Published on June 20, 2012 by Peter Clarke
French parallel processing research wins $40 million
LONDON – The ManyCoreLabs three-year collaborative R&D project, proposed by fabless chip company Kalray SA, has been selected to receive 32 million euro (about $40 million) in funding from the French authorities as part of the Investissements d’Avenir (Invest in the Future) program.
The ManyCoreLabs project is set to run from 2012 to 2015 and is intended to address the “manycore” platform market for embedded systems. ManyCoreLabs is expected to provide high performance generic embedded computing platforms with a reduced cost and design time compared with currently available solutions.
The project is led by Kalray (Paris, France), a 2008 startup company led by Joel Monnier, a former vice president of central R&D at STMicroelectronics NV. Kalray has already designed a 256-processor SoC, the MPPA-256, implemented using 28-nm manufacturing process technology. The 256 processors work in parallel and communicate together via a network-on-chip just as large clusters of computers do on the Internet. The MPPA-256 is organized as 16 clusters of 16 processors and multiple MPPA chips can be interconnected at the PCB level through Interlaken interfaces to increase the processor array size and performance capability.
Other participants in the ManyCoreLab project include: Asygn, Ateme, CAPS Entreprise, CEA, Digigram, Docea Power, Inria, IS2T, Krono-Safe, Renault, Scilab, Thales and Verimag.
Kalray said on its website that it exhibited Europe’s first 28-nm processor in October 2011 at the Grenoble Innovation Fair where it was able to demonstrate the interactive debugging of an H.264 video encoder model running on just 16 cores.
Kalray is exhibiting at the 3-D Reality Exposition whch takes place in Tokyo, June 20 to 22, where it plans to show augmented reality applications for industrial environments running on its platform.
“Augmented reality applications use highly parallel algorithms executing perfectly on the massively parallel structure of the MPPA,” Kalray claims on its website.
Kalray was founded in July 2008 and has raised more than $20 million in venture capital and lists a design team of 50 engineers as well as access to 30 researchers working in joint laboratory with CEA-Leti in Grenoble. The company also claims to have amassed a portfolio of 45 patents.