Raspberry Pi Supercomputer Cluster

. September 12, 2012

A team of computer engineers at the University of Southampton have built a supercomputer using Raspberry Pi and Lego. The supercomputer comprises of 64 processors, 1TB of storage composed of 16GB SD Cards in each of the Raspberry Pi’s. Total cost was under £2500.


Raspberry Pi Supercomputer Cluster

The team, led by Professor Simon Cox, consisted of Richard Boardman, Andy Everett, Steven Johnston, Gereon Kaiping, Neil O’Brien, Mark Scott and Oz Parchment, along with Professor Cox’s son James Cox (aged 6) who provided specialist support on Lego and system testing.

The racking was built using Lego with a design developed by Simon and James, who has also been testing the Raspberry Pi by programming it using free computer programming software Python and Scratch over the summer. The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet. The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and has a total of 64 processors and 1Tb of memory (16Gb SD cards for each Raspberry Pi). Professor Cox uses the free plug-in ‘Python Tools for Visual Studio’ to develop code for the Raspberry Pi.

Build instructions at http://www.soton.ac.uk/~sjc/raspberrypi

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