The Raspberry Pi folks describe their product as an ARM GNU/Linux box for $25, so the natural reaction is to ask, can I make a supercomputer out of these things?
The answer is yes — and you can tie the whole thing together with Lego:
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.
Professor Cox adds: “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.”