A new Kickstarter project aims to make parallel computing accessible to everyone by providing an affordable, open and easy to use platform. It's called Parallella and for just $99, backers will receive a full developer kit that includes an Epiphany-III based Parallella board loaded with the necessary development software to create any project your mind can dream up.
Andreas Olofsson, the founder and CEO of Adapteva, says parallel computing is the only way for the computer industry to move forward and scale accordingly. He founded Adapteva in 2008 and has been shipping 16-core 65nm products since May 2011.
The design team is now sampling a 64-core chip built on the 28nm process but the problem they've faced thus far is finding financial backing that will make owning the platform affordable to everyone. Systems on this platform currently sell for thousands of dollars, a figure that Olofsson says needs to be reduced significantly.
That's where Parallella and Kickstarter come in. The CEO points out that he was inspired by other successful DIY products like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi machines although those options are a bit cheaper than what he has planned. The goal is to produce a $99 supercomputer with open source hardware and software that's capable of producing up to 45GHz of processing power while consuming less than 5 watts.
As of writing, backers are bidding on a 16-core board at the $99 price point but according to Gigaom, Olofsson will offer supporters a 64-core option for $199 if they are able to meet a stretch goal of $3 million before the end of the campaign.