New Linear Processor Crushes AI and Other Complex Problems

Clock frequency can be set by connecting the two CLOCK pins via a capacitor, crystal, delay line, SAW filter, ceramic resonator, cavity resonator, tuning fork, slide whistle, or antenna. For extremely high-performance applications, the designers are working on a version whose DATA I/O and ADDRESS signals are connected via waveguides rather than wires.

Because of the chip’s extraordinarily low power consumption, no heatsink is necessary, although cooling can be helpful to reduce thermal noise. Best results can be achieved by bathing the package in liquid helium. It’s a practice that trades off precision against safety, since engineers are known for clumsiness, possibly spilling liquid helium on themselves with disastrous results. Indlewylde Corporation has already had to send two researchers to the Emergency Room, after which the company’s cryogenic cooling experiments were curtailed.

A One-of-a-Kind Instruction Set

The instruction set for the eπi is unique, to say the least. It takes full advantage of linear electronics’ strengths to perform math that typically brings other processors to a standstill. For example, the digital fast Fourier transform technique was developed to overcome the computationally intensive and slow process of calculating a standard Fourier transform on digital computers.

On the eπi, a Fourier transform is performed on-the-fly without any need for an elaborate optimization. Outputs are supplied in real-time. This has a lot to do with the device’s internal use of complex numbers. The same is true of the other transform types supported by the eπi as single instructions, including Cosine, Laplace, and Hadamard transforms. Inverses of all of these transforms simply involve negating the voltage assigned to any transform’s instruction.

Vector math, matrices, and linear algebra are supported in complex numbers, all with single-instruction operators. As with the transforms, matrix inversions can be performed by negating the instruction voltage for any of the matrix operators. This wealth of matrix functions not only provides superb support for AI, but lends itself to efficient programming in APL rather than currently popular digitally oriented languages like C++.

To address today’s shortage of experienced APL programmers, Indlewylde has recorded an APL tutorial in 371 twenty-minute Portuguese-language episodes. These are scheduled to be released on YouTube by the first of April next year, with English translations the following April 1.

There are several built-in commonplace functions, including Hyperbolic Trig Functions (Sinh, Cosh, Tanh, Cotanh, ArcSinh, ArcCosh, ArcTanh, and ArcCotanh, all based on gradians, rather than radians or degrees), Autocorrelation and Cross Correlation, Differentials and Integrals (both full and partial) over time or against another variable, Surface Integrals and Differentials in n-space, rich Polynomial Solutions, and many less-common functions.

Built-in constants include e, 1/0, i, Boltzmann’s constant, Avogadro’s number, and others. An internal noise diode supplies random numbers. Natural logarithms and powers of e are also built in. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division aren’t supported.

“Oddly, math performed on irrational numbers seems to run faster than that done on rational numbers, but we don’t know why,” admitted Dweeselman.

Price and Availability

Indlewylde tells us that the eπi is now available in sample quantities from all of the usual sources. Pricing for volume orders follows a Dutch Auction approach—lower prices for low volumes, with prices increasing at higher volumes. Special pricing will be considered in exchange for a modest side payment to sales management.

Full documentation and software support is currently under development.

Read more articles in the April 1st series in the Humor section of our Series Library.

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