University builds supercomputer using Raspberry Pi micro PCs

By Shawn Knight
Sep 13, 2012
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  1. A team of scientists at the University of Southampton led by Professor Simon Cox have built a low-cost supercomputer comprised solely of ARM-based Raspberry Pi micro computers. More specifically, the team has combined 64 units to create a parallel computer...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,036   +2,541

    I kept waiting for a comparison between this super computer and a general mainstream computer.
    KristoZ and tehbanz like this.
  3. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 359   +40

    Me too; what can it do?

    3DCGMODELER TS Enthusiast Posts: 307   +18

  5. Love that, building a supercomputer stacked in lego building blocks...power and whimsy.
  6. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +138

    Benchmarks?! I mean comon thats all we really want to see.
    KristoZ likes this.
  7. kukrek

    kukrek TS Rookie

    Great for students, team for ArGe and know-how about multi-nod development. And thats all.

    About performance?? 64 x Arm11 Cores on par with ehhmm, no need to compare since we will be using Broadcom's Videocore 4 GPU's 24 Gflop general purpose computing power.

    So under a %99 parallelized problem system will result 64 x 24 Gflop = 820 Gflop of computing power at best.

    You can easily beat it with an i5 +7970 + OpenCL. Which will probably cost less and consume less power too.

    Again, its great for team and educational purposes, main topic here is not about great efficieny. Everyone on team should have learnt much about distributed systems from node-building to managing them.
    TJGeezer likes this.
  8. DKRON

    DKRON TS Guru Posts: 566   +25

    A super computer is lots of other computers all linked in to spread the work load over more room therefore making it faster, think daisy chaining
  9. Zeromus

    Zeromus TS Enthusiast Posts: 224   +7

    I'm loving those racks.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,036   +2,541

    That wasn't my question, I understand that. My question was about performance of the combined processing power of the 64 micro PC's compared to a standard off the shelf PC.
  11. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    @kukrek, sounds like you were on the team. Fine answer to cliffordcooley's question. And it sounds like a terrific lab project for an intro or second course in parallel computing. At the end, issue grades or however you do it there, disassemble, throw all the Legos into one box, store the Raspberry Pi boards in another, and let the next class have at it. Great project!

    I can see the future now. Every U in the world picking up on this, buying boards and Legos for their own projects, driving Lego stock through the roof... note to self - call broker...

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