[erlang-questions] Tilera 64-core chip - let's help them help us!

G Bulmer gbulmer@REDACTED
Thu Sep 6 04:46:20 CEST 2007

Hopefully Tilera's marketing group have a google alert set up, and so  
will discover our posts soon.

Maybe Erlang isn't 'on their radar'? That would be a real shame as I  
can imagine Erlang+specialised embedded pieces, using their 'native'  
technology, may be a great approach to exploiting their architecture.  
There may be some enormous benefits to supporting Erlang for them.

So, to help Tilera, could we say what we'd need? Then maybe Tilera  
will consider the possible costs and benefits. I'll start:
0. Decent documentation for the architecture. The published NVIDIA  
8800 documentation isn't good enough for confident design and  
extrapolation from tests; I feel better documentation would have helped.

1. I'd like a free or very cheap (under $50) license for an emulator  
and the Tilera software development kit (e.g. like NVIDIA's CUDA).  
I'm fine if that software is restricted to use for evaluation. I want  
to understand the cost and time to learn how to use Tilera's  
technology, and I don't *need* hardware for that.  Someone may figure  
out, without hardware, whether it's worth porting Erlang to it, and a  
free Tilera emulator & SDK would enable more people to participate  
and tackle parts of the solution.

2. I could be satisfied with a 'cut-down' version of their PCIe board  
(with fewer GigE connections, no 10 GigE, fewer processors, less on- 
board memory, maybe running at a lower clock rate, maybe narrower  
PCIe) providing I could make reasonable extrapolations from it, so  
that I could do realistic de-risking, evaluation and development. A  
cut-down board should to be significantly cheaper than a 'real' board  
to make it a justifiable alternative because I assume I'd need 'the  
real thing' for production development if it all worked out.

I'd offer the same suggestions to Intel; if they want to get their 80- 
core widely used, Erlang is the way to go, so support the community !-)

PS - I'd suggest we pool orders, but that's likely a nightmare to  
make work, and it may be too late for (my) Christmas presents ;-)

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