Engineers tout 'morphable' computers

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Engineers tout 'morphable' computers

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, a developer of sensor systems for the US military, has claimed that it has developed the world's first computers that can morph into different forms.

The Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture (Monarch) system has been developed to address the large data volumes of sensor systems as well as their signal and data processing throughput requirements.

Raytheon claims that Monarch is the most adaptable processor ever built for the US Department of Defense.

Monarch performs as a single system-on-a-chip, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of processors required for computing systems, and performs in an array of chips for teraflop throughput.

"Typically, a chip is optimally designed either for front-end signal processing or back-end control and data processing," said Nick Uros, vice president for the Advanced Concepts and Technology group at Raytheon.

"The Monarch micro-architecture is unique in its ability to reconfigure itself to optimise processing on the fly.

"Monarch provides exceptional compute capacity and highly flexible data bandwidth capability with beyond state-of-the-art power efficiency, and is fully programmable."

In laboratory testing Monarch outperformed Intel's quad-core Xeon chip by a factor of 10, the company claims.

The architecture's polymorphic capability and super efficiency enable the development of systems that need very small size, low power, and in some cases radiation tolerance for purposes such as GPS, airborne and space radar and video processing systems.

A Monarch system contains six microprocessors and a highly interconnected reconfigurable computing array, providing 64 gigaflops with more than 60Gbps of memory bandwidth and more than 43Gbps of off-chip data bandwidth.
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