Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Supercomputers with Multiprocessor Mix

Old/new cameras: resources, cpu, card, electronics


The world can be a fast changing place with new ideas born every day. While most people are able to embrace societies new technology, others cannot. In the history of computing, which has seen radical changes over the years, it's the very people in the field that are either innovators and welcome change, or entities of a resistive force which die out or fade away.

Here at the Lab, we like to think there's at least a small part of science innovation and the offering of new approaches and ideas with combined fields of science. One new idea involves supercomputers. Generally a supercomputer is created by taking a bunch of computers of one type, and multiplying its number to create a cluster. This plurality of many computer machines computing in parallel makes a powerful combination.

The Lab is working on supercomputers of a different type. We've discovered that it's possible to connect together many computers and processors of varying types. One may do supercomputing with a mix of highly specific chip boards, different types of CPUs, different types of computers, and a mix of supporting hardware and resources.

In home supercomputing, you use what you can get at a reasonable cost. Home supercomputing projects simply don't have millions of dollars to cash up on expensive arrays. So we collect the parts available, perhaps on closeout, good deals, yesterday's models, used equipment, unusual equipment like the guts of cameras, or great finds from anywhere and anyplace offering lots of CPUs and resources.

This mix may include PCs, Macs, Linux boxes, game machines, GPUs, assorted boards, DIY machines, cameras, or raw chips from assorted companies like Parallax, Parallella, Green Machines, and other multicore chips from various manufacturers. For example, take a look at what you can do with old computers. It's now possible to turn these outdated computers into more processors.

In another example, proof of the pudding, let's take an inside look at the Big Brain Supercomputer. How many different types of processors does it hold? It appears to hold over thirty different types of CPUs and technology. One development state of Big Braining led to a period of assimilation where other material, machines, chips, components, boards, etc. were consumed and made part of the Big Brain. The following list details some of those varying types of assimilated technology.
    Parallax Propeller Chips
    AMD GPUs
    New Mac Computers
    Lenovo Computers
    ASUS Computers

    VP Processors
    Parallax BASIC Stamps
    Video Card Processors (several varieties)
    Various Boards (8 varieties)
    Smart Phones
      In conclusion, it's possible to mix a variety of processors and technology to create supercomputers. This can include computers recycled into more CPUs, and a "what's available" approach to the hardware.