Wednesday, August 5th 2020

Tachyum Shows Prodigy Running Existing x86, ARM, and RISC-V Software

Tachyum Inc. announced that its Prodigy Universal Processor has successfully completed software emulation testing across x86, ARM and RISC-V binary environments. This important milestone demonstrates that Prodigy will enable customers to run their legacy applications transparently at launch with better performance than any contemporary or future ARM or RISC-V processors. Coupled with hyperscale data center workhorse programs such as Hadoop, Apache and more, which Tachyum is recompiling to Prodigy native code, this capability will ensure that Prodigy customers can run a broad spectrum of applications, right out of the box. Tachyum customers consistently indicate that they would run 100% native applications within 9-18 months of transitioning to the Tachyum platform to exceed performance of the fastest Xeon processor. The emulation is to smoothly transition to native software for Tachyum Prodigy.
Tachyum is working on native Linux distribution with many applications in time for the Prodigy launch in 2021. For convenience, Tachyum also provides the ability to transparently install and run legacy applications using a dynamic binary translator that converts x86, ARM or RISC-V code to Prodigy native ISA (Instruction Set Architecture). Despite software emulation on the Prodigy chip, the ARM and RISC-V binaries will run much faster on Tachyum Prodigy than on ARM or RISC-V available today. This is a testament to the raw brute force performance of the Prodigy processor.

One of the demonstrations ran a web server application on Prodigy using a mix of native and x86 code. The results proved that Prodigy is capable of running heterogenous system applications efficiently on the same universal silicon, which will provide huge cost benefits to a broad spectrum of users. We will be releasing a series of demonstration videos in the near future, with the first one showing demonstrations running native, x86, ARM and RISC-V binaries on Prodigy emulation at

Tachyum's Prodigy can run HPC applications, convolution AI, explainable AI, general AI, bio AI and spiking neural networks, as well as normal data center workloads on a single homogeneous processor platform with its simple programming model. Using CPU, GPU, TPU and other accelerators in lieu of Prodigy for these different types of workloads is inefficient. A heterogeneous processing fabric, with unique hardware dedicated to each type of workload (e.g. data center, AI, HPC), results in underutilization of hardware resources, and a more challenging programming environment. Prodigy's ability to seamlessly switch among these various workloads dramatically changes the competitive landscape and the economics of data centers.

Prodigy significantly improves computational performance, energy consumption, hardware (server) utilization and space requirements compared to existing chips provisioned in hyperscale data centers today. It will also allow Edge developers for IoT to exploit its low power / high performance, along with its simple programming model to deliver AI to the edge.

Prodigy is truly a universal processor. In addition to native Prodigy code, it also runs legacy x86, ARM and RISC-V binaries. And, with a single, highly-efficient processor architecture, Prodigy delivers industry-leading performance across data center, AI, and HPC workloads.

"Having a readily available solution and easy to use with massive amounts of software, demonstrates the foundation for success of a platform," said Dr. Radoslav Danilak, Tachyum founder and CEO. "This demonstration of Prodigy's ability to run software correctly - even legacy code from x86, ARM or RISC-V processors - shows that we will enable customers to seamlessly use the applications they are using today from Day One of Prodigy's launch. This is another validation of viability for Prodigy and proof of its ability to unlock unprecedented performance, power efficiency and cost advantages across the most challenging computing environments."

Prodigy, the company's flagship Universal Processor, will enter volume production in 2021. In April the Prodigy chip successfully proved its viability with a complete chip layout exceeding speed targets. In August the processor is able to correctly execute short programs, with results automatically verified against the software model, while exceeding the target clock speed. The next step is to get a manufactured wholly functional FPGA prototype of the chip later this year, which is the last milestone before tape-out.

Prodigy outperforms the fastest Xeon processors at 10x lower power on data center workloads, as well as outperforming NVIDIA's fastest GPU on HPC, AI training and inference. The 125 HPC Prodigy racks can deliver a 32 tensor EXAFLOPS. Prodigy's 3X lower cost per MIPS and 10X lower power translates to a 4X lower data center Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), enables billions of dollars of savings for hyperscalers such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and others. Since Prodigy is the world's only processor that can switch between data center, AI and HPC workloads, unused servers can be used as CAPEX-free AI or HPC cloud, because the servers have already been amortized.

