[Beowulf] modular motherboard prototype

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Fri Aug 21 10:22:54 PDT 2009


Slashdot pointed out a prototype modular motherboard; a big mobo is made
from snapping together a bunch of little ones:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/08/modular-motherboard/

'David Ackley <http://www.livingcomputation.com/rpc>, associate professor of
computer science at the University of New Mexico and one of the contributors
to the project [says] “We have a CPU, RAM, data storage and serial ports for
connectivity on every two square inches.” '
...
Each X Machina module has a 72 MHz processor (currently an ARM chip), a
solid state drive of 16KB and 128KB of storage in an EEPROM ... chip.
There’s also an LED for display output and a button for user interaction.'

The modules share power & data through a single connector, recognize the
presence of neighbors and can load each others programs automatically.

If the connectors are the usual male/female (not certain from the picture)
then snapping them together would be a bear, since the vertical pair of pins
wouldn't be aligned when the horizontal pair hasn't been snapped in yet, and
vice versa.

Peter
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