Supercomputer built from Raspberry Pis and Lego


29 Responses to “Supercomputer built from Raspberry Pis and Lego”

  1. Raspberry content is ok, but needs more Lego

  2. remainzz says:

    what makes this a super computer?
    is it the fact that you have so many nodes?
    As surely all modern computers are super computers compared to past.

  3. Why are they measuring everything in giga- and terabits instead of bytes?

  4. Rocky Hasan says:

    Nice One. Reminded me of my old pc chipset and my old lego set.

  5. Michael Polo says:

    Neat idea, and looks great. Would be interested in seeing benchmarks against a virtual equivalent machine though

  6. Kayin McLeod says:

    Oh, is this why I haven’t received mine yet.

  7. naught_for_naught says:


  8. michael b says:

    64  of them?  I had a hard time getting just one.

    • Right? 3 months from registration to delivery for me.  For one.

      Love mine, best £25 media center a person could want.  But how in the hell did they get 64 of them?  That said the Pi was built for educational purposes in mind, so maybe the uni got a little preference…

  9. brainflakes says:

    Depending on what you want to compute this isn’t exactly good value:

    Each Pi can apparently compute at .175 GFLOP/s, so in theory this cluster could run at a max of 11.2 GFLOPS/s.

    A single £250 graphic card (eg. OpenCL on a Radeon 5870) can compute at 2.72 TFLOP/s, or 240 times faster for a tenth the price.

    Being general purpose CPUs the Pis may be able to outperform a gfx card on some types of calculations and would probably be easier to program tho.

    Interestingly a Radeon 5870 would have been the worlds fastest supercomputer in 1999

    • Dan Huby says:

      Each Pi apparently has 24 GFLOP/s due to the built in GPU
      OK, your £250 graphics card is nearly twice as fast but probably not as useful for general purpose computations.

      • squidfood says:

        Yep!  For generic computations, graphics card programming is still a bear in terms of programming tools.  Many highly-parallel scientific applications are already written using MPI as the standard… it’s worth the speed hit to not have to reprogram.  I’m definitely looking at this!

      • brainflakes says:

        Ah nice, wonder why it wasn’t mentioned in the post (on the Pi site) I was reading

    • failquail says:

       I got the impression this was more about demonstrating *how* to set up a supercomputer cluster for university students rather than actually being something you’d actually use for something!

      Much cheaper and power friendly to use such cheap low power PCs for playing around with :)

  10. cjporkchop says:

    “The team included six year old James Cox, the son of project lead Professor Simon Cox, ‘who provided specialist support on Lego and system testing.’”

    I hope that kid has business cards. “James Cox, Lego Specialist.”

  11. jbond says:

    cue the /. comment: Wow! Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

  12. Ashley Yakeley says:

    “Lego rack mount” is so much less exciting than “Lego supercomputer”…

  13. redesigned 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.”

    They had me at the Pi on Pi action. :-)

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