About Tachyum
Tachyum is disrupting data centers, HPC and AI markets by providing universality, Industry leading performance, cost and power, while enabling data centers that are more powerful than the human brain. Tachyum, Co-founded by Dr. Radoslav Danilak, and its flagship product Prodigy, the world's first and only universal processor, begins production in 2021 targeting a $50B market growing at 20% per year. With data centers currently consuming over 3% of the planet's electricity, and 10% by 2025, low power Prodigy is critical for the continued doubling of worldwide data center capacity every 4 years. Tachyum has offices in the USA and Slovakia, EU.
Add your own comment

9 Comments on Tachyum Shows Prodigy Running Existing x86, ARM, and RISC-V Software

Prodigy makes me think of Firestarter.
Probably not the image they want or intended.
Posted on Reply
Yet another badly written press release. It uses the same old and tired marketing phrases propped up with some branding, plus a few technical terms thrown in, trying to add credibility, and yet it leave the reader perplexed as to the true meaning of the release.
My favourite bit is the claim to be faster than Xeon which, this is not difficult, but they omit a Threadripper comparison.
Posted on Reply
Tachyum Inc.? Prodigy Universal Processor?
What? When? Where?
Posted on Reply
These guys are talking like Intel, Amd, ARM, Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia have all been sitting and scratching their balls for the last 25 years or so.
Posted on Reply
First thought: Transmeta Crusoe and Efficeon. Seems like they're following the same design and architecture with code morphing (take RISC, CISC or VLIW and translate to something it can handle), resolving in software a number of tasks usually done in hardware. Lower transistor count, lower TDP, etc... Of course they must be massively parallel to be able to take on Intel and AMD. 64 cores on the initial SKUs will not dent Threadripper.
Posted on Reply
I understand that this is a PR release.

That being said, the information here is rather optimistic. They start with saying that x86, ARM, and RISC-V processors will not compete. It's not the first time that we've seen this.

They prop this up with the fact that they've got emulation of x86....conveniently forgetting that the efficiency of that is about 50%. The resulting huge loss is glazed over, because if you rewrite all of your code to use this new ISA, the monumental number of cores structured to do what our proprietary blend of instructions is good at might beat out some of the current generation technology. This is without the provided data on power efficiency, without knowing exactly how much is going to have to be re-written, and by the way you are going to have to design your own hardware. These suckers are a BGA package, so you'd better have some serious money to even step into the ring. Design your own hardware, produce it, and then re-write your software money.

I understand the optimism. That said, they say that they'll be better than ARM or RISC-V. A rather conservative statement considering both are generally not used in high performance scenarios. They compare to Xeon, assuming native support of their code to get to being better. Again, 50% native speed for x86 is what they get in their own testing....which is something somewhat suspect given that there's no way to actually test. This seems like a start-up that wants to change the system by creating the newest supercar. The problem is that supercars are expensive, less fuel efficient, and they often forego convenience for being cool. A processor that is lower cost to own, but requires custom hardware; is more powerful than Xeon, but only when you factor out the 50% operational speed loss to run native code; and has a completely new ISA, without really showing what benefits exist in anything but vague synthetic tests sounds really supercar to me. It sounds like 99.9% of people will have more use for the Intel-AMD route, with some specialized hardware being unique to the ultra-rich companies out there who can afford to design their own hardware and software ecosystem.

Anybody else getting Cyrix flash-backs? Perhaps Phenom 6 core processor visions? You know, that new hotness that performs great, in very special cases, but never really could succeed because those edge cases were impossible to replicate consistently. Maybe it's just me.

So far in my life more has been going to kill x86 than I can fully offer. The operation at 50% of performance is a huge red flag that this is another "killer" innovation, that will probably not see the death of x86. Fun to see it all happen again though.
Posted on Reply