Developers use 750 Raspberry Pi boards as supercomputing testbed

Great way to test parallel systems. Love the Pi!


Developers requiring a platform to test their scalable software for supercomputers now have an inexpensive solution. Designed and built by BitScope in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, this new platform relies on the popular Raspberry Pi 3 boards – 750 of them, to be exact – that are spread out across five rack-mounted Pi Cluster Modules. This platform will eliminate the need for a $250 million investment.

“It’s not like you can keep a petascale machine around for R&D work in scalable systems software,” said Gary Grider, leader of the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The Raspberry Pi modules let developers figure out how to write this software and get it to work reliably without having a dedicated testbed of the same size.”

Each Raspberry Pi 3 board is a self-contained miniature PC packed with a quad-core processor, 1GB of system memory, wired and wireless networking, and a handful of USB ports. That means each Pi Cluster Module consists of 600 computer cores to develop scalable software for high-performance computing (HPC), large-scale sensor network simulation, and more at a fraction of the cost needed to purchase a dedicated HPC testbed.








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