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World's First Polymorphic Computer

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-kind-of-unstable dept.

113

tdelama writes to mention Raytheon Company has developed the first polymorphic computer named the Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture (MONARCH) for the US Department of Defense. "'Typically, a chip is optimally designed either for front-end signal processing or back-end control and data processing,' explained Nick Uros, vice president for the Advanced Concepts and Technology group of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. 'The MONARCH micro-architecture is unique in its ability to reconfigure itself to optimize processing on the fly. MONARCH provides exceptional compute capacity and highly flexible data bandwidth capability with beyond state-of-the-art power efficiency, and it's fully programmable.'"

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113 comments

Information free (2, Informative)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435219)

Thanks for the information free summary...

Re:Information free (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435271)

You mean the FREE information summary?

Well they can't write something like "We built yet another piece of programmable hardware" can they?

Re:Information free (5, Interesting)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436019)

Well they can't write something like "We built yet another piece of programmable hardware" can they?

No, but they should. Not that I dislike Raytheon inherently, but they are certainly spinning this press release pretty hard. It's just programmable hardware. It's an attempt to catch the attention of the government because there are two Military-Industrial coalitions bidding right now for the military's next generation satellite system (which will be a contract worth tens of billions of dollars for about the next decade).

Since the press release is so light on detail, obviously the actual hardware isn't that impressive. Note things like these quotes:

In laboratory testing MONARCH outperformed the Intel quad-core Xeon chip by a factor of 10

Oh, really? And how many libraries of congress per fortnight is that?

for such purposes as global positioning systems, airborne and space radar and video processing systems

Target audience, right there.

64 gigaflops (floating point operations per second) with more than 60 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth and more than 43 gigabytes per second of off-chip data bandwidth.

This is at least a little bit of information. However, those numbers are similar to current generation CPUs. I think the PS3 Cell can outperform this chip, so unless we have some power numbers it's unimpressive.

It's not a big surprise. It's just a press release and a slashvertisement.

Re:Information free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436541)

For an appropriately parallel problem, you can 342 GFLOPS with a GeForce 8800 GTX video card....

Re:Information free (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437181)

It is important to understand that current generation CPU's, GPU's....etc, cannot be flown in space. Energetic particles wreak havoc on such small feature sets. SEU's and latch up are serious issues.

Re:Information free (2, Insightful)

mkramer (25004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439403)

The problem with existing high-throughput processors are, as you pointed out, power consumption, plus achievable throughput, I/O throughput, and space readiness.

For most front-end type signal processing, the MONARCH design approaches that of an FPGA in terms of utilization efficiency. When it comes to the next-gen sensors for DoD applications, the Cell doesn't have near the I/O capability required (or, more correctly, the I/O options don't match the processing resource requirements, so you lose efficiency), and there's no way on earth (no pun intended) that a Cell will operate error-free in a radiation-rich environment at its current clock rates.

Yes, it's designed for a niche market. Hopefully one bigger than just next-gen satellites, but it was never meant to replace your desktop or your toaster.

Re:Information free (4, Insightful)

Durinia (72612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435405)

He didn't have much to work with - the press release (err..."article") was information free, too!

Hear hear. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436747)

The text starts out making it sound like it's got a cluster of FPGAs, reconfigurable on the fly, for the bulk of its structure (or at least the data path).

But by the time they're done they could even be talking about the Siemens/Infineon TriCore (an embedded processor core with an feature-rich instruction set suitable for process control, serious crunch, or DSP).

But... (3, Funny)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435223)

does it support multiple inheritance?

Re:But... (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435305)

Is it fully buzzword compliant?

Re:But... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435325)

and are they completely ignoring Web 2.0 because they're hard at work making it fully Web 3.0 compliant?

Re:But... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435371)

Yep. It truly is the King of processors.

Re:But... (4, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435597)

To topple it, they'll need to create the Amorphable Networked Micro-Architecture (ANARCH).

