Some rather scathing comments about the Adapteva Parallella project there.
Clearly phrases like "super computer" should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The Epiphany chip has been designed with a few constraints that are not applied to parallel efforts like a multi-core Intel CPU or the average GPU. Namely an emphasis on low power consumption for mobile applications and a rather limited transistor budget. The latter being due to the process technology available. The result of these constaints is that the cores are made as small as possible hence the need to ditch things like caches and division in hardware. Also the minimalist mesh communications set up.
That leaves you with a lot of floating point units with fast access to a small amount of local RAM and slower access to RAM of other units throught the mesh.
Of course the RAM bottle neck is always there. Scale this up to 1024 processors in a shared RAM system and without caches those processors would be endlessly waiting for each other to get RAM access. But in the Epiphany approach as you scale up you get more RAM as well, as long as you can arrange your algorthims to have a high locality of reference you are winning. This applies to parallel processors with caches, like your quad core PC, the only difference being that the local store is now managed in code rather than cache hardware.
Can we devise algorithms that make good use of the Epiphany architecture? Are there such algorithms that are useful. We shall see.
My impression is that all attempts at parallel processing have run into similar issues and ended up not being very general purpose as a result. Hence the 0% success rate refered to in Adapteva's survey of the scene.
As for the kickstarter project, I spent a weekend reading all the available documentation, history and plans and despite being aware of it's limitations pitched in 120 dollars. Why?
1) No matter how well or badly the Epiphany works out it will be an interesting toy to play with. I have no immediate serious applications coming to mind just yet. I have only recently become aware of OpenMP for creating parallel programs on muti-core processors so my interest was piqued.
2) Looking at the proposed board I concluded that it was worth $99 even if you never used the Epiphany chip on it. It has a Zynq-7010 Dual-core ARM A9 CPU with 1G RAM along with all the goodies you might expect on such an ARM board. Compare to the IGEP from ISEE at $180 or the Raspberry Pi at $40 or many others.
BUT the Zynq chip contains 28K programmable Logic Cells. That sells the board to me immediately as being the cheapest easist way to explore the Zynq chip.
3) Finally I liked the story of Andreas Olofsson and Adapteva, if only half of that is true they deserve a little support. Yeah, I'm a sucker:)