Don't assume that a "low" version number means it's unusable. The project has commits going back to at least December 2009. Not all software is versioned with the assumption that 1.0 = finished.
0xBABECAFE or 0xDEADBEEF are both slightly less controversial.
How many alpha particles are going to make it outside of the car?
Can it measure the marigolds?
Algorithms only work well if they fit well with the hardware they're targeting. You have to make certain assumptions, but depending on what your algorithm is, you should know which things you really need to think about (memory, branching, process communication, disk,
Algorithms that get synthesised into hardware will only work well if they're written in such a way that lends itself to synthesis. There's going to be a huge heap of stuff that doesn't fit well, or doesn't work at all. Writing things like Verilog and even System C is very different to writing a piece of software. And let's not even mention the backend stuff like layout - stuff that can have a big impact on performance of the thing you're spending a lot of money fabricating (oh, I guess I
So, maybe a bit ambitious, but if they've solved even some of the problems and helped bring software development and hardware design closer together, well, that's a good thing.
The problem is not just generating the power... it's delivering it and consuming it without breaking/melting. And that's what they're getting at here - getting more FLOPS per watt... not finding out how to push more watts into a system. A silly amount of the energy going into a supercomputer comes out as heat... and a silly amount of energy is then used to remove that heat. Hopefully, by significantly improving the energy efficiency of chips and systems, we can make them a lot more powerful without them needing a whole lot more power. And I haven't even mentioned the mobile/embedded side of the spectrum where its about battery life and comfortable operating temperatures... the same energy efficiency goals apply.
This is the sort of thing we over the pond are very interested in too. Like for example *cough* the Microelectronics Research Group that I'm a part of.