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What is ClearSpeed?

ClearSpeed is a company located in Bristol, UK, that produces co-processors for high-performance technical customers. The ClearSpeed CSX600 chip features 96 computing cores, each with its own memory (6 KB of SRAM). The processor as a whole features 25 GFLOPS of performance and consumes only 10 watts of power. Software is developed in C with extensions for the computing cores; calls to a standard math library are handled by the CSX600 transparently.

ClearSpeed also offers “Advance,” a full-size PCI-X card that sports two CSX600 chips. This accelerator board boasts 50 GFLOPS of performance at a power cost of 25 watts. User-level applications such as MATLAB and Mathematica operate transparently. Advance currently works with x86 on Linux and Windows; no word yet on PCI Express or HTX connectivity.

ClearSpeed recently announced a relationship with IBM to integrate Advance with the System Cluster 1350. It is possible that the accelerator board may be adapted for CPUs like Cell in the future, but again there has been no confirmation of this.

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