Preview: A Cheap 12-Core, 30-Watt Ubuntu Cluster

2012-Jun-07 | Tags: serverubuntu

Linux on ARMIt's quite easy these days to build a many-core compute cluster that is low-powered, running Linux, and performant-friendly. Here's a small cluster build that's begun at Phoronix and has twelve 1.2GHz cores while the total system power consumption under load is just about 30 Watts.

More details will be shared in the next week or two, but I'm in the process of assembling a small ARM cluster running Ubuntu Linux. This cluster will be used for delivering some interesting ARM Linux benchmarks, of course! It's also being used for Phoronix Test Suite purposes for creating more MPI/cluster benchmarks for some of the commercial/enterprise clients, coming up with more ARM Linux benchmarks in general, and this hardware is also going to be part of a much larger (~96+ ARM core cluster - details to be shared at a later time) cluster.

With low-powered ARM hardware and the onslaught of affordable development boards, it's rather easy to build a modestly powerful cluster. At the heart of this current cluster build is the PandaBoard ES. I'm quite a fan of the PandaBoard ES development board and have been benchmarking it since last year. The PandaBoard ES has the OMAP4460 SoC from Texas Instruments with a dual-core Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor and PowerVR graphics (fortunately that's irrelevant for cluster purposes)...

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Linux on ARM