:-)

Re:But... (2, Funny)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18438289)

You've got it all wrong people! MONARCH is actually the result of the military's research into other forms of government. They're getting quite tired of 'ol Bush. Somebody just needs to add the final Yes :)
*ducks*

Re:But... (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18438237)

No, but it runs Duke Nukem Forever. Just wish startup didn't take so long. apparently, it has something to do with the game forever re-configuring itself :) *ducks*

Re:But... (obligatory) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18440039)

Yeah, but does it run Linux?

Off-topic post (OTP) (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435245)

I'm convinced it's a trend these days to build names around clever sounding acronyms and not the reverse. It seems like 'cheating' to me.

Re:Off-topic post (OTP) (2, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435307)

Eh, better than redundant acronyms. That's just lazy.

It also seems to be a trend to using clever sounding words without actually imparting any useful information. It's like everyone thinks everyone else is either too dumb to understand the complexity or subject matter of what we're doing, or too smart to fall for whatever we're trying to pass off as "new" or "innovative."

Re:Off-topic post (OTP) (2, Funny)

Yoooder (1038520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436241)

Hmm... I need to think of a name that will neatly fit into Antidisestablishmentarianism

Re:Off-topic post (OTP) (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439451)

"It seems like 'cheating' to me"

What, Creating Handy, Efficient Acronyms To Inform of New Gear? That's exactly what it is!

DoD (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435257)

Its made for the Department of Defense, it probably costs $5,000 a chip.

Re:DoD (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435601)

I don't care about that DoD! What about... Day of Defeat ?!? Does it run it better than a fast PC with NOS logos on the side?

On another note, I also want to know if "its ability to reconfigure itself to optimize processing on the fly" means "I can overclock this bitch on air cooling"

Re:DoD (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439505)

"On another note, I also want to know if "its ability to reconfigure itself to optimize processing on the fly" means "I can overclock this bitch on air cooling"

No, it basically has a lump of human brain tissue from a "willing volunteer" slapped on the side of it. It can reconfigure itself on the fly, but it has to want to.

Re:DoD (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435713)

Buddy, a screwdriver costs $500 when your dealing with the Government. DoD unit prices for the chips are probably in the high tens-of-thousands per one chip. Interestingly, this chip would be a "Universal Turing Machine" for chip architectures (while today the vast majority of microprocessors are von Neumann types).

Re:DoD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436507)

One would expect the wikipedia page on reconfigurable computing to reference that then, no?

Re:DoD (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436805)

Common misconception based on the fact that government acquisitions, and especially military acquisitions, usually involve an extended support and warranty contract. People repeat this nonsense all the time, without having even the slightest understanding of how government purchasing works. Also, the crazy Jewish guy in "Independence Day" didn't help much with his "You don't actually think they spend $20,000.00 on a hammer, $30,000.00 on a toilet seat do you?" quote.

Think GPS (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436897)

More like $50,000 per chip today. But in years to come the chip will be available for mass market and it will be only $50.

Beyond state of the art? (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435275)

Does that mean it's vaporware? If it exists, how can it be beyond state of the art?

Re:Beyond state of the art? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436011)

Their state-of-the-art-meter goes to eleven.

Sounds Familiar (4, Funny)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435293)

Low Power, Able to adapt / optimize itself as needed. Sounds like the old Transmeta designs. It would compile and execute code in the processor to emulate x86 commands as needed instead of hard wiring them.

Of course it also sounds like terminator chip but I think that was from another company and should have already happened by now. ;)

Sounds more like FPGAs (4, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435401)

Reconfigurable computing using a bunch of FPGAs.

All FPGA vendors now offer CPU cores (or you can get others from opencores.org). These cores can do a slew of different functions from DSP to straight CPU functions... and yes they do run Linux!

For example, Xilinx FPGAs can be reconfigured to run at least 5 different CPU cores, including Java processors etc in single or multi-core arrangements. They can also be reconfigured to do hardware DSP (eg. GPS receivers, sonar processing...). They can implement any peripheral function you care to think of. This makes them pretty versatile for military applications: instead of having to carry a whole raft of different hardware, you can carry one set of boards which can be reconfigured as required.

Re:Sounds more like FPGAs (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435495)

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. In fact, I was thinking that, brand names aside, the marketing-speak in the summary sounded exactly like the marketing-speak for the Starbridge systems FPGA-based "hypercomputers" when they were announced in the mid-late 1990s.

