Friday, March 23, 2007

Raytheon claims world's first "polymorphic" computer

Posted Mar 22nd 2007 12:57AM by Evan Blass

In what sounds like a pretty big deal, defense contractor Raytheon has developed what it claims is the world's first polymorphic computer -- a machine that can adjust its architecture on the fly and thus be equally adept at "front-end signal processing or back-end control and data processing." Specifically, the MONARCH chips, as they're known (for Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture, apparently), contain six microprocessors each running at 64 gigaflops and delivering more than 60 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth and more than 43 gigabytes per second of off-chip data bandwidth. What's more, Raytheon says that its beautiful butterfly is simultaneously one of the most powerful and power-efficient chips available, outperforming a quad core Xeon by a claimed factor of ten. But don't get too attached, as you won't be seeing these DARPA-funded chipsets on the market anytime soon; instead, they're destined for GPS devices, radar, video processing systems, space gear, and anything else in which the military needs small, low-power, and radiation tolerant components. [Via Slashdot]