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IntellaSys 40-core Processor Announced; Forth-based Dev Environment



IntellaSys has unveiled its SEAforth 40C18, a 40-core multicore processor designed for embedded wireless, portable, and distributed data processing applications. The SEAforth 40C18 is an array of 40 fully functional CPUs operating asynchronously, each of the cores a complete computer, with its own ROM, RAM, and interprocessor communication. Together they can deliver up to 26 billion operations per second.

With what IntellaSys claims is the smallest core size design (0.13 mm2), the SEAforth processor consumes 28 times less power while running 240 times faster than competing architectures. By creating a RAM and ROM on each core, individual cores run at the full native speed of the silicon instead of being throttled down to a slower external system clock frequency. The automatic synchronization feature between cores allows the processors to share the computing load by talking to each other to pass data, status signals and even code blocks. When individual CPUs are not active, they automatically shut down or sleep.

"The beauty of this single-chip 40 CPU processing solution is that it is completely programmable -- meaning if a spec changes, it is a code issue, not a silicon turn," said Chuck Moore, CTO of IntellaSys and inventor of the Forth programming language. "With 40 cores operating independently on the chip, designers can dedicate groups of them to handle specific tasks. For example, some could be assigned compute-intensive Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT) while others handle wireless connectivity, standard I/O interfaces or drive external memory."

The processor will be offered with VentureForth, a Forth-based IDE that includes fully interactive programming, testing, and debugging facilities. VentureForth includes compilers for both Windows and Linux and a simulator for debugging, and contains low-level primitives as well as the high-level tools necessary to map programs across the array of cores in a SEAforth processor. The SEAforth 40C18 is capable of executing 80 percent of its VentureForth instructions in 1.38 nanoseconds while drawing 7mW of power or less per CPU.


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