A new embedded controller company wants to bring massive numbers of cores to your next project!
A startup company called Intellasys has announced a new 24 core embedded processor chip that they expect to introduce in Q4 of 2006. The chip, available in two versions, is called the SEAforth-24 (A and B) and will be reasonably priced at $19.95 each in lots of 1,000 (meaning probably $30 in singles from middle-men like Parallax). Each of the chip’s 24 cores offers an execution rate of one billion instructions per second while keeping the entire chip’s heat dissipation less than 150 milliwatts in a “typical” (1/3 of the cores active) state. A couple of A/D converts and a single D/A converter are present alongside a real-time clock.
A chip like this introduces some interesting possibilities for hobbiests. For example, you could use several of the cores to process video input from a robotic vision system while several more cores control the robot’s actuators and sensors. It might be possible to build a single-chip (processor-wise) fully-featured robot. Of course, this chip is going to be huge overkill for most hobby projects as you don’t need 24 BIPS to blink some LEDs but who knows… maybe someone will find a need and create the next super-cool class of projects 😉