OctaProp - A 64-Core Project (8 x Prop1)
by, 03-13-2013 at 06:21 PM (278 Views)
The first time I came across this idea was when I attended a user group in Osaka, Japan about this time last year (2012). It was an invitation by an active forum member here. I must say, each of the member are highly talented & knowledgeable, so much so I was rather hesitant to show my projects
Anyway, they were talking about a board with 8 Propellers that worked out 64 cogs. I thought it was a fantastic idea but was wondering who would need a board with more than 2 Prop1. I created schematics with 8 Props but that much was it as I didn't know what it ought to achieve. So, placed it in the back-burner until end of last year. I started working on problems that requires to implement machine learning algorithms & this project crossed my mind. So I continued drafting out its design.... I intend to release the final design (Gerber file) once I've completed for anyone who would be interested to fabricate it.
Schematics: Attached Updated as of 19th March 2013
In training large datasets on neural network algorithms, the dataset could be sliced into smaller segments & dish out to each Prop (7 possible cogs) to process using the same algorithms & parsing them back to the Master Prop. The board would worked out to consume only 6 watts when all 8 Props are active.
:- 6 x 32KB SRAM
:- microSD socket with DAT1 connected to support future features (Tubular designed peripherals on microSD that utilises the 5th pin)
:- 2 x CD4067 multiplexers to boot Client Props & performs high-speed communicates (Beau's code)
:- Controls powering ON/OFF individual Client Props
:- FT232RL USB Comm
Each Client Prop (7 x Props)
:- 1 x 32KB SRAM
Operations:The Master Prop will communicate with host either in real-time mode via FT232RL or TTL to fetch/return algorithms, datasets & results or in batch-mode by reading/writing them from/to microSD. Master Prop will read each Client Prop on its microSD, boot them & load them data before moving on to the next Client. Since Master Prop can power ON/OFF each Client, you could basically controls how many Client Props you would need.
Questions:1. Board form-factor: Since there are so many available pins on the Clients, what type of form-factor should this adopt? How about castellations with all components placed on top while having the board the flexibility to either solder with headers or mount on a larger board?
2. ...More to come...