Re:Sounds more like FPGAs (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435853)

I first thought of SRC Computers [srccomp.com], the late Seymour Cray's last company, which makes dynamically reconfigurable computers (using x86 microprocessors). But they're more into reconfiguring the connections, not the processors themselves...

Really, this doesn't sound any different than loadable microcode, which nobody's cared much about for the last 20 years. Processing power is pretty cheap these days, so there's no reason to make a processor "retargetable", it just increases the cost and reduces the performance.

Re:Sounds more like FPGAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436187)

Really, this doesn't sound any different than loadable microcode, which nobody's cared much about for the last 20 years. Processing power is pretty cheap these days, so there's no reason to make a processor "retargetable", it just increases the cost and reduces the performance.

Don't think of the term "microcode", think instead about a sort of FPGA bitstream that configures part of a part of the processor's pipeline that looks like an FPGA. This it is not only useful for changing the instruction set. It can be used to create a custom circuit on the FPGA area that can accomplish the work of many conventional CPU instructions in a few clock cycles. The processor really can be adapted to run code more efficiently.

What has changed since the 70s? The microcode and the reconfigurable array have both got more complex by many orders of magnitude. Now, it might be worth the effort of optimising.

There are very good reasons to do this (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436745)

Even in consumer goods space you often need some gates for a particular logic/dsp function + you need a micro for supervisory/user interaction type activity. You could use an FPGA + a normal micro or you could just run the micro in the FPGA. These days the gates required to run a low-end micro in an FPGA only cost 50c or so, about the same cost as a very low end 8-bit micro. A $3 FPGA will run an 8-bit CPU core + do a whole raft of other functions. The FPGA-based solution has some interesting benefits: (1) Less chips and board area == reduced manufacturing cost. (2) Ability to customise parts to your specification without the costs (time and money) normally associated with doing an ASIC. (3) Less issues with parts supply.

Re:Sounds more like FPGAs (1)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436587)

Yeah, this reminded me of FPGAs too... a bit less configurable though. Of course, you could accomplish that with FPGAs as well, by having a system that combined an ASIC processor and support chips with an FPGA or two.

FPGAs are very exciting, versatile, and fun, so I don't want to knock them.

This "innovation" doesn't seem to be anything all that new, other than the efficiency and performance numbers, which I find hard to believe.

Re:Sounds more like FPGAs (2, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18440563)

Reconfigurable computing using a bunch of FPGAs.

All FPGA vendors now offer CPU cores (or you can get others from opencores.org). These cores can do a slew of different functions from DSP to straight CPU functions... and yes they do run Linux!


'"In laboratory testing MONARCH outperformed the Intel quad-core Xeon chip by a factor of 10," said Michael Vahey, the principal investigator for the company's MONARCH technology.'

I don't think you can achieve that with current generation FPGAs. At least not for the "back-end control and data processing" they claim to be one of their applications -- it should be achievable for "front-end signal processing", though.

Re:Sounds Familiar (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435651)

Who says it hasn't already happened? They were just better at keeping it hush-hush this time after seeing what happened in the move (a la Spaceballs style) ;)

They should no better (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435331)

There is very, very little new under the sun.

Back in the early 1970s there was a mini computer called the "Meta 4" whose microprogramming could be changed on the fly. The purpose was to let you run software written for other vendors' instruction sets.

While the chip being discussed may do other spiffy stuff to optimize its performance in different roles, you really can't call it the first "polymorphic" computer.

Re:They should no better (1)

BritneySP2 (870776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435513)

Indeed.

I remember working on (an emulator of) a "computer with a dynamic architecture"... way back when.

Re:They should no better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436373)

The Burrougs B-1000 series had this capability in the mid-1970s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burroughs_B1700 [wikipedia.org]. Depending on what program you were running, it used different microcode, so the instruction set was targeted at the application. There was one instruction set for the OS and another for COBOL, which was a major applicaton area for this machine.

