New multicore DSP devices from the French firm Kalray aim to surpass FPGAs in compute-intensive tasks, such as image and signal processing, 3D augmented reality and industrial automation. The company recently demonstrated the MPPA-256, the first member of their MPPA Manycore family of processors, at CEATEC Japan.

The MPPA-256 is organized as an array of 16 clusters of 16 cores interconnected by a high-bandwidth on-chip network. The proprietary cores are based on a VLIW low-power design and integrate a 32-/64-bit floating point unit. The cores of each cluster share memory, network interfaces, a debug support unit and control logic.


The demo applications at CEATEC include H.264 video encoding of a live 1080p stream from a source with a Serial Digital Interface (SDI), using a parallel implementation of the x264 open-source encoder, an industrial automation demo featuring a set of 17 Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) running independently and concurrently on the same chip, and a passive sonar application demonstrating the capabilities of the MPPA-256 for complex signal processing tasks