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Named after the University of Southampton’s Iridis super computer, Professor Simon Cox’s Iridis-Pi is a supercomputing cluster consisting of 64 Raspberry Pi single board computers enclosed in a modular Lego rack enclosure. A couple of orders of magnitude less expensive than the big guns, Iridis-Pi really shines as an educational tool to explore how supercomputers are made. [via Raspberry Pi]

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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  1. Jacob says:

    Can it run a real os with 20 of them,within could make a powerfully computer! For a small price and would be upgradable!

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      It’s an ARM processor, so it will run the usual suspects. Linux, Android, etc.

      Here’s a page with links to SD card images: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

      and Adafruit has a distro, based on Raspbian, called Occidentalis: http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-raspberry-pi-educational-linux-distro/occidentalis-v0-dot-2

      So, yeah, it can run a “real os” on all 64 of them if you wanted. Not the best bang for the buck, but still pretty cheap, if you want to get into clusters.

  2. HW guru says:

    Make sure to check the hardware compatibility pages for SDHC card brands, and don’t buy the sdcards off ebay… like 50% will not work well =(….

    I use a SanDisk “super” 16GB class 6 card in mine, and the 8GB model should be around $10.

    Additionally, check if your model is on the hardware errata list. You may need at least a >1A 5v USB power supply or external USB hub to ensure your mouse and keyboard will have enough power.

    The Occidentalis v0.2 debian distro from Adafruit (nice company) is also pre-compiled to support all the lower level i/o libs for popular sensors. The Adafruit version of the distro is intended for hardware people, and has install scripts to automatically grow the install image to fill the capacity on your sdhc card.

    There are some other quirks with the Model B, but if you think you can help out testing people will definitely be appreciated. The confirmed hardware list needs as many people’s feedback as possible given it reduces the chances people may purchase incompatible hardware.

  3. Todd Perry says:

    Great project…. Of course, I’m mainly amazed they could GET 64 Pi’s!

  4. [...] response to Raspberry Pi and Lego Supercomputing Cluster, user Todd Perry says: Great project…. Of course, I’m mainly amazed they could GET 64 [...]

  5. [...] response to Raspberry Pi and Lego Supercomputing Cluster, user Todd Perry says: Great project…. Of course, I’m mainly amazed they could GET 64 [...]