Thursday, June 10th 2021

Tachyum Receives Prodigy FPGA DDR-IO Motherboard to Create Full System Emulation

Tachyum Inc. today announced that it has taken delivery of an IO motherboard for its Prodigy Universal Processor hardware emulator from manufacturing. This provides the company with a complete system prototype integrating CPU, memory, PCI Express, networking and BMC management subsystems when connected to the previously announced field-programmable gate array (FPGA) emulation system board.

The Tachyum Prodigy FPGA DDR-IO Board connects to the Prodigy FPGA CPU Board to provide memory and IO connectivity for the FPGA-based CPU tiles. The fully functional Prodigy emulation system is now ready for further build out, including Linux boot and incorporation of additional test chips. It is available to customers to perform early testing and software development prior to a full four-socket reference design motherboard, which is expected to be available Q4 2021.
The FPGA DDR-IO Board delivers the following advanced functionality to support high-performance connectivity and enhanced management for the FPGA CPU Board:
  • 4 channels of DDR4 supporting 2 DIMMs per channel for a total of 8 DIMMs
  • 32 lanes of PCIe 3.0 with 4 PCIe connectors
  • Aspeed AST2600 Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)
  • OCP System Control Module (SCM)
  • Multiple additional interfaces that include a 1 GbE management port, 2 USB ports and UARTs
  • Flexibility to be configured to accommodate test chips for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 to fully test the Prodigy design
The delivery of the IO motherboard for the Prodigy FPGA prototype provides the platform necessary to perform IO device porting and IO compatibility testing prior to tape out. Additionally, this delivery allows for the testing and validation of 5nm test chips from Tachyum IP suppliers.

Tachyum will provide access to the FPGA prototype for early adopter partners, allowing them to finalize any changes to their software stacks before full chip production begins. The next step in the process will be to demonstrate functionality of the whole system before sampling later this year.

"Once again we have achieved a major milestone in the development of the world's first universal processor," said Dr. Radoslav Danilak, co-founder and CEO of Tachyum. "Our IO motherboard, in conjunction with our CPU motherboard, enables our engineers to fully test the functionality of Prodigy. Together, these two FPGA-based boards provide the basis of a system that can be cascaded to fully emulate an entire 128-core Prodigy processor, which is capable of advancing the entire world to a greener era by enabling human brain-scale AI."

Tachyum's Prodigy processor can run HPC applications, convolutional AI, explainable AI, general AI, bio AI, and spiking neural networks, plus normal data center workloads, on a single homogeneous processor platform, using existing standard programming models. Without Prodigy, hyperscale data centers must use a combination of CPU, GPU, TPU hardware, for these different workloads, creating inefficiency, expense, and the complexity of separate supply and maintenance infrastructures. Using specific hardware dedicated to each type of workload (e.g. data center, AI, HPC), results in underutilization of hardware resources, and more challenging programming, support, and maintenance. Prodigy's ability to seamlessly switch among these various workloads dramatically changes the competitive landscape and the economics of data centers.

As the world's first universal processor, Prodigy runs legacy x86, ARM and RISC-V binaries in addition to its native Prodigy code. With a single homogeneous, highly efficient processor architecture, Prodigy delivers industry-leading performance across data center, AI, and HPC workloads, outperforming the fastest Xeon processors while consuming 10x lower power (core vs. core), as well as outperforming NVIDIA's fastest GPU in HPC, as well as AI training and inference.

Prodigy's 3X lower cost per MIPS and its 10X lower core power translate to a 4X lower data center Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), delivering billions of dollars in annual savings to hyperscalers. 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 resources, because the servers have already been amortized. Prodigy will also allow Edge developers for IoT to exploit its low power/high performance, along with its simple programming model, to deliver efficient high- performance AI to the edge.

Those interested in becoming early adopter partners in order to receive access to the Prodigy emulation system can sign up at https://www.tachyum.com/
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11 Comments on Tachyum Receives Prodigy FPGA DDR-IO Motherboard to Create Full System Emulation

#1
DeathtoGnomes
which is capable of advancing the entire world to a greener era by enabling human brain-scale AI."
Skynet will loves this! :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#2
Vya Domus
Still can't figure out how they're getting away with x86 emulation without Intel destroying them with lawsuits. Nvidia tried to do the same, emulate x86 execution in hardware and that was a definitive "No" from Intel.
Posted on Reply
#3
Fourstaff
Vya DomusStill can't figure out how they're getting away with x86 emulation without Intel destroying them with lawsuits. Nvidia tried to do the same, emulate x86 execution in hardware and that was a definitive "No" from Intel.
Perhaps Intel is seeing a existential threat from ARM now?
Posted on Reply
#4
Vya Domus
FourstaffPerhaps Intel is seeing a existential threat from ARM now?
If their claims that their product can be a zillion time faster than anything else hold any water I can't see why they wouldn't be seen as a threat.
Posted on Reply
#5
Wirko
Vya DomusStill can't figure out how they're getting away with x86 emulation without Intel destroying them with lawsuits. Nvidia tried to do the same, emulate x86 execution in hardware and that was a definitive "No" from Intel.
It looks like x86 is emulated in software: link

But your question is relevant nevertheless - as far as licensing is concerned, it's a device that is able to execute x86 code. Apple somehow got away with that but not every company will.
Posted on Reply
#6
ratirt
Vya DomusStill can't figure out how they're getting away with x86 emulation without Intel destroying them with lawsuits. Nvidia tried to do the same, emulate x86 execution in hardware and that was a definitive "No" from Intel.
Isn't Intel holding the x86 architecture only? This is emulation on a software level. It's like companies with x86 architecture would emulate android and get lawsuits for it.
Posted on Reply
#7
Jism
ratirtIsn't Intel holding the x86 architecture only? This is emulation on a software level. It's like companies with x86 architecture would emulate android and get lawsuits for it.
They hold native x86, not by emulation.
Posted on Reply
#8
ratirt
JismThey hold native x86, not by emulation.
Exactly so why would Intel lawsuit the Prodigy if this is not x86 architecture? At least it doesn't say it is.
Posted on Reply
#9
Wirko
ratirtIsn't Intel holding the x86 architecture only? This is emulation on a software level. It's like companies with x86 architecture would emulate android and get lawsuits for it.
The instruction set itself is patented - there's some discussion here.

A better comparison would be a company with x86 architecture trying to emulate Arm processors in software and selling the emulator. Arm would go after them, as they make money by selling architectural licenses, which is selling the ISA. However, in the case of Arm, the companies might agree on some kind of licensing. In Intel's case, they wouldn't, and AMD has a say here too.
Posted on Reply
#10
R-T-B
I mean freeware/OSS emulators like QEMU can emulate x86 in software so...
Posted on Reply
#11
Wirko
R-T-BI mean freeware/OSS emulators like QEMU can emulate x86 in software so...
Yes, and that's interesting. The situation seems to have changed a lot since 2017, when Intel threatened MS and Qualcomm. SSE2 patent has now expired, Microsoft now emulates x86-64 in Windows on Arm, Rosetta stays clear of AVX emulation, and projects like QEMU that do emulate AVX are small enough to be dismissed by Intel.
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