18 cores + 1 GB RAM?

Any technical questions about the Epiphany chip and Parallella HW Platform.

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18 cores + 1 GB RAM?

Postby Firstlastsabbatical » Sat May 27, 2017 9:40 am

I just don't understand why an 18 core processor would only be packaged with a gig of RAM. How will it ever utilize those cores when it's operating with such limited memory. I understand that this is fairly average amount of memory for embedded systems of this size. However, won't it hang up from limited RAM before it ever utilizes all 18 cores, or even a fraction of them for that matter. I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I just literally do not understand why you would want so many cores if they will be parked for lack of resources. What sort of application will utilize all these cores without the RAM to back it up? Please help me understand. Thin client, no. Virtualization, no. Then what?
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Re: 18 cores + 1 GB RAM?

Postby jar » Sat May 27, 2017 5:44 pm

The Parallella would be more accurately described as 2 ARM + 16 Epiphany cores. Both the ARM and Epiphany cores are not as capable as Intel Xeon cores, but instead focus on energy efficiency for parallel applications. The Epiphany cores don't support virtualization and won't run a standard Linux OS. There are a number of example applications that can be found here: https://github.com/parallella/parallella-examples

The most significant challenge for achieving good application performance with Epiphany is the memory bandwidth, not the total available memory.
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Re: 18 cores + 1 GB RAM?

Postby sebraa » Mon May 29, 2017 12:19 pm

Not all algorithms require large amounts of memory. For example, audio is processed only a few ms at a time (otherwise you would have a huge processing delay), so it is very intensive but does not require much memory.

The Parallella is a dual-core ARM with 1 GB of memory running Linux, plus a 16-core special-purpose accelerator with 512 KB of memory.
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