Thoughts on Tachyum (part 2)

(Part 1 at https://threedots.ovh/blog/2021/01/thoughts-on-tachyum/, let’s assume that most Tachyum claims are true)

Tachyum is a company saying that their VLIW processor will change computing, being a “universal processor” that can be used for all workloads.

They still claim that they’ll be able to ship their Prodigy processor this year. According to them, they were able to host a website on a software simulator. That doesn’t exactly mean much if anything on its own.

They also say that they have a port of Linux and GCC ready. Given the difficulties that happen in trying to merge an architecture port to Linux (and such a thing isn’t easy for GCC either), that puts their software stack in a precarious position.

Without a port upstream, the architecture has no chance whatsoever at success. The company cannot afford doing all that work by themselves, which includes porting a whole software ecosystem.

As of today, Tachyum didn’t publish any code, with no ISA documentation whatsoever available to the public. For a CPU that will be released this year, that’s an incredibly big mistake.

The single board with 4 FPGAs emulates 8 full processor cores including vector and matrix fixed and floating-point processing units.

As of today, the company claims to have FPGAs ready that will ship soon to customers, with 2 cores per FPGA. Let’s assume that the Xilinx VU19P is used, being the largest FPGA commercially available today. It has 9 million system logic cells (and 3.8k DSP slices). That puts an upper size limit on how big those cores are.

Links to Tachyum press releases :

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