Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone

PARALLELLA LAUNCHES AT 6pm, on September 27th

Initiative to Bring a $99 Parallel Supercomputing Platform to the Masses


LEXINGTON, MA – September 27, 2012– Adapteva, a semiconductor start-up company, today announced the Parallella Kickstarter project to build an open and affordable, credit card-sized supercomputing platform that offers a 50x performance boost over existing open hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi. The truly disruptive performance leap of the Parallella computer is enabled by Adapteva’s 16-core and 64-core Epiphany microprocessor chips that lead the world in processor energy efficiency.

The present and future of computing is parallel, but developers are facing enormous challenges in developing code that can take advantage of the exponentially increasing performance offered by today’s parallel architectures. Without wide-spread adoption of efficient parallel programming methods by the developer community, application performance improvements will soon hit the wall.

“Inspired by great hardware communities like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, we see a critical need for a truly open, high-performance computing platform that will close the knowledge gap in parallel programming,” said Andreas Olofsson, CEO of Adapteva. “High-performance parallel computing is currently only accessible to a small and select group of expert programmers.  The goal of the Parallella project is to democratize access to parallel computing.  The parallel programming dilemma is a grand challenge of computer science and we need all hands on deck.”

Numerous universities seeking to educate students on parallel computing already are collaborating with Adapteva. To date, Adapteva has collaborated with researchers at MIT, Boston University, Northeastern University and Halmstad University to help bring parallel computing technology to the next generation of engineers.

“Processor architectures need to be built on simple, scalable principles with powerful processors and straightforward means for moving data around.  Adapteva’s Epiphany chip architecture has been designed based on such principles,” said Bertil Svensson, Professor at Halmstad University.  “My students and researchers have had a positive experience with Epiphany, using both the architectural features and programming tools efficiently on their first try.”

To create a sustainable community around the Parallella computer platform, Adapteva will be raising a minimum of $750,000.  The funds will enable Adapteva to bring costs down for its existing evaluation boards and deliver a fully functional computer that includes a dual core ARM A9 based SOC and a 16-core Epiphany-III co-processor chip for $99. The 16-core board Parallella should achieve 13 GHz and 26 GFLOPS of equivalent CPU performance.  If the Parallella Kickstarter project reaches a stretch goal of $3M, a higher performance Parallella board will be released that includes the pin-compatible 64-core Epiphany-IV chip.  The Epiphany-IV based board should achieve a peak performance of 45 GHz and 90 GFLOPS and will be available to all backers who pledge $199 or more. The Parallella computers will ship with a Linux Ubuntu distribution and an open source SDK for developing applications for the Epiphany architecture using C, C++ and/or OpenCL.

Once the Parallella project is fully funded, Adapteva will also take the bold step of releasing its existing software development tools, drivers and libraries under a true open source license and will publish the Epiphany chip architecture reference manuals and datasheets publicly. Board design files and board support packages for the Parallella computer will be delivered to the public in open source format and available for everyone to use free of charge and without restrictions.

“I truly believe that the availability of open and inexpensive hardware, free open source software development tools, and increasingly knowledgeable parallel programmers is what will drive the next wave of innovation in software applications,” continues Olofsson. “If we as a community can offer the right building blocks, programmers will change the world in ways we have yet to imagine.”

More information about the project can be found at:

About Adapteva

Adapteva, Inc. is a privately-held semiconductor technology company based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Adapteva has developed the world’s most energy efficient multicore microprocessor architecture, immediately boosting by an order of magnitude the number of cores that can be integrated on a single chip. Adapteva’s breakthrough architecture will have an immediate impact on a wide range of end-user products, from compact mobile devices to next generation supercomputers. For more information on the company visit or via twitter @adapteva and @parallellaboard.


  • Radovan says:

    Idea for spreading the good word for your parallel chip: Take Shanghai list of 2000 TOP univerities and send them emails for their CS, DSP, telecoms departments to use your solution. Do the same solicitation via USA embassies and organise web confs via AmChams over the world. You must succeed!!!
    In the next phase pls consider chip stacking with Epiphany + DRAM in a package. Find IBM as a partner and leverage their capabilities in manuf.
    Kind regards

  • yasuyuki banjo says:

    I am very interested in your project.
    However, I am sorry that I cannot participate because it is a Japanese.
    Is an opportunity held in the near future any place other than US and UK?

  • Nick S. Becker says:

    Everyone involved in this project, i just need you to all know you are truly amazing.

    Give OpenSource a good name.

  • Maks says:

    Is there a way to connect it up to my current computer so it boosts the processing speed instead of connecting it to a tv or something?

  • fat says:

    I am looking forward to this product SO MUCH! I’ve been wanting some kind of platform for portable neural networks. This is just perfect. All the luck and love to you!

  • David Murphy says:

    so, what actually happened? Is kickstarter finished? Was either target achieved?

  • Vignesh says:

    i would like to get one please help me !!!

  • benryanau says:

    Fantastic to see it go ahead,, look forward to seeing Paralella gear becoming a defacto standard for compute-heavy appliances!

  • Andrew Back says:

    @Radovan, @Nick S., @fat and @benryanau, thanks for your enthusiasm and keep spreading the word!

    @yasuyuki, I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t participate in Kickstarter, but keep an eye on the blog and Twitter for future news.

    @Maks, Parallella is not really intended to be a general purpose accelerator for attaching to a PC. But this is not to say that you couldn’t write server software for a compute intensive task to run on it, with a client application running on a networked PC. If you have any more questions the forums would be the best place to ask!

    @David, I’m guessing you’ve seen now but, yes, we we’re successful 🙂

    @Vignesh, I’m afraid that if you missed out on Kickstarter there is currently no way to place an order, but keep an eye on the blog and Twitter for news.

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