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 http://www.zdnet.com/parallella-the-99-linux-supercomputer-7000014036/


Raspberry Pi is pretty cool (at least it seems, haven't tried it myself), but seems to have some limitations. I don't know enough about the chips that are needed for an HTPC, but the Parallella seems like its got the raw horsepower to be a pretty decent HTPC.
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What Adapteva has done is create a credit-card sized parallel-processing board. This comes with a dual-core ARM A9 processor and a 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator chip, along with 1GB of RAM, a microSD card, two USB 2.0 ports, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, and an HDMI connection. If all goes well, by itself, this board should deliver about 90 GFLOPS of performance, or — in terms PC users understand — about the same horse-power as a 45GHz CPU.
 

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It won't be useful as an htpc for a while, if ever. That system is all about parallelism - that 90 gflops of performance is spread across 64 cores. That means each individual core is pretty slow - only about 1.5 gflops. That's still better than the raspberry which is 0.35 gflops, but way underpowered compared to something like an intel i3 which gets on the order of 15 gflops per core.


Most htpc type software like video codecs are only mildly parallel - on the order of 2-4 cores. Try to spread it over more cores than that and the law of diminishing returns kicks in.


So, until the software is rewritten to be highly parallel (which may never happen) using one of these systems for htpc duty would end up being under-powered.


FWIW, these parallela cards are intended for HPC - high performance computing - the idea being to stuff a hundred of them in the space of a pizza box and then run highly parallel numerical analysis type codes on them. Like oil exploration tools or SETI scans.
 
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