1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Building A 96-Core Ubuntu ARM Solar-Powered Cluster

Michael Larabel

Published on 19 June 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 3 - 14 Comments

Last week I shared results from the Phoronix 12-core ARM Linux mini cluster that was constructed out of six PandaBoard ES development boards. Over the weekend, a 96-core ARM cluster succeeded this build. While packing nearly 100 cores and running Ubuntu Linux, the power consumption was just a bit more than 200 Watts. This array of nearly 100 processor cores was even powered up by a solar panel.

This past weekend I was out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where this build took place. A massive ARM build out has been in the plans for a few months and to even get it running off a solar panel. The build was a success and by Sunday, the goals were realized.

Due to my past ARM Linux benchmarking on Phoronix that they have followed, their use of the Phoronix Test Suite, and my experience with Linux benchmarking and performance testing in general, I was invited over to MIT to help with this 96-core ARM build after having collaborated with them for a few months. This cluster / super-computer was built around 48 PandaBoards.

The bulk of the PandaBoards were not the ES model (I brought my collection of PandaBoard ES models as back-ups for the PandaBoard nodes that failed), but just the vanilla model. The non-ES model packs a Texas Instruments OMAP4430 with a dual-core 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor. The GPU and CPU of the PandaBoard ES with its OMAP4460 are at higher clock speeds, but aside from that it is very similar to the OMAP4430 model.

For maximum density and to make it easier to transport, the PandaBoards ended up being stacked vertically. The enclosure for the 48 PandaBoards was an industrial trashcan. Rather than using AC adapters, the PandaBoards were running off a USB power source. The power consumption on the original PandaBoard is similar to that of the PandaBoard ES or perhaps slightly lower when using the more efficient USB power source. My PandaBoard ES testing usually indicates about a 3 Watt idle per board, 5 Watt under load, or 6 Watts under extreme load. This MIT 96-core cluster would idle at just under 170 Watts and for the loads we hit it with over the weekend usually would just go a bit above 200 Watts.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  2. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
  3. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
  4. Enabling HyperZ Is Still An Easy Way For Faster RadeonSI Performance
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA Releases CUDA 6.5 As A Huge Update
  2. GNOME 3.14 Beta Makes GLSL Optional, Supports Wayland Gesture/Touch Events
  3. KDE Software Compilation 4.14 Released
  4. The Many Things You Can Build With A Raspberry Pi
  5. AMD's Catalyst Linux Driver Preparing For A World Without An X Server?
  6. Khronos Publishes Its Slides About OpenGL-Next
  7. Proposed: A Tainted Performance State For The Linux Kernel
  8. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  9. LXQt 0.8 Is Being Released Soon
  10. Linux 3.17 Lands Memfd, A KDBUS Prerequisite
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Remote gui not accessible in Phoronix Test Suite 5.2
  2. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  3. Dead Island for Linux (?)
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations
  6. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month
  7. OpenGL 4.5 Released With New Features
  8. Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS