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[OMGUBUNTU!] Parallella: The $99 Ubuntu Supercomputer for Everyone - Page 6  

post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wedge View Post

Yes, but here's the catch: 100% parallel computing is not possible. Multiple cores have overhead that single cores do not. And the more cores you have, the more overhead you have. You lose efficiency due to high overhead tasks, such as scheduling and shared resource management, etc.
Edit: Not to mention the fact that some processes cannot be parallel-ized at all. It's much more complex for developers to produce highly parallel applications compared to the simplicity of single thread apps. So the loss of efficiency is not just at the hardware level, it's also at the software level. Making the total overhead even worse.
A news article was posted here about a year or two ago, that some industry analyst predicts that the overall industry trend will start going back to fewer cores, and higher efficiency. The fact is that a single 45GHz core would be significantly faster than 64 700MHz cores. The primary reason why parallel computing is so popular is because it's cheap, easy and effective. We simply don't yet have the ability to produce 45GHz cores. But if we did, there would be no need for such highly parallel cpu's as we have now.

I agree with your general assessments regarding Past parallel computing efforts and efficiencies. It's known that there's a different mindset of CPU architects and programmers. Historically there's not been a good match in compiler design / parallel processing design & programming to make this...More..mainstream to get some actual push in technology.

I'm not worried about the hardware. They may need to Kickstart the software part smile.gif That's the real challenge. I used to program Assembly and once thought to write a compiler, but got bored and moved on. I applaud them for getting their foot in the door, now the real hard part starts.
post #52 of 59
I wonder what method these little guys are using to talk to each other?

If they aren't equally connected to all others, then there is a limit to the performance increase to be gained from squeezing more cores onto the parallel network, due to the increasing latency for the group-as-a-whole's ability to communicate. Or at least that's how I understood it to work.
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post #53 of 59
I'd love a few of these. Potentially could make a very low power and powerful render farm biggrin.gif
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post #54 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

At 5 W power consumption ? As far as GFlops go, especially when the task can be trivially parallelized then GFX cards do number that put any CPU to shame, for example a ATI 5770 does about 1360 GFlops single precision.
Edit: I also think that I might be over-optimistic in understanding what they are trying to do. More realistic assumption would be that each of these dualcore ARM thingies, with the size of a credit card would consume ~5W and then one would plug 32 of these into a "master board" and get that 64 core system with 90 GFlops performance and ~160 W power consumption - which, if true, would be kinda pointless as you could outperform such thing with a regular x86 desktop, if sufficiently overcloked or leave it behind in dust by utilizing a GFX card. A 7870 has comparable power consumption and subtantially higher GFlops performance, for example. So I'll remain optimistic and assume that they plan to pull off somekind of magic trick and do 90 GFlops at 5W which would be impressive.

You have a great point as far as power consumption goes (partially dependent on you statement as to whether it is 5w or 160w), but calling them supercomputers when they have a relatively anti-climatic amount of processing power is a stretch for me - Granted, it does depend on an individuals concept of what a "supercomputer" is.

And yes, GPU's are boss in the processing department, but they are in a completely different class compared to CPUs XD
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post #55 of 59
Jeez give me $800 grand I'll make that myself..
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post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

...More realistic assumption would be that each of these dualcore ARM thingies, with the size of a credit card would consume ~5W and then one would plug 32 of these into a "master board" and get that 64 core system with 90 GFlops performance and ~160 W power consumption - which, if true, would be kinda pointless as you could outperform such thing with a regular x86 desktop, if sufficiently overcloked or leave it behind in dust by utilizing a GFX card. A 7870 has comparable power consumption and subtantially higher GFlops performance, for example. So I'll remain optimistic and assume that they plan to pull off somekind of magic trick and do 90 GFlops at 5W which would be impressive.

The FLOPS don't come from the ARM cores, they are just the host for the 16 (or 64 in the future) wimpy RISC cores that produce 90 GFLOPS (for the 64 core version). It is 5W for typical workloads, but probably more when near the theoretical peak of 90 GFLOPS. The peak GFLOPS for the 16 core version is 32, but the maximum power usage is only 2W (see here)
Edited by mdatmo - 10/27/12 at 8:34pm
 
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post #57 of 59
There is no smiley to describe the feelings I have for the treatment of Cubie witnessed in this thread.
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post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdatmo View Post

The FLOPS don't come from the ARM cores, they are just the host for the 16 (or 64 in the future) wimpy RISC cores that produce 90 GFLOPS (for the 64 core version). It is 5W for typical workloads, but probably more when near the theoretical peak of 90 GFLOPS. The peak GFLOPS for the 16 core version is 32, but the maximum power usage is only 2W (see here)

Interesting - in that case it might be indeed possible to pull off 90 GFlops at ~5W - which for the tasks that are suitable for that kind of architecture would be pretty impressive, especially if such board would cost only ~100$.
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post #59 of 59

Closing as this is a repost [LINK]

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