back to article 'Universal Processor' startup Tachyum unveils full-system Prodigy emulator ahead of sampling later this year

Tachyum, which has been promising a "universal processor" dubbed Prodigy for the past three years, said it was one step closer to delivering on that pledge with the development of a motherboard for its FPGA emulator that allows customers to test a complete Prodigy system. Formed in 2017 by Skyera and SandForce co-founder Dr …

  1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Smack my chips up

    Sure, The Prodigy may be a universal processor (whatever that means), but can it drop fat beats?

    1. Dr_N Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Smack my chips up

      You deserve a pint.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Smack my chips up

      I want to know what sort of cooling solutions it might need.

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Smack my chips up

        None--this chip is the God of Hellfire, and it brings you ... fire!

      2. Dr_N Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Smack my chips up

        So that it doesn't initiate some kind of incendiary event?

        Potentially leading to respiratory difficulties?

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.

    1. Swarthy

      ...Or any evidence.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I don't expect we'll see any for the "greener era" or "human brain-scale AI"1 ones. What a load of rubbish that statement was, even for marketing-speak.

      I don't have much hope for the performance claims, but at least they mean something.

      1Though thanks to their poor understanding of the hyphen, there's no textual reason not to interpret this as "brain-scale artificial intelligence implemented using humans", which might just be achievable.

  3. the spectacularly refined chap

    Transmeta

    There's obviously some marketing/investment hyperbole at play here but it all sounds suspiciously like Transmeta 20 years ago.

    They hardly changed the world did they? If it wasn't for their ploy of recruiting big names I'd doubt anyone would remember them now.

    1. jglathe

      Re: Transmeta

      Well, wasn't there something with a RISC machine running microcode on the inside? That's how almost all x86 chips work today, more or less.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Transmeta

        Almost all? Is there still an x86 core that executes x86 opcodes directly? (Honest question.)

  4. TonyWilk

    Getting too old for this

    Might be getting too cynical, but "advancing the entire world to a greener era by enabling human brain-scale AI." ! ?

    I'd be sold if they added "leverages quantum nanotube blockchain technology" tho :)

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Getting too old for this

      Ridiculous if you're not using graphene.

  5. JMiles

    And I can deliver any tech project faster, better AND cheaper. Now please fund me

  6. cmannett85

    I'm baffled by this. The usually reason why hardware developers create FPGA dev boards is so that the software stacks can be developed in parallel with the hardware. But Tachyum are providing an emulation layer so customers wouldn't need to modify their software, even if they wanted to use Tachyum's ISA, it would just involve recompiling (assuming they upstreamed to LLVM or gcc...).

    So why release this to customers?

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

      The cynic in me suspects they are having problems building a performant ASIC and need to get something out in order to get another round of funding. No-one expects FPGA performance to match ASIC but having an FPGA demonstrates that you are not just vapourware.

  7. RLWatkins

    "Human brain scale AI."

    The term "artificial intelligence", well understood by computer-science types, has been used for years to mislead laymen into believing that we're within a hair's breadth of building machines which are superior to human beings in understanding and creativity.

    It's a lie.

    We're not even close to envisioning the architecture of a machine which can out-think a person, let alone building one.

    I call BS on "human brain scale AI", and note that there's still room in Transmeta's grave for a few more IT grifters.

  8. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    Are FPGAs capable of handling it all?

    If something like the MISTer is used, it tops out at being able to emulate a moderately paced 486. Saying that this FPGA synthesis of the chip both enables high end performance and contains x86 emulation seems very unlikely.

    I'm guessing it'll contain their instruction set only, at an unremarkable speed.

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