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Southampton Engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer

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Raspberry Pi supercomputer

Simon Cox, left, and a young friend with Southampton University's Raspberry Pi and Lego supercomputer.

Credit: Simon Cox

University of Southampton researchers have developed Iridis-Pi, a supercomputer made from 64 Raspberry Pi computers and Lego.

"We installed and built all of the necessary software on the Pi, starting from a standard Debian Wheezy system image, and we have published a guide so you can build your own supercomputer," says Southampton professor Simon Cox.

Iridis-Pi runs off of one 13 Amp mains socket and uses Message Passing Interface to communicate between nodes using Ethernet. The researchers note the entire system cost less than 2,500 pounds Sterling and includes 64 processors and one terabyte of memory. The researchers used the Python Tools for Visual Studio plug-in to develop software for the system.

"The team wants to see this low-cost system as a starting point to inspire and enable students to apply high-performance computing and data handling to tackle complex engineering and scientific challenges as part of our ongoing outreach activities," Cox says.

From University of Southamption (United Kingdom)
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