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Technology company Oracle have built a supercomputer made up of 1,060 Raspberry Pis, showing that these mini circuits can be used to create a powerful machine.

Standing proudly at Oracle’s OpenWorld convention on Monday, the blue and black tower houses over a thousand Raspberry Pi 3 B+ boards, with a total of 2,240 processing cores. Oracle are calling this the “world’s largest Raspberry Pi cluster.”

Oracle Raspberry PI Supercomputer Angled View. SeaBro IT
Oracle’s Raspberry Pi Supercomputer was Displayed at the OpenWorld Convention. Image: ServeTheHome

3D printing has been used to build the architecture of the structure, with the components specially designed for the least amount of printing time. The production of this supercomputer was intricate and time consuming – with one of the team saying that it took a day just to get all of the nodes out of the boxes.

To save on costs and minimise wasted heat and power output, the nodes are not powered by PoE but instead by USB power supplies. Throughout the structure there is a total of 18 USB power supplies, each of which can power 36 USB devices. The Pis are then connected to 22 Ubiquiti Unifi 48 port switches, each uplinked via SFP+ 10GbE.

Oracle Raspberry PI Supercomputer USB Connectors Close Up. SeaBro IT
2,240 processing cores require a lot of connections. Image: ServeTheHome

Hidden within the five six-foot tall racks, there is an Oracle brand Supermicro 1U Xeon server that coordinates its neighbouring mini computers. This server boots the cluster and the systems is running on Oracle’s brand new operating system – ‘Oracle Autonomous Linux’.

When asked by ServeTheHome why they created a Raspberry Pi cluster rather than virtualising an existing ARM SERVER, one of the engineers behind the project simply said that “a big cluster is cool”.

If bought individually, this volume of Raspberry Pi units would have cost a total of £36,040, and that’s even without the switches, power supplies, cabling and boot server. But even so, the processing power (and shear impressiveness) of this cluster make this a worthwhile project.

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Written by
Fraser S
in News. Staff Articles. Uncategorised

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