Raspberry Pi computers retail for around $25 and include a 700MHz ARM11 processor and 256MB of SDRAM on a board the size of a credit card (more specs here). Now Professor Simon Cox of the University of Southhampton and his LEGO-expert son James have built a supercomputer of sorts using LEGO bricks to rack and stack 64 of the Raspberry Pi units.
Each Raspberry Pi has a 16-gigabyte SD card for about 1 TB of combined disk space. It all runs off a single 13 A power supply. The total cost (not including the Ethernet switches) was about $4000 (under £2,500). In their step-by-step guide about the computer, which they’re calling an Iridis-Pi, Professor Cox says, “The first test we ran – well obviously we calculated Pi on the Raspberry Pi using MPI, which is a well-known first test for any new supercomputer.” It’s using the free version of the Message Passing Interface and code in Python to distribute the task.
We should note calling it a “supercomputer” is an exaggeration. It’s a parallel computer with processing power similar to old supercomputers, but not current ones. Still a cool project for the money. Especially since this set-up has 64 HDMI outputs. That could make for an awesome video wall. Ooo, I know one fat cat who can afford that…
Of course a cat would want to create a 64-screen YouTube video wall. He wants to check out all those slutty cats comprising 98% of YouTube. (The other two percent of YouTube? Cats who are total prudes.)