The Parallella board is a single board computer the size of a credit card, and similar in many respects to the Raspberry Pi, but with different onboard processing. It kicks SBC’s up a notch — with its high performance and efficiency, it’s a super computer. This board is an obvious stand-out, featuring an 18-core parallel processing system.
If you’re not familiar with parallel computing, it’s the simultaneous use of multiple computing resources to solve problems. For example: a problem is broken into various smaller problems that are solved concurrently with an overall control coordination mechanism. Basically, the board processes actions utilizing all 18 cores, allowing it to quickly execute tasks with less than a 5W power draw. The 18 cores are comprised of 2 ARM (Acorn Risc Machine) and 16 RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) cores running at 2 Ghz.
The Parallella board uses the Linux platform, which brings a wide range of programming options. This board lends itself well to more complicated applications, such as advanced robotics and drones, so this might be overkill for the average hobbyist, but more attractive to users with specific needs. This power house board starts at $99 and also come as a kit, with cases designed to stack. It tends to run hot, so you’ll want to make sure it’s kept well-ventilated.
Overall, the Parallella board offers users the next level in single board computing, which is not only exciting but intriguing. Welcome to the future!