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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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  • Vs. FPGA? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yeggman (599487) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @04:54PM (#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:Information free (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dch24 (904899) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @05:42PM (#18436019) Journal

    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.
  • by julesh (229690) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @03:46AM (#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.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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