This caused other problems, because there was only microcode storage for one instruction set at a time. When you did an operating system call from COBOL, for example to do an I/O operation, you had to use different microcode, becasue I/O was done in the OS language. You would either reload the microcode store, or run microcode out of regular memory, which was very slow. (Yes, you could run microcode out of regular user memory. It was an extremely flexible architecture.) Either way this slowed down COBOL I/O by a huge amount. The solution was to add instructions to do I/O in COBOL microcode, so that the OS was not called as often.

Re:They should no better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18440167)

Curiously enough, googling for "Monarch processor" pointed me to a paper of R. Rettberg and W. Crowther about a scalable multi-core architecture dating back from 1980! /Pype

Re:They should no better (1)

take5 (561870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18440281)

The first polymorphic computer was built much earlier than
that by RW (later TRW). I do not know when, but UCSB had one
in 1974, when I was a student there.

  Quote from:

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/9.80.html#subj8.1 [ncl.ac.uk]

"The conceptual design of this Polymorphic Computer, as they called it, was
attributed to Sy Ramo, who had earlier helped lead Hughes Aircraft and
Ramo-Wooldridge (later called TRW) to fame and fortune. The architecture of
this new machine was an interesting bad idea. The basic idea was to use many
small computers instead of one big one, so that the system could be scaled to
meet various needs simply by adjusting the number of processors. The problem
was that these units were rather loosely coupled and each computer had a
ridiculously small memory -- just 1K words. Each processor could also
sequentially access a 1K buffer. Consequently it was very awkward to program
and had extremely poor performance."

Vs. FPGA? (4, Interesting)

yeggman (599487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435347)

How does this compare to a Field Programmable Gate Array?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPGA [wikipedia.org]

Is this a bunch of those plus some BIOS like program to optimize it?

Re:Vs. FPGA? (5, Informative)

Jake73 (306340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435791)

An FPGA could provide the same functionality, but at a tremendous loss of efficiency. FPGAs have a very high overhead to support reconfiguration. But the reconfiguration is considerably more than this processor (likely) offers. (I couldn't read the article - dead link)

But with a claim of incredible power efficiency, it's decidedly not an FPGA. I imagine they borrow some of the concepts, but not entirely.

As a hybrid, FPOA (field-programmable object arrays) provide small programmable "objects" which are less granular than typical FPGA offerings. In the right application, an FPOA can achieve higher speeds and better power efficiency. In the "wrong" application, they're horrible.

It seems that this device would switch between the high computational efficiency of DSPs and things like graphics processors and the better branching / decision-making performance of general-purpose CPUs.

Re:Vs. FPGA? (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18438889)

Take a truckload of salt.
They may claim power efficiency, but im sure they mean compared to those 10 quad-xeons they use as benchmark (i.e. 5kW).
Lets say you give those FPGAs a power envelope of 250W. And glue your benchmarked algorithms optimized into them.
I think its doable (the Grape people did some variations of MDGrape on FPGA, and still had near gordon-bell price Gflop/$ ratios for the specific workloads...)

Re:Vs. FPGA? (1)

cotijas (1078725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439721)

I am not sure what exactly is going on with MONARCH, but the idea of polymorphism is not necessarily restricted to reconfigurable computing (like on FPGAs). I think that TRIPS (UT Austin) was the first proposed polymorphic architecture. I am not sure if they have actually built a prototype. The idea is that you build a chip with a bunch (100s or 1000s) of small cores/tiles. Then the tiles can be grouped into larger "virtual cores" depending on the type of parallelism in your workload. A good description is here in "Exploiting ILP, TLP, and DLP Using Polymorphism in the TRIPS Architecture." There is a link here: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~trips/publications.html [utexas.edu].

There are a few other examples, also just research architectures (RAW at MIT, WaveScalar at UW). Someone with some architecture expertise might be able to correct some of my claims or explain whether MONARCH does something similar.

Re:Vs. FPGA? (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439807)

They do have prototype on real silicon now. They got them a couple months ago. ( I know a guy working with the project ) Im not sure if they have worked all the bugs out or not yet.

Re:Vs. FPGA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18439883)

>> "Is this a bunch of FPGAs plus some BIOS like program to optimize it?

Yeah, sounds like it, according to the seventh paragraph. With some fancy processors to boot.

