Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Where can I go to get help with Parallella?
A: The Parallella is a community supported project. The best place to start is

Q: How do I create a Parallella SD from scratch in Linux?
A: Please see directions at

Q: How do I backup an SD card using Linux?
A:  % sudo dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=/path/to/image/my_backup.img bs=4M

Q: How do create a new SD card using Linux?
A:  % sudo gunzip ubuntu-14.01-lxde.14.03.06.img.gz |  dd bs=64k of=/dev/mmcblk0 % sync

Q: How do I connect a UART serial cable to Parallella?
A: The Parallella board has a three pin 3.3V UART header located next to the RJ45 connector. The RXD pin is an input to the board and the TXD pin is an output from the board. The default UART configuration is as follows: (BAUD_RATE=115,200, DATA_BITS=8, STOP_BIT=1, PARITY=NONE, FLOW=XON/XOFF)

Q: How can I access the GPIO signals?
A: Build your own daughter card or wait for for the community to create one for you. Alternatively, you can use the following breakout board:

Q: How do I find my board MAC ID?
A: It is printed on a sticker on the board starting with the Parallella prefix 04:4F:8B:XX:XX:XX


Q: When will the Parallella be generally available?

A: We don’t have a firm date yet, but we are getting close. Please sign up for the newsletter:

Q: Who is Adapteva?
A: Adapteva is a small US semiconductor startup that developed the Epiphany multicore chips and Parallella boards.

Q: What is Parallella?
A: Parallella is an open source project with one fundamental goal: to help speed up the transition from serial to parallel computing

Q: How do I get involved?
A: Join the forum and to start interacting with the rest of the Parallella community.

Q: How can I contribute to the Parallella project?
A: The Parallella project is a true open source project built around the dea of open collaboration. Here are some ideas for ways to contribute:
-Spread the word (tweet, blog, like,+1, email) and talk about it.
-Contribute to one of the Parallella open source github repositories
-Give feedback
-Create applications
-Teach others how to use the platform
-Buy a board and use it. The more active users we have the stronger the project becomes.
-Create your own open source project based on Parallella

Q: Is Parallella really open source?
A: Yes!

Q: Do you offer University discounts?
A: No, but we do give away boards for free through the Parallella University Program:

Technical Q&A

Q: How is Parallella different from the Rasperry Pi?
A: The Parallella is an open source platform with about 25x more performance.

Q: Is it possible create custom bit streams for the FPGA logic on the Parallella?
A: Yes, just compile a valid bitstream using the Xilinx tool chain and copy the file to the boot partion of the micro SD card.

Q: How come feature “X” wasn’t included?
A: Because of cost/size constraints. Contact us if you feel there is a feature we should have put in instead of something else.

Q: What interfaces are supported?
A: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, Micro SD, HDMI and GPIO.

Q: Which CPU does the Parallella use?
A: The platform us currently uses a dual core ARM A9 processor as a host and the Epiphany chip as a coprocessor.

Q: What operating system does Parallella support?
A: Linux (so far…)

Q: What parallel programming models do you support?
A: Currently OpenCL, C/++, Pthreads. More models planned. Please visit for a complete view of the the status
of each project.

Q: Is there a Parallella community wiki?
A: Yes, please visit