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World's First Polymorphic Computer 113

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-kind-of-unstable dept.
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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World's First Polymorphic Computer

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  • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:48PM (#18435275)
    Does that mean it's vaporware? If it exists, how can it be beyond state of the art?
  • by richdun (672214) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:50PM (#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."
  • by Durinia (72612) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:58PM (#18435405)
    He didn't have much to work with - the press release (err..."article") was information free, too!
  • not new (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @06:14PM (#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
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:29PM (#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.
  • by mkramer (25004) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:44AM (#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.

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