar to that used by multiple computing nodes hanging off the Internet, but writ small on a single die.
For now the likes of Intel and ARM want to keep everything coherent and synchronized but my instinct tells me that cant work as you go to scores of core except in certain very tightly controlled applications.