But I imagine this just isn't a bunch of FPGAs thrown together. It looks like it's the package that counts here. Sure, real-world applications of reconfigurable computing are in lots of places now. Plenty of folks working on that stuff already and putting it to ingenious use, especially in the military. But it's pretty evident here that this isn't just that. This is something more extensive, on a larger scale.

We know the military loves interop. And I can assume the military just drools over equipment that doesn't require teams of designers, field programmers and developers and a whole new design cycle to implement or manipulate. Especially when on a tight budget, and especially when time is critical (as in War).

Sounds to me like this thing is supposed to be some sort of panacea. The be all end all reconfigurable component. The FPFPGA. But I'm not a designer so i'm probably getting this all wrong.

zomg quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18435353)

rush some of them to the hosting provider for the site!

Polymorphic? (5, Funny)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435567)

"The MONARCH zaps itself with a wand of polymorph. The arch-lich hits! Oh no, it's using the touch of death! You die..."

However, Does It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18435623)


run Winbloze?

I, for one... (1)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435641)

I, for one, welcome our MONARCH overlords.

Wait...

Re:I, for one... (2, Funny)

Taleron (875810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435761)

Brock: Don't you have anything else to do but harp on Dr. Venture? Why haven't you tried the World Domination thing, you afraid of the big leagues?

The Monarch: Please. How stupid do I look to you? World Domination. I'll leave that to the religious nuts or the Republicans, thank you.

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436573)

"Taking over the world is the idea of fools who can only grasp generalized concepts."
- Excel Saga

not new (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18435657)

doesn't sound like a massively new idea at all...

Cypress semi currently making a MPU that has digital and analog blocks and can reconfigure itself on the fly, its call PSoC.

example: Coke uses it in their new vending machines, the chip is configured as a mpu during the day and runs the interface, at night it reconfigures itself into a modem to upload data to coke.

all these people have done is take 6 FPU cores and slapped them on top of a FPGA (or similar programmable logic bank)....good idea? yes. revolutionary? no...

and its not a computer, its a high speed DSP chip "In laboratory testing MONARCH outperformed the Intel quad-core Xeon chip by a factor of 10," wow, so you built a chip designed for a specific purpose and compared it to a general CPU, good job. You can build an algorithm into a $15 FPGA and have it out-perform a quad core xeon....so?

-xian

First a real Skynet and now this... (5, Funny)

Hubec (28321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435683)

Get a 100k of these running in parallel, give em a self organizing and threading algorithm and run for cover. On the plus side Schwarzenegger's armageddon would be much more interesting than Gore's alternative.

Re:First a real Skynet and now this... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437527)

I think the one solves the other quite nicely. Saltwater will absolutely destroy all those fancy exposed-parts humanoid robots. And the beauty of it is that the homicidal killbots will take care of our gorilla problem before that.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18435735)

A post about a processor and the word Beowolf has not yet been mentioned?

There sincerly must be a mistake!

Where's my linux distro ? (1)

Berserker (16946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18435959)

Linux and Monarch sounds like a perfect MS replacement.
 

Re:Where's my linux distro ? (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437311)

Linux and Monarch sounds like a perfect MS replacement.

This quote sounds like a cliche template replacement.

Wow. (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436109)

A few years ago I started writing a novel. I never finished it, although...

People there were using very small (smaller than a coin) thought-controlled self-modifying computers connected in a peer-to-peer wireless network to communicate with each other and the environment. You think "open the door" and the door opens. You think "it's too bright out there" and your sunglasses dim. You think to that guy: "hey, dude!" and he can "hear" you. You can talk to each other not by opening your mouth, but your minds, thanks to these little chips. The chips are adaptive, so if someone's trying to spam your head with ads, you will at most "hear" "buy coca-co..."

Thought controlled computers were presented on CeBit.

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/1 8/178205 [slashdot.org]

Now self-modifying processor architecture is available.

The novel's action took place in 2056 or so. Once again it seems that the future is much closer than we may think.

Where is Henchmen 21 and 24 and Dr Girlfriend?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436203)

I am sitting in the charred remains of my once-mighty Flying Cocoon. Anyone want to explain why my Cocoon is charred?

