Here's a simple supercomputer you could build for around $4,000

Technology is obviously catching up to our current definition of "supercomputer." I mean, when someone can just buy 64 Raspberry Pi computers, get them all talking to each other in a framework built out of Lego, and then call that "super," it sure seems like we need a new word for these things, doesn't it?

Engineers at the University of Southampton, being fans of Moore's Law, noticed how the price of putting together a supercomputer has jumped off of a cliff recently, plummeting from millions of dollars to hundreds of thousands to just tens of thousands. That's pretty cheap, but in an effort to go even cheaper, the engineers decided to take advantage of the most bang for the buck computing power available, the teeny tiny and dirt cheap Raspberry Pi.

For just $35, the Raspberry Pi includes (among other things) a 700 MHz processor, an Ethernet port and expandable storage in the form of an SD card slot. Connecting 64 of these things together, then, gives you over 11 GHz of processing power plus a terabyte of memory (by filling each SD card slot with 16 gigs of storage). The only other thing you need to figure out is a way to keep all the Raspberry Pi boards off of the floor, which is easily accomplished with a framework made out of Lego bricks. The whole thing runs off of one 13 amp electrical outlet (and what looks like a jungle of power strips), and reportedly, the machine is quite talented at calculating pi.

If you need a supercomputer in your life, you can build a Raspberry Pi system identical to this one for less than £2,500, which works out to just over $4,000 in real money. All of the instructions are freely available right here.

Southampton, via Parity News

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