Engineers build a Raspberry Pi supercomputer out of 64 mini PCs
The Raspberry Pi isn’t exactly a speed demon. The $35 computer has a 700 MHz ARM11 processor which is enough for basic computing tasks, and HD video playback. But in order to keep the price low and the mini PC accessible, the Raspberry Pi foundation used a chipset that’s a few years old and not as capable as most newer ARM-based processors.
But engineers at the University of Southampton figured if you take enough of the low power PCs and set them up to work together, you could build a cost-effective, energy-efficient supercomputer.
So that’s what they did.
They took 64 Raspberry Pi devices, outfitted each one with a 16GB SD card for a total of 1TB Of storage, and built a custom case to house the computers using Legos.
Once all the systems are powered up and connected via a local network, the trick is to configure software that lets you run operating systems across multiple nodes so that you can use all those extra Raspberry Pi computers to improve overall performance.
You can find out how the engineers did that by checking out the software installation steps (PDF link).
Or you can just look at more pretty pictures of the finished project in action, starring Professor Simon Cox and his 6-year-old son and Lego expert, James Cox.