Return of Hypercomputing... (1)

thebrit (28113) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436275)

I agree with many comments, this seams so not new... ...on first read it reminded me of "Hypercomputers" by Starbridge systems which [at the time c.2000] had a desktop based on FPGAs boards that matched Cray performance.... and could withstand a Magnum shot through the system (excluding PSU) and still run with minor perf hit.

At the time you could get a demo video of this 'experiment' in action, however I've drawn short on evidence now we're in 2007.... my only trace via Google is this ol' /. article by LordMyren...

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/04/ 09/1824253&tid=137 [slashdot.org]
"That Star Bridge Systems is still about to unleash a whole new ball game.

*twiddle* any day now gents. honestly, it looks like OpenCores might get there first. ;)

One of they're earlier claims was it was so dynamically reconfigurable you should shoot it with a .358 magnum and it'd still function.

I still dont see how even 100% utilization of FPGA's could so much as touch 10% utilization of a good ole cray. They're both massively parallel, sure, but one of em's got like upteen bajillion processors. A system full of as many top of the line FPGA's as you can cram in there still aint going to be that fast.

Either way, it sounds like some really cool vaporware.
Myren"

N.B. I don't agree with this point in time synopsis, as there was a perf / cost analysis against the Cray and the differential was massive... again anyone with the access to the old whitepapers etc... would be of interest.

Regards,

TheBrit

Re:Return of Hypercomputing... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439757)

"One of they're earlier claims was it was so dynamically reconfigurable you should shoot it with a .358 magnum and it'd still function"

Could? :-p

I can just imaging part of the installation guide that recommends the unloading of a firearm into the computer *lol*

It gets better... (4, Funny)

bconway (63464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436727)

Don't forget, it's from the company that brought us the Patriot Missile (TM), so you know it's gonna be good.

Buzzwords aside, this would be cool (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436793)

Buzzwords aside, a chip that could, rather than require a hypervisor to translate machine code, change to execute the code for the VM whose task is being executed that quantum, would bring a large speed increase.

For example, one can have a RS/6000 partition running AIX, a simulated ARM processor running a version of Windows Mobile, Solaris on SPARC, and Windows Server 2003 on x86, and when the task switcher changes to the next VM, the chip can natively execute that platform's instructions. No JIT caching needed.

it's been done, by SNL in 1976 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436827)

"New Shimmer is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!"

Don't underestimate this new technology... (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437163)

According to Dr. Daystrom, who developed this technology, it is capable of producing a computer far more powerful than the older, duotronic systems which we're accustomed to. Others have suggested, however, that the new technology may yield program execution that is less deterministic, perhaps even less reliable than the conventional systems.

Re:Don't underestimate this new technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437735)

give my regards to the M5 and capt. dunsel for me will you? :)

oblig slashdot meme post (1)

kantier (993472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437749)

Does it run Linux?

I for one welcome our new microelectronic polymorphic overlords

A step in the evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437979)

A thousand years from now, they will eventually reach the conclusion that what they should have done all along would be to gather a number of ants and provide them a large pile of sand, sprinkled with pieces of rope, glass, wood and metal bits.

FirsGt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437983)

LOG ON THEN THE 40,000 3o8kstations

Do any of these things actually _work_? (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18438121)

It's a breakrhrough; but we've seen hundreds posted; we're still in silicon, not-light, no amoebas on our chips...has anyone seen a post on Slashdot of something anyone's actually taken to market? (It reminds me of the reports of flying cars in the early 60's...)

Raytheon Advertisement? (1)

Plautius (626357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18438679)

Since when did slashdot become a corporate mouthpiece?
Could this article have added anything to a serious discussion of technology?

Maybe somebody can tell me. Until then I'm a bit disappointed. This really doesn't deserve to be on the front page. --Peter

move on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18439709)

Sounds like it's above your head. Just move on, don't sweat it.

ST:DS9 ? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18439143)

Raytheon Company has developed the first polymorphic computer named the Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture (MONARCH)
So, it will be able to change shape and connect with the great link?

tubg18l (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18439467)

become obsessed OpenBSD. How many smells wo8se than a share. *BSD is
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