After Kickstarter success, Adapteva takes pre-orders for $99 parallel PC

Adapteva's Parallella is a $99, credit-card-sized ARM PC with an onboard multi-core accelerator. Last fall, Adapteva funded development of the system through Kickstarter, exceeding its $750,000 goal by almost $150,000. Now, the company says it's started to ship beta Parallella boards to Kickstarter backers—and to take pre-orders from the general public.

According to Adapteva, the first prototypes shipped to "major backers" last December, but beta boards are now being delivered to some of the Kickstarter campaign's other contributors. "After some final refinements," adds Adapteva, "the remaining 6,300 Parallella's [sic] ordered via Kickstarter will be delivered by the end of the summer." If you didn't participate in the Kickstarter campaign, you can now pre-order the 16-core version of the Parallella from this page on Adapteva's website. The company intends to fulfill Kickstarter orders first, with "general availability orders" to ship "later this fall."

The $99 asking price gets you a 3.4" x 2.1" system like the one pictured above. Included are a Xilinx Zynq-7010 system-on-a-chip with dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores, an Adapteva Epiphany-III accelerator with 16 RISC cores, 1GB of RAM, a microSD card, dual USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI output. The system runs Ubuntu Linux and ships with a development toolkit made up of a "C compiler, multicore debugger, Eclipse IDE, OpenCL SDK/compiler, and run time libraries." For an extra $20, you can add four expansion connectors. There's also an option to select a faster version of the Xilinx SoC, but it doesn't seem to be available for pre-order just yet.

Adapteva already had prototypes of the Parallella running before the Kickstarter drive, but the funding helped it miniaturize the hardware and cut costs. In the firm's words, "The process for designing and delivering the $99 Parallella board was intensive, with a redesign of everything from the Epiphany chip packaging, for better thermal characteristics, to stabilizing and optimizing the FPGA logic and Epiphany software drivers and SDK."

Check out Adapteva's website for more details about the Parallella and the Epiphany silicon within. The company's YouTube channels also includes a number of interesting promotional and demo videos.

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