Parallella Hardware Status
Since late July we have sent out approximately 40 Parallella boards to early-backers and driver developers/volunteers. Before sending out some of these early boards, we did spend a week “dog fooding” the Parallella boards and we can conclusively state that as long as they are well cooled, they are solid! With hardware, you know you are getting close to having a product when it “disappears” and just works. The videos below show some of the fun things we did to test the boards.(we also ran benchmarks like this one.)
For rugged early adopter types that are willing to bolt a fan to the board and run it as a headless server (no monitor), the Gen0 Parallella board is definitely useable, but it is clearly not the product we set out to build when we started the Parallella project. This post will review the experiences of early Gen0 users and summarize the things we still have to do to ship the remaining 6,300 “Gen1” Parallella Kickstarter boards.
Building the World’s Most Efficient Beowulf Cluster in 30 Minutes
Psychedelic Video Showing 16 Parallella Boards Running
Gen0 Kickstarter Backer Feedback:
- “The first impression is that the board is small, very small and very dense. It appears at first a bit bigger than a credit card but in fact the PCB is an exact match.” — Kickstarter Backer @tnt
- “It’s amazing that so much is packed into such a small size and yet the connectors are still in relatively sane positions. On the table it looks bigger than a credit card but holding them next to each other the circuit board is exactly the same size sans the rounded corners.” — Kickstarter Backer
- “First, thanks for the early board it looks very well designed…If all goes well this weekend I will have published an early version of the meta-parallella yocto layer ready for you on Monday.” — Kickstarter Backer
- “So I got my first parallella board yesterday. I don’t have much to report other than that I plugged it in and it worked. The circuit board is literally credit-card sized and really packed with components – very impressive. With 1G ram and the dual-core arm the base cpu seems quite nippy too…BLOG“ — Kickstarter Backer NOTZED
- “Once its up, I have run it for at least a day, much of which was actually working away. I have a big old fan in front of it. Feels solid.” — Kickstarter Backer
Gen0 Kickstarter Backer Projects:
- A self described “jaded software engineer”, NOTZED explains his plans for using the Parallella platform and his early experiences with the board. READ MORE
- Hacker guru @tnt shows how to fix some of the “issues” on the Gen0 board. As much fun as these hacks can be we are sure many of you will appreciate the changes we made on the Gen1 board: READ MORE
- Thanks to the awesome development speed of Nathan Rossi we now have the beginning of a Yocto meta layer for the Parallella board: https://github.com/nathanrossi/meta-parallella
- Thanks to our new board guru friends in Europe who found and solved several issues related to our HDMI design at the board and FPGA level, we now feel confident that we will have all major display functionality flushed out soon! We are hopeful that we can announce a long term collaboration with these guys soon…they are simply awesome!
- The Gen1.0 board is back from the fab and the board assembly starts tomorrow. We are doing a pilot run of these Gen1 boards and expect to power them up sometime next week. Once we have the boards built up, we will be able to show conclusively that we have solved the overheating issue that plagued the Gen0 design. For a more in depth explanation of the improvements made in Gen1, please see this THREAD.
- The ~8,000 16-core Epiphany III chips needed for the Parallella Kickstarter board shipments have been delayed in packaging and will only be out of the factory on 8/26.
- Due to one of the HDMI issues found we are now doing one more quick board spin before releasing the Parallella board to production.
- After 5 years of having to constantly “do more with less” it finally looks like our ship has come in! I can’t say more than that for now, but I will say that the stronger Adapteva is financially the more likely it is that the Parallella platform will be a long term success!
A huge thanks goes out to all of our Kickstarter backers who have been so incredibly patient and supportive over the last year! We are almost there!