Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Parallel Processing for Embedded Systems

image courtesy GreenArrays, Inc.
GreenArrays have announced the GA144, a low-energy processor with 144 cores. It's not cheap, as the minimum order is for 10 $20 chips, and the development board is $450 dollars, but it's of great interest to me; next year I will need some real processing power for a neural-network robot I am working on, and this looks as if it would be ideal.

Robotics enthusiasts will probably be familiar with the Parallax propeller, an inexpensive multi-cored processor that is desgined for hobbyist use. The propeller is an affordable introduction to parallel processing, but the GA144 offers a couple of orders of magnitude more processing power and is very energy-efficient.

The chairman of GreenArrays is Chuck Moore, the inventor of Forth. The GA144 supports arrayForth, a powerful language for parallel computing.